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The Hidden Gems Project

Helping startups help themselves

I have often complained that it is often weeks, months, and in one case, years of working with a startup before I learn the most important things about them, or rather the things that would be most important to investors.

I recently listened to a practice patch and told the founder that in real life, I would probably have wished them well and left without asking a single question because that was nothing interesting that they said about their company.

Over the course of 10 minutes, we found eight separate unrelated things that each would have been sufficient to win a second meeting.

This pushed me past my inertia, and I have put together a list of questions to elicit and start conversations about hidden gems. Each of these is from a real situation.

We have made it into a form that will create a set of notes to help you discuss these with your advisors and help make sure that they aren’t overlooked or forgotten when it comes time to talk to investors.

If you’ve seen other hidden gems, please ….. so we can include them in the next version of the questionnaire.



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      Written by Russell Brand

      Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.


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      You’re delivering your pitch deck ask slide wrong 🤯 What you should say instead 😎