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G96 Mentor Idea Review (6)

George Morgan
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Page no: G96


Mentor Idea Review

Test the core business on a mentor panel

Date: May 5, 2021
Starts at: 06:30 PM (Europe/Zurich)

Branding & Design

Get feedback on branding & design

Date: Apr 28, 2021
Starts at: 06:30 PM (Europe/Zurich)

In this Feedback Session, Founders will share their pitch and revenue model with Mentors for feedback and continued refinement. You will also get tips on how to sustain your startup before receiving financing or revenue, identifying the most lucrative revenue source for your business, testing different revenue sources with your target customers, and more.

In this session, Mentors will analyze your existing branding and design, and also discuss how to develop an enduring brand and great user experiences.

This is the first big checkpoint in the program to determine your progress. During the Mentor Idea Review, you will present a longer presentation to a panel of FI Mentors for extensive review. You will receive a rating, as well as feedback on the long-term viability of your offering, revenue model, growth strategy, and more.


SprintsAfter the Mentor Idea Review, Founders receive a larger number of custom “Epic Sprints” with deliverables based on their specific challenges. Below are examples of some of the standard deliverables.


  1. Corporate Materials – Immediately update your 3 minute pitch deck and video based on the Mentor Idea Review feedback, and develop a new and updated Executive Summary using our template.
  2. Advisor Candidates – You will create (or fill out) an Advisory Board in the next 5 weeks, so develop a target list of new advisor candidates based off your identified needs and gaps in knowledge/ connections.
  3. Advisor Outreach – Leverage the FI network to get introductions to your targets where necessary, and follow our templated process to make progress on your advisory board.
  4. Sales Follow-up – Continue to work on securing sales or commitments for revenue, growing the rate month over month. For B2B solutions, get as many contracts or letters of intent as possible. For B2C solutions, aggressively increase your revenue (or submitted information indicating they will pay you). Document all lessons learned.
  5. Financial Model – Develop or professionalize your financial model based on our template that focuses on expenses (“burn”) to understand your cash needs. Develop a revenue forecast for 12-18 months and factor in timing considerations from your sales follow-up work.
  6. Legal – Identify your short to medium term legal needs, and if you don’t already have a law firm, identify at least two local law candidates that have experience working with startups. Begin vetting new or existing law firms using our guidelines.


Mentor Idea Review: Company Building Work



Questions Answer

#1 (Corporate Entity)

Provide details on your corporate entity or company if you already have one that you plan to use with the Founder Institute. Write the official name of the Corporate Entity and the date that it was formed. Write the name of the Law Firm or service that formed the Corporate Entity. Write a couple of sentences to describe the previous business of the Corporate Entity, and write a couple more sentences describing any revenues that the Corporate Entity has had to date by year and by type. Start collecting, scanning and organizing all of the Corporate Entity documentation. Click “Account” and fill out any information or upload any documents on the Corporate Entity. (1 Hour)

New Company:
Official Name: Innobia
Area: SEO and other forms of innovative concepts in the internet.
Type of company: AG
Founder Institute involved: Yes
We have started the incorporation process with IFJ. They need two weeks.  But I have not committed yet.
So I might still be with Wenger a Vieli.
The official register (Handelsregister) can take another 2 weeks but there is an accelerated process.
Rebranding: We have rebranded the company from Rankup to Innobia. Rankup remains the SEO product name.

Existing Company: Software Company
Sole Proprietorship Company
Founder Institute involved: No
This company develops WordPress Plugins that are used for the author-specific sites SNBCHF.com and economicblogs.org.
Innobia pays software licenses to the Sole Proprietorship Company for the software it needs for SEO purposes.
Further on, Innobia will possibly acquire the software for IP purposes.
Revenues: Given that I was focused very much on the product and due to constraints with my employer, I have had just small sales.

Non-Profit Organisation
Founder Institute involved: No
Status: not founded yet, but planned.
The author-specific sites SNBCHF.com and economicblogs.org will possibly end up in one or more non-profit organisations, focusing on different economic areas. like

  • Austrian Economics
  • Heterodox Economics.
Here I have an existing network of people and authors.
“Cross-selling” to Innobia SEO services will be possible.
Same as Innobia, the Non-Profit use the WordPress Plugins provided by the Software Company .

#2 (Epic Sprint)

Post the work from your Epic Sprint here, including accessible links to any documents. It is very important to complete the Epic Sprint on time and to produce the highest quality work possible. Follow the exact instructions provided to the best of your ability. Any Founder with partially incomplete or poor work on the Epic Sprint will be invited to re-enroll. (20+ Hours)

Link to Epic Sprint on Company Creation and Founders Warrant

#3 (Design Follow-up)

If you are working with a Design Resource on Design Specification, provide an update on the progress. Check in with your Design Resource every couple of days on the progress, and make sure that you are providing them with constructive feedback. Write a couple of sentences on the progress made to date, and write a couple more sentences on the progress that still needs to be made. (2 Hours)

The design company is working on the logo design and branding for
  1. The company Innobia.
  2. The product RankUp used in Search Engine Optimisation.
This is their proposal.

They have started with the product, compared the design that competitors use and matched the product design/logo into the company vision.
We expect a first solution by Tomorrow, May 13.
For the next week they will be working on the company branding and probably on the landing page.
It might be also my Bulgarian team that improves the existing landing pages with the new design and website.
The bulgarian team, however, also works on product improvements.

The decision, who does what, follows tomorrow.

#4 (Corporate Materials)

Update your PowerPoint presentation from the Mentor Idea Review, using feedback from the Mentors. Produce a 1 page Executive Summary that incorporates the feedback from the Mentors in the Mentor Idea Review using this template (http://fndri.com/1b0WJYi). Share the Executive Summary and PowerPoint with your Working Group, and solicit feedback for improvements. Upload the final Executive Summary and PowerPoint, and provide a link to the files that is available for anyone to view. (2 Hours)

Executive Summary

Pitch Deck

#5 (Business Calendar)

Create a separate calendar on a tool, such as Google Calendar, to track all of your relevant business appointments, due dates and regulatory filings. Create a bulleted list of the following events that are to be added to your Business Calendar and set reminders at an appropriate amount of time beforehand. First, add all of the program dates for incorporation, as well as the special events including the Mentor Progress Review and Graduation. Next, research at least a dozen upcoming events over the next 60 days related to your target market, discussing technology or focused on startups, using resources like Meetup or Eventbrite. List all of these events, and place them in your Business Calendar. Make arrangements to attend the events, and, for any event that allows startups to pitch, submit an application to present your company. (2 Hours)

Business Calendar

#6 (Law Firm Identification)

Recruit a high-quality Law Firm if you are not working with one already, or provide details on your high-quality Law Firm if you are working with one. If you are not working with a Law Firm, then write a bulleted list of at least two local Law Firm Candidates that have experience working with startups, including the local legal partner of the Founder Institute. Write a second bulleted list of 10 to 15 interview questions for the Law Firm Candidates, using this guide (https://FI.co/guides/legal_interview). Write an email to set up a new client virtual meeting with your Law Firm Candidates that will occur over the phone within the next few days, and provide the scheduled interview time for each firm. If you are already working with a Law Firm, then write the name of your Law Firm and the name of your lawyer, including their title. Provide a couple of sentences that describes their work with high-profile startups, including the names of any success stories. Click “Account” and enter the key details of your Law Firm, including “[Your Law Firm Name]: [The Full Name of Your Attorney], [Email Address], [Phone Number].” (2 Hours)

I have already a sole proprietorship company .
Here I am working with the following tax lawywer.

As for taxes, I work with Barbara Stötzer Attorney at law, Certified Tax Expert.

I will still reconsider the advice based on the legal interview guides

#7 (Advisor Candidates)

Develop a target list of potential Advisor Candidates. You will create an Advisory Board over the next five weeks. Identify three Advisor Candidates across three categories for a minimum of nine targets. The first category, “Startup,” is an experienced technology entrepreneur that has had one or more successful exits from previous companies that they founded. The second category, “Industry,” is a well-recognized domain expert in your sector or industry that has experience in an area where you are personally weak or that you need help in. For the third category, there are two options, “Technology” or “Marketing.” If you have not built a product or technology previously, then you should look for technologists with significant product management experience in your industry or sector. If you have limited experience with marketing or sales, then you should look for an individual with significant marketing or sales experience, preferably in your industry. Provide a bulleted list of the Advisor Candidates by category, including their name, title, company, Linkedin and the name of a potential Connector whom you know that can reach the Advisor Candidate. Work to identify the best Advisors possible. (2 Hours)

I see mentors like

Julien Lepetitor
Reginald Bien Aimé, Founder & CEO of Synerdreams

but also
Gil Paz
Founder of Pipsologie.com, FX Trader, Mentor and IB

John Styfe, Coach Trainer Consultant Author and Speaker

Alex Mauzon, PomoDone App CEO & Co-founder

Sean Goodman, Sales Manager, PageTraffic

Petar Limonov CoOwner in a SEO company


Christina Senn-JakobsenManaging Director at Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley

Ingeborg Gasser-Kriss, Owner and Founder of Agent21
Johann Thusbass, Head ICT, Rigi Bahnen

#8 (Advisor Outreach)

Start reaching out to Advisors through Connectors. Take your bulleted list of Advisor Candidates and add a person that you know and trust that can make a qualified introduction to each Advisor Candidate, which will be a Connector. Even if you know the Advisor Candidate, you want a Connector to be a reference for you. Write one sentence per Advisor Candidate on your strategy to engage with them using the Connector, and this list will become your Advisor Target List. Email each of the Connectors on your Advisor Target List to set up a call with the Connector to discuss your business. During the call with the Connector, request an introduction or reference to the Advisor. After the call, write a brief email for the Connector to forward to the Advisor that includes a couple of sentences on the business, and follow up with the Connector until the introduction or reference is completed. If the introduced Advisor Candidate expresses interest, respond with a very brief email to set up a short call or virtual meeting, which will be the Initial Advisor Interview. If you are unable to reach any Connector or Advisor Candidate, replace that Advisor Candidate on your Advisor Target List, always maintaining at least nine high-quality Advisor Candidates. Update your Advisor Target List, including the one sentence strategy, with progress from the Connector calls and any Advisor Candidate outreach. The Initial Advisor Interview toward building an Advisory Board is covered in the next assignment. (3 Hours)

I have started to reach out with the first potential advisors.

First talks with Johann Thusbass and Alex Mauson.

#9 (Limiting Beliefs)

Founders often fail to grow their business because of Limiting Beliefs. These are unsubstantiated perceptions of what you can and can not accomplish, often based on irrational fears. Classic Limiting Beliefs include statements like ‘I can’t quit my job because…,’ ‘I can’t get paying customers because…’ or ‘I can’t incorporate my business because …’ Describe in a couple of sentences one Stretch Goal for your business that you have considered previously and that you think is unrealistic to achieve. Next, write a couple of bullet points on your perception of why this goal is unrealistic. Third, for each bullet point, write another couple of sentences that describes a belief that you have that influences your thinking to cause you to believe that this goal is unrealistic. Present the thinking to your Working Group, and ask them for feedback, as well as ideas on any Limiting Beliefs that you may have missed. Lastly, write a few sentences about how you will overcome your Limiting Beliefs to achieve this Stretch Goal, and write one action that you will take this week to accomplish the Stretch Goal. Set up a reminder in your Business Calendar to repeat this exercise on a monthly basis. (1 Hour)

Stretch Goal: One Million in Sales in 18 months
  1. The result of the SEO Improvements are only visible after months. Therefore we risk a higher churn rate.
  2. I will probably have to work on the company, what I am not ready to do yet.
  3. I am still missing the required sales agents and sales employees.
Overcome them:
  1. Get quick success with some customers.
  2. Get regular sales that is able to replace my day job.
  3. Having found the right sales team.

#10 (Sales Follow-up)

Follow-up with the Customer List and continue to work on securing a sale or commitment for revenue. For B2B solutions, your goal is to get as many contracts or letters of intent as possible. Remember, the goal of every email or interaction is to get to the next interaction. Write a series of short follow-up emails that track to your Steps to Revenue. Provide the copy of your emails, as well as the target follow-up timing. Provide an outline of your sales pipeline, showing the number of companies at each step in the process. Provide any links to the signed documents that you are able to secure. For B2C solutions, your goal is to expand the number of people from your Customer List that have either paid money for your Concierge MVP or submitted information indicating they will pay you. Provide an outline of the numbers that you have reached highlighting the conversion to interest or sales that you have secured. Write a few sentences on the challenges that you are facing to convert customers. Provide the names of any customers or potential customers that you have secured. (5 Hours)

Sales Channel 1:
We have reached out for sales agents. We are using the following networks:


Which requires a minimum deal of 5000$ and 500$ per month.
This would be possible if we go with a price skimming strategy. Currently we are at 350$, half price of competitors.
Moreover we use the following networks for sales freelancers.
UpWork: Upwork, the world’s largest online workplace
Freelancer: Freelancer – Hire & Find Jobs
Fiverr – Freelance Services Marketplace for The Lean Entrepreneur

In Switzerland, we use sites like Ricardo or Tutti.ch
But also Freelancer sites like https://wetalents.net/ or Freelancer Schweiz

Sales Channel 2:
Startup companies are a typical example of our customer archetype. Open to new technology and cash-strapped, lower SEO budget preferred.
Therefore I am using the 
ImpactHub community that has around 2000 members only in Switzerland, this is our sales pipeline

First achievements: Configuration of the internal messenger, so that I can get in contact with each 

#11 (Financial Model)

Develop a simple Financial Model that focuses on expenses to understand your cash needs. Start by using the Revenue session work to develop a revenue forecast for 18 months, making sure to target at least USD $1 million in total revenue over this period, and factor in timing considerations from the Sales Follow-up work. Identify any expenses that you expect to scale either with the growth of revenue or ahead of revenue growth, which are your cost of sales. Then, examine the existing expenses that you have made to date, and project any recurring expenses out into the future with a reasonable growth rate, placing the expenses into standard categories. Factor expenses required for you to live over the period of the plan and include any expenses required to set up the business in the Founder Institute. You can use this template for reference (http://fndri.com/2yLeU3y). Provide a link to the Financial Model spreadsheet. (3 Hours)

#12 (Sales Plan)

Develop a realistic, yet aggressive, Sales Plan. Based on the needs of your Financial Model and the experiences with the Sales Follow-up, develop a plan to build and grow your revenues over the next three months. Write a couple of sentences about how many customers that you hope to have and how much revenue that you hope to earn by the end of three months. Then, work backward to hit these targets, considering product development and sales cycles. For each of the next four weeks, provide a bulleted list of the goal for each week and the tasks that must be accomplished each week to hit these goals. (2 Hours)

#13 (File System)

set up an online File System to store all company documents. Select an online storage solution to store all documents and data that your company generates, such as Google Docs, Box or OneDrive. Prepare a folder structure to store the company documents and data, following the structure outlined in this guide (https://fi.co/guides/1301). Take all of the documents and data produced to date and load it into the folder structure. Provide the name of File System solution that you have selected, and a link to a screenshot of your final folder structure. (1 Hour)

We are currently using Google Drive, given that it is a quick way to share and quite reliable so that the links do not break.

We also use Pcloud as alternative Cloud Provider. Here we have already configured an automatic backup to our NAS; something which is still outstanding for Google Drive.
Moreover we are storing all documentation including our the text deliverables on a WordPress website with a similar folder structure.

#14 (Equity Collective)

Procure a list of questions about the Equity Collective agreement. First, read all of the legal documents that are required by the Founder Institute. (https://fi.co/agreements) Next, develop a list of questions about the agreements and add them below. Finally, bring this list of questions to the Legal session to discuss your concerns with the Lawyers that are mentoring.

1) Is it valid if it is not on the company name on it?
2) What about the clause

or more participants in the Founder Institute program before or after such time period may be deemed to be formed during the Program if Founder forms another entity for the same or substantially similar business that was developed during the Program.”

How are business are concerned that were created before Founders Institute?
In particular when we are re-using software from an existing business.

#15 (Updates)

Provide your Weekly Update using the Team – Product – Traction – Program format, with metrics and bullet points on key progress and challenges. Update your corporate profile on the Founder Institute site. (1 Hour)

First Customer, MVP
  1. DONE Define keywords that are specific the client’s site, i.e. ONYX Lamps. Complete the list
  2. DONE Define keywords that are specific for the competitors site, i.e. floor lamps, Table lamps, stone lamps. Complete the list.
  3. DONE Find Blogs and videos that are good as input, e.g. a blogs about interior design.
  4. DONE Define the filtering keywords for these blogs and Youtube videos.
  5. In progress – Create a first Satellite Site with 2 sample feeds
DONE –  company name

In Progress – /branding and logo

In progress A key item is to get a sales agent that ideally has a list of SEO prospects already at hand. This would help to solve item (5), the sales for next week’s assignment.

In progress First employee / contractor in the SEO area

Planned:  More campaigns via MailPoet / MailChimp using existing SNBCHF client base

Planned:  Start in negotiation with 2nd client that has expressed intent to buy.

#16 (Hotseat PItch)

Update your one minute without slides and 3 minute with slides Hotseat Pitches with any learning and new materials this week, progress from the Weekly Update, and the latest Asks. Video yourself giving your best Hotseat pitch, and upload the video online as unlisted and accessible. Paste the link to the unlisted video in the assignment here and also paste the link in the field on your homepage under Weekly Pitch. (30 Minutes)

#17 (Third Mailing)

Expand The List with at least 10 more people, including any Mentors that you have explicitly asked to stay in contact with. Write a message to The List that celebrates passing the Mentor Idea Review, shares some or all of the Mentor feedback and your Weekly Update content, shares Asks, and solicits feedback. List three items of feedback received. (1 Hour)

(Optional – Curriculum Review)

Review the Founder Institute curriculum to this point. Which parts were valuable for your business, which were less valuable, what was missing, and what could be improved? Fill in this three question survey with your feedback https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NFWC39X. (1 Hour)


Director Feedback

Dear George, good progress on a number of fronts. I like the thinking behind branding the company Innobia rather than RankUp and using Rankup as a product branding. I applaud your decision to pivot and change your plans, it is never an easy call to make. I do worry if Innobia is available – I remember a company Innovia, could they prevent you from using a name that sounds so similar it could be confused? – but I trust you have checked that. Deep dive on the Epic Sprint and some legal questions. Good progress on Advisors, though I am not clear from the content you submitted what you want them to contribute exactly that you are missing. And the sales plan is shaping up, too.
What still needs a lot of work is the pitch and the pitch deck. In the video pitch I cannot see the slides, and the slides I can see on other links need substantial improvement – too much detail per page, visually incoherent, too repetitive in the voice over, and the repetition confuses the storyline. But that’s what we are here to help with. Use as many opportunities to pitch as you can over the next weeks. And feel free to send me the pitch deck once you have the branding (logo, colours, visual identity….) sorted out.
In order to mark your assignment complete, I am afraid I have to ask you to fix the links on #5 (link is broken, no access to google doc) and #17 where it says “link to the mailing list”, but it leads to the website.
Keep pushing! You have come a long way. You are asking the right questions, they deserve good answers.
Best, Ingeborg






  • Executive Summary TemplateA template for an “Executive Summary” – a short document or section of a document, produced for business purposes, that summarizes a longer report.


  • Template de Pitch Deck | ABStartupsTemplate de Pitch Deck Esse modelo é baseado nos exemplos de diversos autores, investidores e startups. Antes de começar a editar faça um cópia para o seu drive.
  • URL ShortenerBitly Brand Tools: Own, understand and activate your best audience through the power of the link.
  • Website wireframes: MockingbirdMockingbird helps you you create and share clickable wireframes. Use it to make mockups of your website or application in minutes.



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