As a founder, inventor or entrepreneur, have you ever walked into a meeting feeling the underdog? Wondering how you will get your early stage funding or any investment? Feeling like you are begging for help from Investors or Business Angels? Worse, you feel that this person (or people) holds the key if only you could get them to give it to you? If so, you do not have a big enough stack.
Stacks inverts this power position.
In fact, stacks gives you the key that unlocks their potential.
This means they will be keen to help you rather than you begging for investors’ help, or, in fact, anyone’s help.
So how does it work?
Each item in your stack is related to an area of expertise that you hold. To complete the area of knowledge there are powerful tools that have been developed over decades to take you through the process of learning and discovering everything you need to know. As you conquer each item, your stack gets larger and larger. After time, it is larger than those you seek to negotiate with. Having a large stack puts you in a position of power. You have the decision as to whether they work with you. You decide whether they enhance your business.
“This makes so much sense. I can now see where I was going wrong.” Find out more at the next Funding and Commercialisation webinar listed on the Keynote Events Page.
There are over twenty stacks, so, let us look at a couple of common stack items to get the idea:
This is a series of conversations with key people to understand the environment that surrounds our technology. Most people concentrate on the product and its features and benefits to potential customers. However, we are too early to do this since we don’t know who our first customers will be. Our discovery broadens our network and connections away from the product/solution and into the problem space. We learn how people articulate the problem (we are solving), how important it is to them, how frequently the problem occurs and the value of solving the problem. We get out of the “product shoes” and into the shoes of our users and customers. By broadening out our knowledge we will find the Innovators who will become our first customers
Stack: Financial Model
Before we build and deliver our product (service) we need to be confident that we can make a profit. That is a profit after we have paid all the costs associated with producing, delivering and managing the product (service). The Financial Model is built on a modified Cashflow Analysis which can provide Balance Sheets and the Profit & Loss detail later should we need it. We will explore the questions: What does the company look like when income exactly matches expenditure? How many employees will there be? What will they do? How much do we need to sell? What will be the impact of marketing costs? When will we break even?
Initially we will do this using industry averages and assumptions (e.g. retail price = 10 x factory product price) and improve our model so we start applying stress scenarios. What if we do not get the government grant? What if we only sell half as many as we are expecting? etc. This will improve our confidence in our over-all proposition.
“Wow… what other stacks are there?”
Other stacks include Early Stage Funding Options, Building Equity Sales Pitches, Government Grants, Eco-System, Technology Minimal Viable Product (MVP), etc. In fact, there are well over twenty different stacks.
How many stacks do you need? It varies depending upon your invention and startup idea.
How to find out more
To learn more about Stacking, attend one of the Funding and Commercialisation webinars. The next one can be found on the Keynote Events Page.