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Startup Business Coach: Growth & Fundraising | 7 startups | MSFT, IBM, P&G | MBA@UCLA, Int’l@SSE, BS CS@WPI | Triathlon, Golf, Photography |

How to best leverage multiple mentors

Startups often have multiple advisors (lumping “advisors”, “coaches”, and “mentors” together herein for brevity), especially those going through an accelerator program where startup founders are proactively introduced to advisors. [If you have no advisors for your startup, you’re missing a great opportunity — startup founders that have gone through accelerator programs consistently credit advisors as the most valuable part of accelerator programs.]

Sometimes there’s an immediate tendency by CEOs and founders to treat advisors like contributing team members — assigning deliverables with deadlines and aligning goals, which are good practices for managing direct teams. However, the purpose of advisors…

Accelerator Best Practices

Good for all involved

Antique outside clock
Antique outside clock

I’ve worked with dozens of startup accelerators globally. Not all accelerators operate the same, but at least some assign one or more mentors (or “advisors” or “coaches”) to their cohort startups for the duration of their program [How they should be assigned is a subject for a future post]. The start of the mentorship term is often quite clear — e.g., when the startup founders and mentors are notified of their matches. Although, sometimes this is also not clearly done, or perhaps those who are not matched do not get notified at all. …

Selling is Not Just for Sales

Anyone Can Learn to Sell Well

“I wish we could close more customers”

“I’ll never be good at sales”

“I hate selling”

If you dislike (or maybe even hate) sales, think you don’t have the personality to succeed in sales, or just want to close more sales for your business, this short article could have bigger impact on your life than you might expect. …

How to create deep links to text within a web page

A whole new dimension to URL links

The Google Chrome browser (Chromium to be more precise) and thus many popular browsers based on Chromium including Microsoft Edge, Opera, et. al. (*see full list below) have a really cool, useful, but surprisingly underutilized feature. As we all know, you can create a web URL link that refers to a specific web page. But did you know that you can also create a URL link that refers to a page and highlights specific text on that page, and automatically scroll to that text fragment without any required extensions?!

Maybe you’ve clicked on some search engine results where relevant…

The Startup Antibubble

Plus 3 Steps To Getting Started


It was the worst of times,
it was the best of times,
it was the age of uncertainty,
it was the age of information,
it was the epoch of isolation,
it was the epoch of technology,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the season of Light,
it was the winter of despair,
it was the spring of hope,

Please forgive me, Charles Dickens, but twisting your meme slightly seems appropriate in this period of Covid 19. It’s difficult to speak of hope in the current context of losses of life, livelihoods, and institutions. And the uneven…

More than marketing. A framework for business success.

Customer Empathy is Key To Growth

Buyer’s Journey Hourglass
Buyer’s Journey Hourglass

Successful business growth experts have all along known this, which industry is starting to espouse — empathize with and deliver value to your prospects and their business you will receive. The adversarial approach of “winning” or “taking” prospects’ business will not work in the long-term. Greater communication, democratization, and transparency has assured this.

Central, then, to effectively growing your business is understanding your “Buyer’s Journey” — not your sales process, but the process your prospects go through when buying your products or services.

The days of selling your multi-million-dollar perpetual licensed software EA (enterprise agreement) and walking away celebrating…

Analyst Relations in a Nutshell for Startups

Sharing One of My Most Valuable B2B Marketing Secrets

I am surprised by how few B2B tech startups (from my experience, pretty close to zero) leverage industry analysts. I suspect this is due in part to misconceptions, in part to legitimate roadblocks, in part to lack of awareness, in part to underestimated value, and in part to a lack of knowledge about how.

In fact, analysts can provide tremendous value, so let’s address these…

What are Analysts?

Professional industry analysts are individuals or firms that are experts in an area (e.g., industry or function), i.e., subject matter experts (SMEs). Typically, they make…

Getting Back To Normal And Staying That Way

Technology Solutions Could Speed Our Return To Normalcy

(I am neither epidemiologist nor doctor. This post is my non-professional personal opinion.)

Although the current economic situation was not due to an economic cause, the humanitarian treatment (social distancing) will certainly have an economic impact. Analysts like Jan Hatzius (Chief Economics, Goldman) predicts a big hit (34%+ decline in GDP; 4x Great Recession!) but fast recovery. So how do you estimate that impact?

Long term, I think we can assume that the stock market is correlate with GDP. In Q1, the stock market took a ~30% dive already, but has gained back about 10% of that (faster than…

Comprehensive Startup Guide To Finding Your Best Path During Financial Turmoil

Turn Survive Into Thrive

(Photo by Alina Pkhakadze on Unsplash. Modified by Samir Ghosh.)

During a humanitarian crisis, it’s difficult to focus on business. However, economics also affects lives. In fact, it’s not only our duty to ourselves, employees, and investors, but to the economic community to ensure our businesses survive, thrive, and contribute to society.

Fortunately, there is U.S. federal government assistance through the C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act which may help startups, particularly regarding cash flow during this current Coronavirus economic period. …

Everything you need to know to make a compelling investor pitch

Understand investors’ motivations to win them over

Original Photo by Марьян Блан | @marjanblan (edited by Samir Ghosh)

There’s certainly no shortage of advice for startups wanting to pitch investors for funding. So why would I offer more?

Much of the existing advice I’ve seen is very prescriptive — telling you what to say, what slides to include, even what size typeface to use….without necessarily explaining WHY.

For virtually any presentation, the better you understand your audience, the more effective your presentation will be. That’s certainly true for investor pitches too. But this does not mean “telling them what they want to hear.” In fact, remaining honest and ethical will create the best long-term win/win situations.



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