This is a repost from the Launch413 blog
Effective Tools Used By Launch413: A Case Study
When we created Launch413 in 2018, we had no idea what was just around the corner. We already knew entrepreneurs were one of the best ways to create prosperity in our communities and we knew how to help them. We also knew entrepreneurs were one of the most powerful forces for good in the world. Three years later, we still consider ourselves privileged and honored to help other entrepreneurs create jobs, innovations, and prosperity.
Startups need tools and advisors to help them stay on track, do the right things at the right time, and maintain momentum. At Launch413, we deeply believe our tools should be sustainable and our advisors should be impactful.
ApprentiScope, a Launch413 Portfolio Company
ApprentiScope is a software company with a vision to revolutionize the world of apprenticeship programs. In May of 2019, Founder Will Lippolis took the leap to begin running the company full time, and four months later had two paying customers and a robust customer feedback loop — a good start. He was measuring revenue, customer success and product market fit. Things were going well, but his ambition was to make millions of people’s lives easier. To scale his company, he understood that he would need more partners and tools.
The VIRAL Scorecard – A Roadmap
Humble by nature, Will began looking for experienced coaches that would be a good fit for him and for ApprentiScope. He discovered Launch413 and two of its advisors, Paul Silva and Rick Plaut, introduced him to one of their favorite tools, the VIRAL Scorecard, originally developed by Village Capital. Simply put, the VIRAL Scorecard identifies where a company is situated in specific categories key to its future success, including the strength of its team, its market penetration, and scaling. Working together, Will, Paul, and Rick determined where ApprentiScope fell in each of the eight Scorecard categories. The exercise produced clarity about the areas Will needed to focus on. “Having a baseline of what needed to be worked on from a holistic point of view was of immediate value,” said Will.
Their analysis of the VIRAL Scorecard indicated that ApprentiScope needed to work on the business model and scale categories first. To move forward the company needed a consistent and repeatable pricing structure and enough customers to prove it. Will met with Jim Geisman and Chris Fraser, two of Launch413’s domain expert advisors. “We talked and then I accomplished meaningful tasks that allowed our business to level up. Every month we’ve seen growth across the business. The core benefit of the VIRAL Scorecard is the ability to point out the weak (and strong) points of the business, on many different fronts, all at the same time, in a way that is really easy to digest. It’s very helpful for goal setting. If you want to be a level seven business by the end of the year, you can see that you have to do all these things. It’s a really powerful methodology.”
The VIRAL Scorecard is not just a tool to be used in a quarterly review. “I use it on a very regular basis because I can get a comprehensive look at the business quickly. We have other core business documents and they have their place, but they’re not super useful day to day.”
Value of the VIRAL Scorecard and Launch413 Advisors
“If you’re an early stage company, you want to actually know where you are as a business and not just live in your mind’s positivity realm somewhere,” says Will. “I really like the way we’re using the Scorecard with the Launch413 team. It’s a super helpful way of bringing in advisors and investors when working on specific areas and extracting people’s experience and expertise. And, they can ensure you’re filling this in accurately, because it’s only helpful if you do it truthfully.”
Launch413 co-founders, Paul Silva and Rick Plaut, summarize both the value of using the VIRAL Scorecard structure and working with their team of advisors. “We know that successful entrepreneurs are committed and revenue centered. We also know that to cross from early-stage to being a sustainable company entrepreneurs need to maintain momentum, and recognize and fill knowledge gaps. The VIRAL Scorecard provides the roadmap to scale and Launch413 domain experts work within that framework to partner with entrepreneurs to provide the consistent coaching and support needed for successful scaling.”
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Get Your Own VIRAL Scorecard
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