Emerging Commercialization Formation StageSeed Stage (First 18 - 24 Months)Pre-CEOPost-CEOGrowth Stage / After An External Round of Financing
OCV will support the initial commercialization efforts for our companies.
Traction around an open source software project (i.e. # of active MPRs) indicates utilization interest and active users are a great resource for marketing the company. Recommendations for turning that interest into a business model are generally for keeping the software functionality used by individual contributors free and charging around features and functionalities their managers mandate. This framework is called buyer-based open core.
Open Core Ventures will host bi-weekly meetings (see Bi-weekly meeting guide) to discuss GTM strategies and will offer additional support as needed (see details below).
OCV’s coverage areas will evolve over time based on business needs and staffing capacity. This outline is subject to frequent updates.
- Incorporate the Company
- Establish board of directors
- Recruit & hire first employee(s)
- Set up bank account & company credit card account
- See Bank Accounts & Management
- In most cases, primary credit card admin responsibility will transfer to the founding team on Day 1
- Purchase website domain name
- File for trademark / patents (if applicable)
- Set up business systems (i.e. email accounts, other productivity, accounting, management tools, social media accounts, etc.)
- Engage external vendors (i.e. legal, finance, and HR teams, contract development shops, logo designer, etc.)
- Purchase laptop for founder (upon request)
- Create company launch content (interview founders, create OCV launch post, [optional] create company launch post)
During the formation stage, OCV may incur certain startup expenses on the Company’s behalf. OCV will invoice companies for reimbursement for actual cost incurred.
- Manage a process around HR functions and work with external HR teams to:
- Administer payroll & benefits
- Support hiring activities, for example:
- Source / negotiate fees with external recruiters
- Provide templates for offer letters
- Provide data / advice on compensation data and structure
- Provide recommendations on HR / People related topics for Company Handbook
- Provide guidance and support (based on availability) on content marketing activities. For example:
- Review company launch / product release / new funding announcements
- Website copy review
- Post / share Company announcements through OCV’s social media outlets
- Content strategy sessions for initial content creation & distribution
- Introduction to & management of contract writers
- Manage federal & state / local filings with external vendors
- Manage bank account connections, vendor payments with external finance team
- Coordinate legal needs with external counsel
- Provide guidance on finance / expense policies
- Manage monthly finance review process & annual tax reporting needs
- Advise on company building, metrics setting, and KPI reviews on biweekly calls
- Hire CEO
- All OCV companies are incorporated in the U.S. We advise CEOs to be based in the U.S. after the first external fundraise (exceptions may be considered) for access to:
- Experienced functional leaders, especially sales and marketing
- Venture capital, most funds expect the CEO to be in the Bay Area
- Founder network for learning & experience sharing
- Review items 1-6 above with CEO to establish new roles & responsibilities
- Also see specific items at: CEO Transition Checklist
- Guide company direction on biweekly calls
- Support finance review, budget, projections process, and annual tax reporting needs
- Advise on HR / People related topics
- Advise on content & marketing-related topics
- Handoff management of contract writers
- OCV will introduce the CEO 3-6 months after CEO onboarding to recommended public relations and analyst firms.
- Advise on fundraising activities
- Coordinate board approval processes
- Serve as business advisors
- Provide access to a network of resources (i.e. group vendor discounts, introductions to business connections, etc.)
- Liaison on marketing / press release material related to OCV
- Hand off all operational activities to the portfolio company
Generally, milestones associated with the commercialization of the business are by phase:
- Pre-CEO: Before a CEO is appointed, OCV generally helps founders drive on commercialization strategy towards the following associated milestones, all of which will be iterated upon heavily.
- Feature Set
- Development Roadmap
- Pricing Page
- Initial Acquisition of Customers
- Post-CEO: After the company has developed some traction with customers and has a model in place, an appointed CEO will generally help drive the following.
- Take responsibility for driving an evolving commercialization strategy that OCV will support and help navigate pivots around.
- Grow customers and establish a product-market fit.
- Growth: After the first external funding round, OCV will continue to support strategic discussions around the evolving business model.
See Quarterly Milestones & North Stars for specific targets.