Build It


This is where it all takes shape. Figure out your budget and solidify your business plan. And remember, making and using your connections is key.

PACE: Slow and Steady: 8 weeks |  Moderate: 6 weeks | Accelerated: 4 weeks


It is time to build the foundation of your business: The Business Plan, the Financial Model, the Corporate Structure, and how your business will scale.


You will have hit your target when you have a business plan, a financial model, a growth strategy, and a prototype or other example of your work that can be presented to investors and advisors. Name your company.


Consult your attorneys:

—Form your company, Register your company (LLC or Corporation

—Create an operating agreement

—Determine equity positions for advisors and owners/founders.

—Create investment documents: Term Sheet? Convertible Note?

—Trademark your company name

—Register your URL./Secure all social media accounts.

Consult your accountants:

—Create a financial model that shows how your company uses, makes and returns capital over a two to three year period.

—Determine the current valuation of your company: pre-money.

Assess your risk: legal and financial.

Build your team. Do you have everyone you need to build this company? Do you have good advisors and mentors?

Put it all together:

—Using all of the information above, put everything together in an investor presentation* that includes a pro-forma financial statement, an Executive Summary, bios of the Executive Team and Advisors, the mission and purpose of the company, its growth strategy, its exit strategy.


This will be the most time consuming work you do, and the most rewarding as you see your vision actually start to come to life. While you still have a long way to go, you are on the way to being a part of the making of something great. You will learn an enormous amount of new skills, and new terminology in this time. It will be worth it to take time to truly understand the workings of these foundational tools. You will use them on an ongoing basis throughout the life of your business.


At the end of this step, you should have assembled all the materials you need to get to the next step of funding your company. You will also have a sense of where the risks lie. You will have a team that can help you build your vision for your company. You will need to communicate that understanding to and with your team and your advisors. All will need to agree to move forward.


TOOLS: SEE RESOURCES for useful tools for Step 4: (downloads available)

Corporate Organizational Checklist (see resources)

Legal Documents (Formation papers, operating agreement)

Financial Documents (budget spreadsheets – see youtube tutorial)

Investor Presentation Template (see


Operating Agreement: Legal Document that supports the way your company operates

Corporate Organization: Is your company an LLC or a Corporation?

LLC: Limited Liability Corporation

Corporation:  A company in which you have shares and for which you have a board

Trademark: Helps to protect your vision and company mission

Equity: The Shares that represent the investment in your company

Shares: The value of that equity

Shareholders: Investors

Executive Team: The leaders of your company

Board of Advisors: The advisors to your company

Financial Model: the spreadsheet that shows expenses, income, cash flow, and a balance sheet for your company over a 3- 5 year period

Assumptions:  Best guesses on expenses, income, and cash flow.

Pro-forma: The summary of expenses and income for each year that you have modeled. You use this in your investor power point presentation.

Capital: The money you use to build your business

Cap Table: The current value of your business and how many shareholders are invested.

Assets:  The items of value that generate the business of your company.

Liabilities: your company’s debt

CAPEX: The business building block items on which you expend capital.

COGS: the cost of goods sold

EBITDA: Earnings before interest, taxes, debt adjusted

P/L: Profit and Loss

Exit:  What happens for your shareholders and for your founders when you sell your company.

Karla Ticas