Designed by Techstars Mentor, Jennifer Cabala, this exercise can help cofounders assess themselves, their family situation, finances, etc. It is best when cofounders complete the worksheet separately and discuss their answers.
What measures are you taking to help you maintain the physical stamina needed to handle the stress of building a business?
What measures are you taking to help you cope with the emotional ups and downs of handling a new business?
Name the next 3-5 types of people you plan to seek out to join/help your startup and why you think they will be important.
What is your current role in the company, and how important is it to you to maintain that role?
If an investor or a cofounder believes that you should step down and take a lesser role in the company would you leave? Stay? Why?
What does a successful outcome for your business look like? Why is that outcome important to you?
Examples: I want to create a megacorp like Microsoft or Google; I want to create a small company to sell to Microsoft or Google; I want to bootstrap a business that will support myself and my family earning X a year.
One of the largest strains on a cofounder is family finances and one of the more common reasons a founder leaves a company.
How much do you expect to pay yourself/get paid in the first year? Second? Third?
Are you and/or your family (if applicable) willing to lower your standard of living? For how long?
At what (personal) financial point will you want to pull the plug on your startup? How about your significant other (if applicable)?
How much of your own cash (not time) do you plan on investing in your startup?
What are your current personal expenses per month? How long is your runway?
The recommendation for companies seeking outside funding is to have at least one year of runway, both business and personal. What steps are you taking to ensure this runway?