Editor’s Note: VA4E.org in partnership with Northern Virginia-based Village Capital has launched a new platform called Abaca to help founders build a roadmap for scaling their venture and raising capital.
VA4E was the inaugural partner for Village Capital’s online investment marketplace, introduced in December 2017. Many of you shared feedback on how to make it better—they listened.
757 Angels’ executive director Monique Adams describes Abaca as “a game changer in helping 757 Angels find great investments across the Commonwealth (of Virginia) – and in helping every entrepreneur we come in contact with to find the resources they need.”
Abaca’s mission is to make benchmarking the progress of your company easy and to give entrepreneurs a common language to use with investors, mentors and their team as they seek capital and resources. The tool is especially useful for educating entrepreneurs and tracking their progress.
Here are some of the many improvements now available to entrepreneurs on Abaca:
A colorful, easy-to-use slider for determining investment readiness in each category
More transparency about the milestones needed to achieve scale and level up
More precise matching and iterative matching criteria
The ability to update the assessment and share progress
Communication tools to improve conversations with investors and mentors
If you’re a startup founder in need of capital—whether now or down the road—StartWheel encourages you to complete an assessment. Abaca definitely wants your feedback and suggestions for further improvement, so let us know what you think and we’ll pass it along to the developers.
How we’re fixing fundraising for entrepreneurs and investors
By Peter Lundquist and Andrew Hobbs at Village Capital
The entrepreneur smiled and raised her hand. It had just dawned on Rupa Chandra Gupta why some investors had been telling her “not yet” when she pitched her ed-tech company, Sown to Grow.
On the ledger-sized grid in front of her, she had drawn stars around a few boxes in a row labeled “Hitting Product-Market Fit,” and she wanted to share the moment of realization with her peers. Were a majority of sales in the target market inbound? Have we validated strong unit economics in our business model?
She had often spoken about achieving product market fit, but her mental milestones were significantly different from the descriptions on the page. THIS may be the source of misalignment and confusion in investor conversations.
Now she had a roadmap. Rupa was excited to take the marked-up assessment back to her team at Sown to Grow, so they could prioritize what to focus on next. How might they address the product-market fit milestones, and what others did they think were critical?
On her way out, she asked for a few more paper copies of the grid.
Now there’s no need to request paper copies. We’re excited to announce the launch of Abaca, which makes the assessment available as a web app, so that entrepreneurs everywhere can have that moment of understanding and find the capital and resources they need.
Entrepreneurs, meet Abaca!
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StartWheel’s mission is to centralize and mobilize efforts that foster the growth of entrepreneurism in our regional innovation economy. We aim to support and cultivate an entrepreneurial network in HRVA where talent, resources, information and leadership come together.