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NEW! "Do the Numbers Work?" 2/26 at DLA Piper

Guest investor for 2/26 is Steven Finn. Moderated by Steve Bowman.

“Do the Numbers Work?” is a new addition to the Startup Money series. that dives deep into the economics and money issues unique to a venture startup. Before they ever write a check for your startup, investors must be convinced “the numbers work.”


1) How to prepare for investor questions about the economics of your business. What numbers are they likely to probe, and what type of analysis leads to the right numbers.

2) What numbers you should pay most attention to, what metrics are most important to guide your decisions as you build a sustainable, scalable business.

Topics that might come up:

• unit economics

• pricing strategies

• managing profit margin

• cash flow timing

• LTV vs CAC

• capital needs—timing and feasibility

• cost of scaling revenue

• exit economics

• cap tables

• the true cost of venture capital

• how investor returns are derived

This is not presentation coaching. (Come to Open Coaching for that.)

How it works

“Do the Numbers Work?” follows a format similar to Open Coaching. It’s a shared dialogue about a real business. We hold a “scrub” of two companies that are actively seeking investment. Each company’s CEO pitches, and then is grilled by a guest investor. The investor takes the lead asking questions and gives follow up advice and recommendations. I moderate. There will be time for audience questions and discussion.


I need to approve you first! Email me. Send me your slides. Tell me why you need this. I’m screening for companies at the right stage, far enough along to be facing a range of financial dilemmas. I’m also looking for cogent, clear presentations as our starting point; if I’ve coached your presentation in the past, that helps.

Important: The CEO (or co-founder leader) needs to be the one pitching, not the CFO or a financial advisor.

I do require that all featured companies commit to attending the whole three hours. It multiplies the benefits to watch another company in the hot seat.

Note to life science companies: because the economics of clinical trials are such a special case, this particular "Do the Numbers Work?" is not appropriate for drug discovery and medical device companies. (Of course, life science entrepreneurs are welcome to come and observe.) I plan to hold a Do the Life-sciences Numbers Work? session in the future, with an expert life sciences investor.


"Do the Numbers Work?" is open to all members of the venture community: entrepreneurs, mentors and teachers to entrepreneurs, and investors. Just register and come.

If you’re service provider, ask me first. Not appropriate for real estate investors.

Who is Steven Finn

Steven Finn, our guest investor for 2/26, is a Wharton MBA, former entrepreneur with a highly successful exit, and now an active investor. Steven gets all worked up when talking about the numbers. Been there, done that.


This Open Scrub is free because it’s sponsored by the Philadelphia office of the global law firm DLA Piper, “the best law firm you’ve never heard of.”

Registration on Eventbrite:

Even better, join Startup Money MeetUp and always be notified of the next session. And you can register via MeetUp.

Earlier Event: February 20
Open Coaching 2/20/19