GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

September 5, 2012

You’ve just closed your seed round.  Other than starting to build, hire, and take over the world, there are a bunch of mundane things to do right away.  The following is a first pass at a checklist of items for Founder CEOs to take care of in the first couple weeks after they’ve closed their initial round of seed funding.

 

Funding Announcement

  • Figure out your PR strategy for announcing the round to get your plan in order.
  • Remember that a number of reporters scan Form D filings for fundings which include notable venture firms in order to preempt funding “scoops”; talk to your legal counsel about the timing of your own filing.

Communications with New Board & Investors

  • Ensure all of your investors have all legal documentation of the round, including an electronic version of the final cap table.
  • Figure out a Board of Directors meeting schedule & cadence acceptable to everyone joining in person.  Publish dates & times in advance for the next nine months so it’s set in everyone’s calendar in order to avoid the hassle of coordinating scheduling multiple parties every month or two.
  • Proactively solicit input to create a board deck template and metrics dashboard to present at the first Board Meeting, so that you’re able to set a strong in-control tone.

Foundation for New Employee Hires

  • Formulate and socialize with the Board acceptable compensation bands (both salary and equity options) for new employees.  This best-practice will help set expectations all around about the compensation-level for hiring, so that there will be less need to consult the Board on standard hires, only for executives which are exceptions.
  • Hire a firm to conduct a 409A valuation to set a strike price for your employee stock options, which needs to be at or above “fair market” value.
  • Explore HR/healthcare/payroll options… as it’s entirely likely you’ve held off formalizing to-date but now will need these in place for attracting and hiring employees.

Logistics

  • Obtain Directors & Officers insurance; you and your fellow Directors want it, and your docs may necessitate it.
  • Switch to more than just a bookeeping firm (or upgrade from merely Quickbooks);  instead engage an accounting firm so that you don’t have to think/worry about it down the line.  But a full time CFO and even a CFO-for-hire may overkill at this point.

Recognition

  • Send a personalized thank you note to the half-dozen people outside the company who helped you during the fundraising process.
  • Take the whole company (presumably pretty small at this point) out for a Thursday night drink – you have a lot of work ahead of you but it’s worth it to celebrate together in achieving this first fundraising milestone of many to come.

 

Please leave additional suggestions in the comments, and if there’s a critical mass of content, I’ll likely repost the blog in the future.

About Me

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  • I am a cofounder and Partner at NextView Ventures, a dedicated seed-stage venture capital firm making investments in internet-enabled startups. Read More »

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  • Rob Go
     - 12 hours ago
    @tjparker @davegerhardt my last thought here for now :) I think brand is more of a product oversight here than a marketing one
  • Rob Go
     - 7 hours ago
    Fundraising is the search for true believers. Not convincing skeptics or figuring out the right story to sell https://t.co/G2dt7ZMgAY
  • Rob Go
     - 12 hours ago
    @tjparker I'd LOVE to write a follow-up post on brand, BTW. I totally agree that it's way under-appreciated. Almost a bad word here
  • Rob Go
     - 12 hours ago
    @tjparker @davegerhardt I think much of the brand was established by founders in the beginning. WP brought on VP Brand in 2013

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