• Underscore VC
66 episodes
Empower your inner entrepreneur. Startup Secrets provides practical lessons and community to guide you from idea to success.


01 Roadmap To Success
2018 Mar 161h 35m 19s
“Even the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step…” This Lao Tzu quote is easy to relate to but sometimes figuring out that first step is the hardest thing for would-be entrepreneurs looking to start their business. This workshop helps you determine your roadmap to success.
02 Building a Compelling Value Proposition
2018 Mar 161h 30m 51s
Underscore VC has enjoyed collaborating with innovators on their planned ventures and helping them explore their value propositions. However, many entrepreneurs lose out, due to never truly articulating a compelling value proposition. Establishing a substantive value proposition is critical if you want to start the journey from your “idea” to building a successful company. In this workshop, we explain our framework for one of the first stages of creating a new venture: defining, evaluating, and building a compelling value proposition.
03 Turning Products Into Companies
2018 Mar 162h 4m 59s
You’ve developed a great product, but how do you build a successful company around that product? Regardless of product innovation, it can take several years to build a company. Markets change! In addition to investing in R&D, you need to prove market acceptance—then repeat and scale through sales and marketing. This workshop offers a framework designed to help founders and entrepreneurs bridge the product-company gap and includes the best practices for 1. developing foundations, 2. designing to fit, 3. architecting to attract.
04 Culture, Mission and Vision
2018 Mar 161h 55m 7s
Ideas are worth very little without a culture to guide the selection of talent and a big, bold vision to attract and unify the team. Human capital is what separates great from good companies – which is why establishing a strong culture to attract and retain the right people while unifying them behind an inspiring vision and mission is essential to any significant venture. This workshop offers insight into approaches entrepreneurs should consider when developing their venture’s mission and vision – while ensuring they can execute on both – critical areas of focus when striving to build an enduring company.
05 Hiring A+ Talent
2018 Mar 161h 56m 40s
We all know a company is only as good at its team, which is why the hiring process is so critical as you build out your venture. This workshop focuses on the different considerations an entrepreneur should make with regard to hiring, featuring insights from Russ Campanello, iRobot’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and Acquia’s Global Manager of Talent Acquisition. The presentation also provides recommendations on specific questions to ask when trying to find your ideal candidate.
06 Game-Changing Business Models
2018 Mar 161h 54m 54s
In this workshop, we walk through several key frameworks to building a game-changing business model in order to create the "perfect startup storm." See key players from companies like Acquia, Formlabs, Diagnostics for All, and OPEXengine explain how their business models push boundaries and ultimately become successful.
07 Go-To-Market Strategies
2018 Mar 162h 9m 30s
In this workshop, we dive into different strategies to get your product or service to market. It is critical for this lecture to be reviewed in conjunction with your business model. For example, it’s vital to work through the ultimate Customer Acquisition and Retention Cost (CARC) and Life Cycle Value (LCV) to develop a strategy for going to market that is consistent and profitable.
08 Getting Behind The Perfect Pitch
2018 Mar 161h 7m 36s
Investor pitches can be daunting, and advice from across the internet varies widely as to what information to include in your pitch. While every company and their potential investors are different, our suggestion for your investor pitch is simple: tell a story. In this workshop, you’ll learn what types of information to include, and how to weave a narrative that’s compelling enough to raise the capital you need to start your business.
09 Funding Strategies To Go The Distance
2018 Mar 161h 56m 26s
There are many things to consider when determining fundraising strategies for your startup, from selecting funding partners, to targeting an investment amount, timing, and terms. The following workshop outlines the different considerations to think through when evaluating fundraising strategies. You’ll learn about: The best time to raise capital, what investors really look for in a startup before they provide capital, valuation…and the ability to truly evaluate, and the most important capital you will raise. With the funding landscape changing every day, this resource is designed to educate and foster a broader conversation on the topic.
10 Have You Got What It Takes?
2018 Mar 162h 10m 26s
What does it take to be a founder? It’s hard to say since every founder is so unique. This workshop will walk through some of the difficulties of being a founder, while also touching on the characteristics we see in great founders and expectations to have along this tumultuous journey into entrepreneurship. Hear from some amazing founders about the ups and downs of their startup journeys.