This page has select articles and resources that seafood sector entrepreneurs can look to for ideas and guidance in building their businesses.
The resources below are aimed at developing a successful business, in terms of how you go about it and what to prioritize. These can help companies in the Fish 2.0 competition to clarify key elements of their plans by focusing on the customer value propositions, the team, and the go-to-market strategy.
- Start-ups, Strategy, and the "Lean Start-up" approach
These articles are a good place to get familiar with the lean start-up approach and how it can get you off the ground quickly based on what customers are telling you.
Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything by Steve Blank, Harvard Business Review. This is a good overview of the lean start-up approach, which favors experimentation, customer feedback, and iterative design.
What Are Some Biz Dev Best Practices For Start-ups? by Peter Baskerville, Forbes online. This article provides a list of best-practices tips for start-ups and early-stage companies to create a competitive business model and develop a customer base.
Top 10 Ways Entrepreneurs Pivot a Lean Startup, Forbes. This article discusses the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and goes into detail about the various types of pivots a start-up can make during its development.Getting to Plan B by John Mullins (book for purchase). This book provides insight into how start-ups pivot their business plan and deal with uncertainty. The authors discuss how to stress-test a business plan and create a robust and sound Plan B business model.Three Fatal Errors Start-Ups Make, by Francine Hardaway, Fast Company. This article goes into depth on three common errors that start-ups make: not having a real product, not understanding the market, and not having a sound business model. The article provides specific examples and recommendations.
- Your Business Model and Plan
These resources go a little more in-depth in how to develop your actual business model. Fish 2.0 competitors will recognize many of the same key themes that are emphasized in the competition.
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. Free app also available at the website. This website provides a free Business Model Canvas, which can be used to describe, design, challenge, and pivot a business model.
SWOT Analysis for Your Startup Business. This article provides details on the usefulness of conducting a SWOT analysis for a business venture and goes into depth about the four different factors of the analysis.
Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet (book for purchase). This book provides an integrated and comprehensive framework for developing a product to launch a new venture.
How to Write a Business Plan VCs Will Fund (PDF) by Lynn & Wilson, Morgenthaler Ventures, and TubeMogul. This presentation covers the key elements of a business-plan slide deck and the information to include in each section.
Customer development video (Stanford University). In this instructional video Chuck Eesley discusses customer development methodology for lean start-ups and the applicability of the scientific method to this process.
Impacts and Metrics
Below are some selected resources about impacts, both from the perspective of your business and from the investor and the overall field of impact investing.
- Impacts & Metrics in your Business
Resources to help you assess which are the key impacts of your venture, and then find metrics and indicators to measure and communicate them. Fish 2.0 goes into great depth with entrepreneurs to develop these.
Fish 2.0 - Communicating Impacts. This Business Briefing provides key points to consider when measuring the social and environmental impacts of a business' activities. The briefing provides details about what "impact investors" are interested in, and how to use SMART metrics to demonstrate progress toward a goal.
IRIS. This website is a catalog of impact and performance metrics, with standardized definitions, that an increasing number of impact investors are using. This resource is great for measuring social, environmental, and financial performance.
Impacts grid. This resource is a simple 2x3 framework for approaching social and environmental impacts.
Learning from Silicon Valley, Stanford Social Innovation Review. This article discusses how the Omidyar Network uses a venture-capital model to measure and evaluate effectiveness.
- Impact Investment resources
Below are some selected resources about impact investing. These may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the field, as well as read some of the latest thinking emerging from impact investors themselves
Toniic E-Guide to Impact Measurement, Toniic, 2012. This guide brings together lessons from Toniic members and their impact investor peers. Using “The 7-Step Framework”, it aims to help investors, especially those exploring how impact investing compares to their current investment practice, go from learning to action as global practitioners in impact investing.
Evolution of an Impact Portfolio: From Implementation to Results, Sonen Capital and KL Falicitas Foundation, 2013. This publication demonstrates that impact investments can compete with, and at times outperform, traditional asset class strategies while pursuing meaningful and measurable social and environmental results.
Demand Dividend: Creating Reliable Returns in Impact Investing, John Kohler, Santa Clara, 2013. Demand Dividend is a debt vehicle designed to improve the repayment cycle for impact investors and ease capital access for social enterprises. It is a tool that improves the ability of impact capital providers to invest in early-phase SGBs and deliver on their return promise to investors.
From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing, Harvey Koh, Ashish Karamchandani and Robert Katz. Monitor Group & Acumen Fund, 2012. An in-depth demand-side understanding of the needs and challenges facing inclusive businesses. This report discusses the pioneer gap, validating viability, preparing markets and more.
Below is a selection of templates and resources on the key elements of finance for enterprises. In Fish 2.0, companies use these and other tools to improve how they describe their financial outlook and the investment opportunity.
- Your Company Finances: Income, Cash Flows, and Balance Sheets
The financial templates below provide spreadsheets to display income, cash flows, and balance sheet projections.
Financial Templates by SCORE. This website provides free templates and additional resources on business planning, finance, marketing and sales, and management.
This website provides a wide variety of Excel-based financial templates from balance sheets to profit and loss projections. Make sure to click the small “Download” link for the free version.
- Startup Funding Guides & Resources
Key elements of successfully funding a start-up, including advice, resource, and examples.
The All-in-One Startup Funding Guide. In this article Chance Barnett, CEO at CrowdFunder, goes into detail about five elements of successful start-up fundraising: the pitch deck, term sheets, targeting investors, meeting and pitching to investors, and equity crowdfunding. The article also includes links to additional resources, templates, and specific examples.
- Term Sheets & Stock Agreements
Some guides and sample templates of key financial documents.
The Founders Guide to Term Sheets and Equity Crowdfunding. In this article, Chance Barnett, CEO at CrowdFunder, respond to three common questions on equity financing and term sheets. The article also provides links to additional resources and term sheet templates.
Term Sheets Explained in Plain English by Founders Fund. This downloadable PDF resource is a good place to start learning about term sheets. It provides a detailed evaluation of the components of a term sheet, in a useful and understandable format.
Legal document templates. Some key document templates, available for free from the National Venture Capital Association. Includes term sheets, stock purchase agreements, and more.
Series Seed Financing Documents This resource provides links to free downloadable series seed financing documents, including an investors' rights agreement (IRA), certificate of incorporation (COI), and term sheet.
Series Seed Financing Documents Free series seed financing documents from the Kauffman Foundation, including a Series Seed Form COI, SPA, IRA, and Term Sheet.
- Convertible Debt & Other Flexible Instruments
Articles to help understand the commonly used convertible debt, as well as founder's agreement templates, SAFE financing, and more.
Primer on Convertible Debt. This article provides a detailed introduction of convertible debt, its usefulness as initial fundraising for early-stage companies, and the primary features of convertible debt.
Frequently Asked Questions: Convertible Debt This article covers a number of frequently asked questions about convertible debt and provides succinct responses as well as links to additional resources and articles.
Legal documents. Upcounsel includes templates of convertible notes, founder's agreement templates, and more.
SAFE financing documents This website provides information on Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) financing, as well as links to additional SAFE Financing resources and documents.
Below are articles for guidance on how to approach the art of valuation.
The Pre-Money Valuation of Angel Deals in 2012. This article discusses how angel investors calculate the valuation of seed-stage ventures, and mentions several reports and surveys pertaining to the pre-money valuation of angel deals.
Valoración de Startups Mediante el Método VC (Spanish).
- Background on Finance and Accounting
Background information on the basics of accounting and financial statements
Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper (book for purchase). This book provides insight into the Accounting Equation and its significance, how to read and prepare financial statements, and the concepts and assumptions behind generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), as well as other accounting topics.
The videos and pitch templates below describe best practices for entrepreneurs who are pitching to investors, and how to distill their story into key slides. In the Fish 2.0 competition, finalists use these types of resources, together with one-on-one coaching, to prepare their pitch for the judges.
- Pitching to Investors: Guidance & Resources
The resources below are a good place to start building your pitch.
How to Pitch to Investors (Free video) by Nathan Gold, one of the Fish 2.0 pitch coaches. Nathan discusses how to pitch to investors in less than 10 minutes using just 13 slides, with tips and specific examples.
The Start-up Pitch: A Proven Formula to Win Funding (book for purchase) by Chris Lipp, one of the Fish 2.0 pitch coaches. This book includes details on the formula for a successful investment pitch, strategies to pitch persuasively, and insights on delivery and slide design.
Body Language by Amy Cuddy. In this TED Talks video, Amy Cuddy discusses the importance of body language and nonverbal communication, and the effect that standing in a posture of confidence can have on your success.
- Pitch Decks and Templates
Below are sample presentation decks available to download.
Fish 2.0 Short Pitch Template. This document is used for basic pitch training in Fish 2.0 workshop.
The Ultimate Pitch Deck to Raise Money for Startups by Chance Barnett. This article provides several examples of pitch decks that successfully raised seed and series A funding in the past, as well as tips for pitch decks that will win start-up investment.
Venture Capitalists Spend an Average of 3.44 Min on a Pitch, Tech Crunch. This article goes into detail about pitch deck design and ordering, and offers tips and information on fundraising in series seed and series A funding rounds.
The Ultimate Startup Funding Pitch Deck. In this article, Chance Barnett, CEO at CrowdFunder, provides a succinct explanation of his investor pitch formula, broken down into 11 pitch-deck core slides with specific examples. The article also includes a downloadable Investor Pitch Deck Template.
How to Write a Business Plan VCs Will Fund by Lynn Wilson, Morgenthaler Ventures and TubeMogul. This presentation covers the key elements of a business plan slide deck and what information to include in each section.
- Communication & Storytelling
The following books and articles offer broader guidance on how to engage people.
Storytelling as Best Practices and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes by Andy Goodman (workbook for purchase). This book provides insights on the importance of stories, how to tell a good story, and the kinds of stories you should be telling in your work.
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (workbook for purchase). This book discusses a number of topics related to the communication of ideas and success and tackles the important question of why some ideas thrive while others die.
Venture Capitalists spend an average of 3.44 min on a pitch, Tech Crunch. This article goes into detail on pitch deck design and ordering, and offers tips and information on fundraising in Series Seed and Series A Funding Rounds. (Article)
Resonate by Nancy Duarte (book for purchase).
Legal requirements and patents vary by country. Below are some resources for the U.S. context, of interest to anyone planning to work with U.S. investors.
- Intellectual Property, NDAs and Founders Agreements
Below are a selection of legal resources and templates for start-ups and early-stage companies.
Startup Intellectual Property Tips: Protection and Avoiding Infringement, Forbes Magazine (for US companies). This article provides tips for early-stage companies on how to identify and protect intangible business assets and avoid intellectual property (IP) infringement.
IP Asset Maximizer Blog. This resource by Jackie Hunter, IP strategist and Fish 2.0 webinar expert on legal fundamentals, includes articles on specific patent strategies for innovative companies as well as IP strategy in general.
Legal documents. This website provides free legal documents including nondisclosure agreements (NDA), convertible notes and founder's agreement, a critical document for start-ups.
The U.S. Accelerated Patent Examination Process. This resource describes the accelerated patent examination process of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and provides a number of useful links to resources, guidelines, samples, contacts, and tips.
The Ultimate List of Legal Resources for Startups. This article provides a list of important resources for start-ups, including advice, blogs, websites, templates, tools, and more.