Focus Areas


Welcome to "Startup Secrets"*

The idea behind this series is to create a framework for entrepreneurs and innovators to think through some of the key steps that could accelerate their success in starting a business. 

 BostInno: "In an ecosystem overrun with entrepreneurial noise, the North Bridge VC’s Startup Secrets class at the Harvard I-Lab is  a straight signal."

I recommend you review the frameworks in the following order, though you can pick and chose whatever suits you from any section and explore a growing number of Videos, SlideshowsArticles and Case examples in each area.

1. Building a Compelling Value Proposition

2. Company Formation - Vision, Mission, Culture and Hiring

3. Game Changing Business Models

4. Going To Market (GTM)

5. Turning Products into Companies

6. Getting Behind the Perfect Investor Pitch

7. Funding Strategies to go the Distance

The logic behind this order is that you probably don't have a company to start without a value proposition. Then, as you start it, defining your vision, mission and culture become critical to hiring the right people. Next, thinking about your business model and go-to-market strategy become key elements. And finally, being able to put it all together in a pitch that you can use to raise money rounds it out.  In fact, due to strong interest, I've just added a new workshop and resource on funding that you can find below or linked here.

Also – to give you a sense of what you can get out of the Startup Secrets workshops at Harvard innovation lab, I encourage you to take a look at the following video from our May 8, 2013 session that provides a good summary of the types of topics and case studies covered in the sessions:

On this site in particular, we will be adding more case examples to the sessions to bring the frameworks to life with the experience, knowledge and skills shared by other successful entrepreneurs. Check the growing list of case examples out here

*On a personal note of humility, this is all shared in an open spirit so that ultimately this is all far from a "startup secret"!  In fact it's all really just common sense, but having not had the formal education to start a company when I first did as a teenager, it is done in the spirit of "stuff I wish I'd known then that could have helped me avoid all the mistakes I've made for the last 30+ years!". I'm still enjoying learning and hope you will share your learning here too.


3 Measures to Define Early Progress and Avoid Temptation
Problem Solving, featuring Andy Jassy, SVP, Amazon Web Services
LinkedIn, February 25, 2014, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, February 12, 2014, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, December 09, 2013, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, November 25, 2013, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, May 21, 2013, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, September 2, 2013, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, May 21, 2013, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, June 12, 2013, Michael J. Skok
LinkedIn, February 06, 2013, Michael J. Skok
Interview by Boston Business Journal
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