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Incubator 2.0: A Silicon Valley Success Story

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Presentation on incubators & startups to DC GovTech meetup with White House & State Dept (9/19/09).

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Incubator 2.0: A Silicon Valley Success Story

  1. Incubator 2.0: A Silicon Valley Story Engineering Better High-Tech Startups with Incubators, Investment, & Iterative Development Dave McClure (@DaveMcClure) Founders Fund & GeeksOnaPlane.com Sept-Oct 2009
  2. Startup Funding Ecosystem Union Square Ventures First Round Capital SoftTech (Jeff Clavier) SV Angel (Ron Conway) Benchmark Sequoia Y-Combinator TechStars FF Angel FF II fbFund REV (FF, Accel, Facebook) FF I Angels & Incubators ($0-10M) Seed Funds ($10-50M) Small VC Funds ($50-250M) Traditional VC Funds (>$250M)
  3. [Pardon The Hype]
  4. Dave McClure <ul><ul><li>2001-2009: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Startup Investor: 500 Hats LLC, Founders Fund </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tech Marketing : PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advisor, Angel Investor : 40+ Startups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conf. Organizer : Web 2.0, O’Reilly, Startonomics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stanford Visiting Lecturer : Facebook, Startup Metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>80’s & 90’s: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneur : Founder/CEO Aslan Computing (acq.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer : Windows Apps / SQL DB Admin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User Groups : E-Commerce, Internet, Client-Server </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineer : Johns Hopkins ‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math </li></ul></ul>GEEK, CODER, ENTREPRENEUR Blogger, Startup Advisor Internet Marketing, Angel/VC Investor
  5. Angel Investments (Personal, 2004-2008, 13 deals, avg $25K)
  6. Angel Investments (via FF Angel, Q408-Q309, 30+ deals) FF Angel – 12 deals @$50-250K fbFund REV – 22 deals @ ~$15-75K
  7. Founders Fund (2005-2009)
  8. Startup Incubators (lots of little deals… some of which work :)
  9. Incubator: Hatching Startups <ul><li>Idealab (Bill Gross, 1996-2001) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goto.com -> Yahoo Search Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CitySearch, PayMyBills, Commission Junction, NetZero </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Y-Combinator (Paul Graham, 2005-pres.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9+ “vintages”, 100+ companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reddit, Scribd, Xobni, Omnisio, DropBox </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TechStars (CO), SeedCamp (UK), LaunchBox (DC) </li></ul><ul><li>fbFund REV (Silicon Valley, 2008-2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook, Founders Fund, Accel </li></ul></ul>
  10. Incubator 2.0 <ul><li>Incubators growing in popularity, acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive ecosystem for startups (angels, VCs) </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient use of investment capital ($25-100K) </li></ul><ul><li>High fail rate (60-80%) => large initial sample size </li></ul>
  11. Incubator 2.0 <ul><li>Success based on common platforms, physical proximity, open & collaborative environment </li></ul><ul><li>Success based on fast fail, iteration & feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental investment; high-risk, but high-reward </li></ul>
  12. fbFund REV <ul><li>fbFund REV : Facebook “Social” Incubator: invest in startups, apps, websites based on Facebook platform, Facebook Connect. </li></ul><ul><li>25 startups (2 non-profits) </li></ul><ul><li>$850K total investment (~$35K each) </li></ul><ul><li>12-week mentorship program in Palo Alto, CA </li></ul><ul><li>~25 Advisors / Speakers (Entrepreneurs, Geeks, Investors) </li></ul>
  13. fbFund REV <ul><li>fbFund REV : Facebook “Social” Incubator: invest in startups, apps, websites based on Facebook platform, Facebook Connect. </li></ul><ul><li>Education on Tech, Design, Marketing, Business topics </li></ul><ul><li>Demo Day with >200 VC, Angel Investors </li></ul><ul><li>Target: ~7-10 seed round investments ($250K-$1M) </li></ul><ul><li>Success: ~5 startups already funded, ~5 @ break-even </li></ul>
  14. Startup Funding 1, 2, 3: Incubator, Angel, VC.
  15. Startup Funding Ecosystem Union Square Ventures First Round Capital Benchmark Sequoia FF II FF I Angels & Incubators ($0-10M) Seed Funds ($10-50M) Small VC Funds ($50-250M) Traditional VC Funds (>$250M) Y-Combinator TechStars FF Angel fbFund REV (FF, Accel, Facebook ) SoftTech (Clavier) Maples Investments Felicis (Senkut) SV Angel (Conway)
  16. I^3 : Incremental Investment & Iteration <ul><li>Method : Invest in startups using incremental investment, iterative development. Start with lots of small experiments, filter out failure, and expand investment upon success. </li></ul><ul><li>Incubator : $0-100K (“Micro-Seed”) </li></ul><ul><li>Angel : $100-$1M (“Seed”) </li></ul><ul><li>VC : $1M-$5M (“Series A, B”) </li></ul>
  17. Investment #1: Micro-Seed (“Incubator”) <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-3 founders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$25-100K investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incubator environment: multiple peers, mentors/advisors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build Functional Prototype / “ Minimum Viable Product ” ( MVP ): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept->Alpha , ~3-6 months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop Minimal Critical Feature Set => Get to “ It Works ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instrument Basic Dashboard, Conversion Metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test Cust. Adoption (10-1000 users) / Cust. Satisfaction (Scale: 1-10) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect with Advisors & Mentors, Angels/VCs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate Concept , Reduce Product Risk, Test Functional Use </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Metrics & Filter for Follow-on Investment </li></ul>
  18. Investment #2: Seed (“Angel”) <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2-5 person team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$100-$1M investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syndicate of Angel Investors / Small VC Funds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improve Product, Expand Market, Test Revenue: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alpha->Beta , ~6-12 months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Sat ≥ 6 => Get to “ Doesn’t Suck ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Setup A/B Testing Framework, Optimize Conversion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test Marketing Campaigns, Customer Acquisition Channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect with Advisors, Investors, Key Hires </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prove Solution/Benefit, Assess Market Size </li></ul><ul><li>Test Channel Cost, Revenue Opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Determine Org Structure, Key Hires </li></ul>
  19. Investment #3: Series A (“Venture”) <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5-10 person team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$1M-$5M investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VC Investors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scale Business, Get to Sustainability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beta->Production , 12-18 months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous A/B Testing, Optimize Conversion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Sat ≥ 8 => “ It Rocks, I’ll Tell My Friends ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MktgPlan => Predictable Channels / Campaigns + Budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scalability & Infrastructure, Customer Service & Operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect with Marketing / Distribution Partners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prove/Expand Market, Operationalize Business </li></ul><ul><li>Future Milestones: Profitable/Sustainable, Exit Options </li></ul>
  20. Startup Metrics Create. Measure. Iterate.
  21. Startup Metrics: Lean & Mean <ul><li>Progress ≠ Features ( Less = More ) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on User Experience (& Distribution ) </li></ul><ul><li>Measure Conversion ; Compare 2+ Options </li></ul><ul><li>Fast, Frequent Iteration (+ Feedback Loop ) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it Simple & Actionable </li></ul>
  22. Startup Metrics for Pirates: AARRR ! <ul><ul><li>A cquisition : What channels do customers come from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A ctivation : Do they have “happy” 1st experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R etention : Will they come back? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R eferral : Do they tell other people? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R evenue : How to make money? </li></ul></ul>
  23. Minimize TOTAL time through the loop LEARN BUILD MEASURE IDEAS CODE DATA Source: Eric Ries, The Lean Startup
  24. Startup Metrics for Pirates <ul><li>A cquisition: users come to site from various channels </li></ul><ul><li>A ctivation: users enjoy 1 st visit: &quot; happy ” experience </li></ul><ul><li>R etention: users come back , visit site multiple times </li></ul><ul><li>R eferral: users like product enough to refer others </li></ul><ul><li>R evenue: users conduct some monetization behavior </li></ul>(note: If you’re in a hurry, Google “Startup Metrics” & watch 5m video) AARRR !
  25. AARRR!: 5-Step Startup Metrics Model Website.com R evenue $$$ Biz Dev Ads, Lead Gen, Subscriptions, ECommerce A CQUISITION SEO SEM Apps & Widgets Affiliates Email PR Biz Dev Campaigns, Contests Direct, Tel, TV Social Networks Blogs Domains R etention Emails & Alerts System Events & Time-based Features Blogs, RSS, News Feeds
  26. Startup Challenges <ul><li>Startups have problems in 3 key areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management : Setting Priorities, Defining Key Metrics, Creating Dashboard, Reporting Progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product : Building the “Right” Features, Getting Product Out Quickly, Testing for User Conversion / Adoption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing : Accessing “Web 2.0” Channels (Search, Social, Viral, New Media), Cost-Efficient Distribution </li></ul></ul>
  27. Role: Founder/CEO <ul><li>Q: Which Metrics? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>A: Focus on Critical Few Actionable Metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(if you don’t use the metric to make a decision, it’s not actionable) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hypothesize Customer Lifecycle </li></ul><ul><li>Target ~3-5 Conversion Events (tip: Less = More) </li></ul><ul><li>Test, Measure, Iterate to Improve </li></ul>
  28. Role: Product / Engineering <ul><li>Q: What Features to Build? Why? When are you “Done”? </li></ul><ul><li>A: Easy-to-Find , Fun / Useful , Unique Features that </li></ul><ul><li> Increase Conversion (stop iterating when increase decelerates) </li></ul><ul><li>Wireframes = Conversion Steps </li></ul><ul><li>Measure, A/B Test, Iterate FAST (daily/weekly) </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize for Conversion Improvement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80% on existing feature optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% on new feature development </li></ul></ul>
  29. Role: Marketing / Sales <ul><li>Q: What channels? Which users? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>A: High Volume (#), Low Cost ($), High Conv (%) </li></ul><ul><li>Design & Test Multiple Marketing Channels + Campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Select & Focus on Best-Performing Channels & Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize for conversion to target CTAs, not just site/landing page </li></ul><ul><li>Match/Drive channel cost to/below revenue potential </li></ul><ul><li>Low-Hanging Fruit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO/SEM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Landing Pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automated Emails </li></ul></ul>
  30. Links & Resources <ul><li>Additional References: </li></ul><ul><li>Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Robert Cialdini (book) </li></ul><ul><li>Putting the Fun in Functional Amy Jo Kim (etech 2006 preso) </li></ul><ul><li>Futuristic Play Andrew Chen (blog) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t Make Me Think Steve Krug (book) </li></ul><ul><li>Designing for the Social Web Joshua Porter (book, website) </li></ul><ul><li> Startup Lessons Learned Eric Ries (blog) </li></ul><ul><li> Customer Development Methodology Steve Blank (presentation , blog ) </li></ul><ul><li>Startup-Marketing.com Sean Ellis (blog) </li></ul><ul><li>KISSmetrics.com Hiten Shah / Neil Patel (website) </li></ul><ul><li>How To Pitch a VC Dave McClure (slides, NSFW) </li></ul>
  31. Silicon Valley Innovation = Entrepreneurs + Technology + Immigrants Immigration as Critical to American Economic Leadership as Technology Innovation
  32. Q: Where are the Startups? Source: TechCrunch.com
  33. A: Where Legal Immigrants Reside. Source: TechCrunch.com
  34. A: Where Legal Immigrants Reside. Source: TechCrunch.com
  35. Summary <ul><li>1) Incubators are capital efficient method for stimulating tech innovation, job creation </li></ul><ul><li>2) Metrics & Iteration, Feedback loop key to startup process and success </li></ul><ul><li>3) Immigration = Critical to Entrepreneurship as Technology Innovation & Capital </li></ul>

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