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First Believers Resources

Week 1 - Notes

Pre-money vs Post-money Valuation

Pre-money valuation refers to the value of a company before it receives new financing or capital injection.

Post-money valuation is the value of the company immediately after it receives that financing.

The difference between them is the amount of new financing added. For example, if a company has a pre-money valuation of $100 million and receives $25 million in new investment, its post-money valuation would be $125 million.

Post-Money Valuation =
Financing Raised
% Equity Ownership
Pre-money valuation =
Investment amount
Percent equity sold
- Investment amount

Valuation Calculator


Week 2 - Notes



The Golden Circle Model
  • Why - This is the core belief of the business. It's why the business exists.
  • How - This is how the business fulfills that core belief.
  • What - This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.

Simon Sinek's central thesis is that most companies do business from the outside in, starting with the "what" and moving to the "how," but very few focus on the "why." However, companies that are more successful and influential operate from the inside out, starting with "why."

Key Points
  • Inspiration Over Manipulation - Sinek argues that companies should focus on why they exist rather than what they do or how they do it. By doing so, they inspire stakeholders rather than manipulate them to achieve sales or engagement.
  • The Law of Diffusion of Innovation - Sinek refers to this law to explain how innovations achieve mass-market success once they reach an adoption rate of 15% to 18%, which corresponds to the "early adopters" stage. He connects this to why companies should attract those who believe what they believe (share the same "why").
  • Leaders Need a Strong 'Why' - Leaders who articulate and embody their organization's "why" are better able to inspire action in others. A strong "why" acts as a rallying cry that can drive collective action.
  • Real-World Examples - Sinek uses Apple, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright brothers as examples of how starting with "why" creates a powerful drive to do great things. For instance, Apple's success is attributed to its clear purpose and belief in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.
  • Trust and Loyalty - Starting with "why" builds trust among consumers and creates loyal followers. Sinek discusses how trust emerges when people are confident they share values and beliefs with a company.
"Finding your why"

Take time to reflect on what drives you beyond the potential for financial return:

  • Personal Fulfillment -Are you driven by the desire to mentor and guide budding entrepreneurs? Does helping startups grow provide you with personal satisfaction?
  • Professional Goals - Are you looking to fill gaps in your portfolio, or perhaps you see angel investing as a way to stay connected with emerging trends in your industry?
  • Impact Objectives - Do you prioritize investments that aim to solve significant social problems, or are you inspired by certain technologies or innovative business models?
Write a Personal Mission Statement

Craft a mission statement that encapsulates your "why." This statement should reflect your core motivations and how they shape your investment strategies. It acts as a guiding beacon for future decisions.

Assess Alignment with Investment Opportunities

With a clear "why" in place, evaluate potential investments to see how well they align with your mission:

  • Mission Fit - Does the startup's mission resonate with your values and beliefs?
  • Founder Dynamics - Do the founders exhibit passion, integrity, and the potential to execute their vision?
  • Impact Potential - How does the startup intend to impact its community, industry, or the world at large?
Strategic Approach

How you invest should reflect why you invest. This might involve:

  • Choosing Specific Sectors - Concentrate on industries where you believe you can make the most impact, such as clean technology or healthcare.
  • Value-Added Investing - Look for opportunities where you can provide more than just capital—perhaps guidance, networking, or strategic advice.
  • Community Engagement - Become involved in local startup ecosystems or online platforms where you can mentor new entrepreneurs.
Continuous Learning and Adjustment

Finding your "why" is an ongoing process. As you learn from each investment, reflect on:

  • Feedback and Outcomes - Analyze the successes and failures of your investments to refine your understanding of your "why."
  • Market Changes - Stay informed about trends and shifts in the startup ecosystem that might prompt a reassessment of your investment strategy.
Networking and Collaboration

Engage with other investors and thought leaders to explore and discuss your motivations and strategies. This can provide new insights and reinforce or challenge your existing framework.

VC vs. other asset classes

Advocates for diversification

Advocates for concentration