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(Credits Unsplash:

Raising funds can be an exciting and terrifying part of your startup journey. This is finally your chance to raise the money your startup needs!

Still, raising funds is hard. And if it’s your first time, you may not know what to expect. When can you raise what amount? What are investors used to seeing? How does your startup compare to others?

It’s also the moment when you have to stand in front of investors and convince them that your startup is worth their time and money.

Don’t worry. All those questions, concerns, and uncertainties… I worked at a VC firm who invested in Seed and Series A rounds. Now, I’m your person on the inside. …

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I did a survey this summer: I asked the founders what they want help with for their startup. I created a long list of options including sales, metrics, marketing, and product development.

There was actually a tie for what they requested most! It came as no surprise that “How to generate traffic with inbound marketing” was at the top. What did surprise me, though, was that startup founders also wanted to know “How to build product users love and return to.”

I was faced with the challenge of putting into words something I knew through experience but had difficulty explaining.

Knowing what the founders needed, I bought a new book to read during my August vacation this year: Hooked by Nir Eyal. And let me tell you, I was hooked! This book was a series of “aha!” moments for me. …

Image Melinda Elmborg
Image Melinda Elmborg

As a compact team of two or three founders, it’s easy to stay organized… But when you’re doing well the team grows. Suddenly you’re managing a team of 5! Keeping track of everything, such as projects, tasks, new features, marketing campaigns, and more becomes much more difficult.

It’s dangerous to waste time and team effort as a small startup. You run on small margins and can’t afford to be inefficient. Yes, I’m looking at you, founder. 👀 I’m pretty sure, payroll is the biggest expense your company has. So, make sure to maximize that resource!

That’s why you need a Project Management tool to keep your team organized, motivated, and up to date. …

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In these uncertain times of Covid-19, it’ll come as no surprise to say that investments, as with everything else, have taken a bit of a hit. In France alone, investment was down 30% in April compared to April 2019. But, not to despair! Despite the current climate, investors are indeed still active.

“Things must go on” as co-founder Seppälä of Finnish VC stated, “it’s a great time to start building and investing”. They know that this is a short term situation. But there is now more focus on the long term impact and so more selectivity in where they will invest their money. …

The Startup Action Framework Explained

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As you build your startup, your journey will go through 4 major stages: from Discover to Adapt to Transition to Accelerate. Each of them has its own framework, opportunities, and challenges. And it’s required to follow these stages in order. All successful startups that I’ve ever heard of have gone through these 4 stages, so don’t even think about cheating the system… That is what Blippar and WeWork tried to do:

Blippar was a gamified barcode scanning app that skipped the Adapt phase. They accelerated too fast without having any retention, which means that they didn’t have Product-Market Fit. By the time they tried to iterate, they had a team of 60 developers! …

A Previous VC Reveals What Matters More Than Your Pitch Deck

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I started my career in the VC world — an amazing job where you get to meet hundreds of startup founders. When I was a young and ambitious venture capitalist in a French VC fund, my goal was to find a startup from the Nordic region that we could confidently invest in. The number and quality of those investments was the ultimate measure of my job performance.

Let me tell you a story about a particular startup…

At one point, we were working with a promising startup from Sweden, deciding if they were a good fit for us. One partner was convinced. …

Or: How to Grow Faster With Less Marketing Spend

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Are your sales coming too slowly? Maybe you’re spending some money on Marketing, just to realize that you are not getting a return on your investment… Ugh, that feeling of powerlessness is painful. Right?

If your startup is gonna have any chance of survival, you HAVE to grow. There is no way around that. No investors want to invest in a stagnating startup. As a previous VC investor, I can share an insider benchmark: if you want to raise more than $1M, you need to grow at least 10 % per month.

Sure, you can bootstrap… But with small revenues, it’s impossible to sustain costs. So even if you bootstrap you absolutely need to grow. …

The 3 top mistakes and how to avoid them

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I’ve really seen all kinds of mistakes made by startup founders during my hundreds of meetings as a Seed and Series A investor in venture capital.

Now, as a startup coach, I’ve been able to go deeper with each founder. I’ve been able to understand why these mistakes happen and discovered the best ways to avoid them. Of course, I want to share them with you so you can avoid them!

The most common mistakes are these 3:

  1. Idea Generation
  2. Focus
  3. Marketing for Growth

Let me deep-dive into them one-by-one, and explain how to avoid them!

Idea Generation

The most crucial time of a startup happens at the idea stage, even before the founder has quit their day job. What happens in this stage often determines if the startup will be a success or not. …


The phenomenal Metrics Tree model explained

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Some of the world’s biggest startups include marketplaces such as Airbnb, Didi Chuxing, and Grab. It’s a sure thing that they would never have reached their gigantic size unless they knew how to get each metric to grow!

You might be running a C2C marketplace for selling off your old CDs or a B2B marketplace to exchange industrial spare parts. No matter the case, analyzing metrics is crucial to achieving growth, and I’m going to tell you how to make that happen.

Below is my guide on how to break down your business piece by piece to identify the metrics that are important to you. This kind of breakdown is called a Metrics Tree. …


No, you don’t need to hire a data scientist!

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No, those tools won’t help you. Check the guide below instead! Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

For many years I have been obsessing about startups and especially their management of metrics and KPIs. Just check my Medium profile and you’ll see :) It has led me to understand that knowing which KPIs to measure is not the first problem to tackle when being an insight-driven startup.

The very first thing to do is to collect and access data and assure its relevance and automation. That’s the reason I moved down the data analysis value chain — so I could also help startups discover the many fantastic tools that exist out there.


Melinda Elmborg

Accelerator Co-Lead at Fast Track Malmö guiding tech founders to build, grow and raise capital for their startup. Former VC @Daphni.

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