This week, we shifted our focus from business to brand development and took a look from the customer’s perspective. Founders got into the mindset of their customers by speaking with current and potential customers to develop customer personas. By the end of the week, our founders had a clear understanding of who their customer is, what problems the customer is facing, what motivates the customer and how customers feel about the product or service.

On the female leadership side, we discussed introspection and self awareness. Our interactive discussions focused on (1) how to surpass our innate fear of failure by talking about the future of your business and about what is possible (2) how to course correct and clarify when someone says something you said isn’t factual. We also introduced another proprietary tool to help founders be prepared to speak to anyone throughout various types of meetings from investor pitches to grabbing coffee with a potential colleague.

We wrapped up the week by introducing our founders to legal council from local law firms. Karen Anderson, Partner and Ilana Brand, VP Business Development at Cooley walked us through negotiating a term sheet as well as broke down rights and common terminology found in term sheets. More about this information can be found at CooleyGo, an awesome compilation of free legal resource. Pamela Hwang, a local Patent attorney with a long history in Biotech also came in to share about the various types of intellectual property (IP), strategies for protecting IP, and the importance of knowing the differences in order to setup your company portfolio accordingly. Thank you for your time and expertise Ilana, Karen and Pamela!

Questions you should be able to answer about your business and your product before pitching investors:  

  1. Who is the influencer/buyer/supplier in your target market?
  2. Who has the purchasing power in the company that you are selling to? What role does the individual play in the company?
  3. What is the job risk your customer is facing?
  4. What motivates your customer?
  5. Develop 3-5 key points about your business that you want investors, your community, or friends and family to clearly understand. Iterating on each of those points will be a strong way to always feel confident when walking into a new situation.