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SCUBA Diving and Seed Money are More Connected Than You Think An expert explains the pitfalls that come after securing funding.

By Sam Hogg

This story appears in the October 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »


One of the venture funds I work with specializes in seed investments: early-stage deals that are often made with young, bright, first-time entrepreneurs who've been working hard to get the chance to build their dream company. After enduring a tough diligence process, they couldn't be more excited to nab some funding and start working. Or so you'd think. Fact is, so much effort goes into scoring the money that when the dust settles, some entrepreneurs don't know what happens next.

When it comes to guiding entrepreneurs through this transition, I like to use the analogy of a scuba tank. For pre-revenue companies, starting out is like working
underwater at progressively deeper depths. There is a balance between getting as much done as quickly as you can and knowing the right time to go up for more air. The key is learning what to do to ensure there is another tank (a new funding round or other capital raise) waiting for you when you head back up to the surface.

That's where key performance indicators come in. We identify KPIs with all our early-stage founders to help them focus on a few core metrics that matter in their industry. KPIs vary greatly based on the company, but common ones include number of new users, customer retention and monthly recurring revenue.

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