· startups · 4 min read

Playbook for a succesful startup

Simple checklist to be considered by startup incubators, accelerators, grants, candidates, investors and customers

Simple checklist to be considered by startup incubators, accelerators, grants,
candidates, investors and customers

Startups are like a rowboat, and rabbits

As a founder and main point of contact of your startup, your main role is to manage the processes internally for your boat to move in the correct direction, you need to manage your employees who can be spooky or frightened rabbits, fundraise and sell your ideas to people often, turn off your founder conversation to avoid alienating your friends, trying to get your friend to introduce you to the owner of a hospital they met in high school …

Startups exist in an ecosystem, learn your part and act it


All of this before you can finish reading this article. Being organized and having a good executive system should be your priority, it will let you complete checklists and do your part better.

Executive needs

  • Storytelling, vision, mision, blurbs
  • Program managing tools, boards, brief meetings
  • Hiring, collaborating and team development
  • Leisure and professional events in the ecosystem

Be the water in the shark tank

Interoperability, convivencia, ecosistema, volunteering and collaborating lead to early victories. Using and supporting open source tools, communities, meetups and real human connection is a strategy that works. friends and family, literally and metaphorically.

Some questions that need short answers, and frequently need new answers:

  • What are you trying to build?
  • Why are you qualified?
  • Do you know the people or partners you need to build this?
  • How can I make the most out of our budget?
  • Are there others I can help right now?
  • What would our fans want us to do?


To go from storytelling to real company, there are critical items you need to consider, investors and customers most likely have experience in the industry you’re trying to enter. If there’s something extremely obvious that you missed, it will get you rejected immediately, and make a future relationship harder.

  • Incorporation, start an LLC cheaply, or an S-Corp on delaware, earlier better
  • Banking, open a corporate bank account, put money on it, use it to operate
  • Invoicing, send invoices of any amount to your customers and friends to generate account activity
  • Fundraising, friends or investors with 10k or more should get thoughtful documents and equity
  • Marketing and user validation, start a blog or newsletter to connect with an audience
  • Surveys and data department, qualitative and cuantitative research into your market
  • Website and online presence, buy domain, custom emails, landing pages, crunchbase, linkedin
  • Early team, talk to your friends and former coworkers, accept guidance, compensate them adequately
  • Compliance and market dynamics, do you need permits? special considerations about your industry
  • CTO and technical product development, consider server expenses, as well as talent
  • Budget, create multiple budgets and projections for quicker due diligence
  • Pitch decks, be ready to present to different stakeholders in their language
  • Marketplace considerations, community managers and chapter directors as strategies

Attending meetups online or in person will get you in close proximity to people who can answer specific questions about your idea in real time. Try to get quick answers and move faster, if there are roadblocks, consider different approaches. Be patient and prepared, each stage moves at different speed.

Appreciate the slow days.

Find a Startup weekend, there might be some in your area, or you can travel or attend online. There’s also pich competitions and office hours where you can practice. Multiple test runs will reduce the amount of rejections and accelerate introductions to enable an operating strategy.

Checkout videos about different accelerators, incubators, their approach and participate in their community. Personal connections to alumni highly increase your chances. You can reapply to any program, apply before you feel ready to be accepted.

Honesty and organization are helpful, other professionals you’re collaborating with are likely to be busy, having clear documentation and highly specific requests when communicating gets you better answers.

A great team gets alone and has succesfully done this before, can do it again, reach out to fractional executives.

Latest blog posts

View all posts »


Back to Blog