Successfully complete the Sprint below before the program begins, and you will be officially admitted into VC Lab.
The goal of this Sprint is to optimize your track record, refine your fund Thesis, and secure a new commitment from a Limited Partner, called a PACT. If you can secure a PACT, you demonstrate that you have a valid Thesis, that you have a viable track record, and that you can fundraise.
(Set Up for Success) Get set up to succeed. First, read about the VC Lab Way here (https://vcl.to/hcf). Next, review all of the work in this Sprint and allocate the necessary time in your calendar over the next couple of weeks to accomplish the Activities. Lastly, paste the link to a Google Document with accessible sharing permissions where you complete the Sprint, and email the link to email@example.com so that VC Lab can see your progress.
NOTE: In the Google Document, write the title of each set of activities, followed by your work, such as:
Set Up for Success
Sample formatting of Google Document
Due in Two Weeks or Less
(Build Your LinkedIn) Work to expand and curate your LinkedIn network. First, write the total number of LinkedIn connections that you have and sync all of your contacts with LinkedIn to ensure that you are connected with all of your 1st-degree connections. Next, go through your education, your professional background, your hobbies, and your other interests to add any notable individuals that are not in your contacts as connections on Linkedin. Then, review LinkedIn suggestions for people that you may know and connect with everyone that you missed through this process. Lastly, identify influencers or notable individuals related to your Thesis and add them as connections, writing the total number of LinkedIn connections after this process with a couple of sentences for ideas on how to expand your LinkedIn reach further.
(Quantify Your Track Record) Collect impressive data about your accomplishments for a fund Thesis. First, read this article (https://vcl.to/b6f) about quantifying your Track Record. Next, pick two of the Track Record Metrics that are best aligned with your background. Then, collect a few sets of impressive data from your background for each of the two Track Record Metrics. Next, write a couple bullet points about why a Limited Partner will choose to invest in your fund instead of a similar one. Lastly, write a couple short sentences focused with one piece of data in each of the Track Record Metrics that you identified.
(Draft a Thesis) Refine the Thesis for the fund. First, read through all components of the Pre-Curriculum here (https://govclab.com/curriculum). Next, write your Thesis using this template: “[Fund Name] is launching a [$x MM] [Stage] venture fund in [Country / City] to back [Geography] [Sector / Market Companies] [with Secret Sauce].” Then, write at least three different versions, varying the wording and the secret sauce. Lastly, reflect on which wording feels most compelling to you, and order the Thesis work with the most compelling being first.
NOTE: Keep your Thesis sentence to approximately 37 words or less and focus on one “Secret Sauce” that is measurable. Using Chat GPT v4, you can use AI to score and evaluate your Thesis here (https://vcl.to/ai-thesis).
(Define LP Archetypes) Identify LP Archetypes to target. First, read these articles about how to target LP Archetypes (https://vcl.to/3u3 & https://vcl.to/9e9). Next, paste the strongest version of your Thesis into this Chat GPT v4 script here (https://vcl.to/gpt-archetype) to produce 3 sample LP Archetypes. Then, using your initial examination and the work from Chat GPT, write 3 actual LP Archetypes that you will target for your Thesis. Lastly, provide a bulleted list of LinkedIn search queries that yielded the most Limited Partner prospects, and write the approximate number of 1st and 2nd degree good Limited Partners were yielded by the searches.
(Validate the Thesis) Share your Thesis to solicit feedback. First, go through your friends, family, contacts, social clubs, school boards, former team members, LinkedIn contacts and other Networks to identify anyone that you know with financial resources to invest in a fund, called a Network Target. Next, identify three Network Targets that you have a good relationship with to solicit feedback on your one sentence Thesis, which are referred to as “Confidants.” Then, write an email to these Confidants that asks for feedback on your one sentence Thesis, ensuring that you ask only for their feedback and not for investment. Lastly, write a bulleted list of the feedback received next to the first name of the Confidant that provided the feedback item, and write a sentence if you feel that the feedback is worth changing the Thesis over.
IMPORTANT: Read the VC Lab General Solicitation guidelines (https://vcl.to/gensol) prior to beginning outreach.
(Secure a PACT) Work with interested Confidants to sign a commitment letter, the PACT. First, read the following articles to better understand fundraising from Limited Partners and the PACT (https://vcl.to/vwx, https://vcl.to/paw, https://vcl.to/PACT_agreement, https://vcl.to/vab). Next, download the PACT, customize it for your prospective fund, and upload it to a digital signing platform, such as DocuSign. Then, engage with Confidants until you have genuine interest, and encourage any interested Confidants to sign a PACT to invest in your fund with a minimum of no less than $100,000 USD. Lastly, write a bulleted list with the first name and the amount of each PACT that you have secured.
NOTE: If your Thesis is strong, 1 in 5 Confidants should sign a PACT without a presentation or other materials, whereas any lesser rate indicates that the Thesis still needs significant work.
(Completion) Gain acceptance into VC Lab. First, email firstname.lastname@example.org and notify the the VC Lab team that your Sprint is complete. Next, write a thoughtful post on LinkedIn and X to support the Mensarius Oath here (https://vcl.to/ju8), and paste a copy for the URL to each post with your submission. Lastly, await for the final acceptance decision, which will be positive if all of the activities are successfully completed.