I am a fellow of the Startup Leadership Program 2017/2018 – London. SLP describes itself as a 6 months acceleration to boost founders, leaders and innovators and their startup.

The Program is designed as a “peer-to-peer” training and each fellow actively participates in the learning experience. At the beginning of the Program the fellows are assigned a topic class that they would be fully responsible for organizing. The topic of my class was “Valuations and Exits”.

The structure of the classes is defined by the fellow who organises them. SLP Program admits people of wide range of backgrounds and skillsets, therefore I designed a pre-class survey in order to assess the objectives of the fellows and to try to cover them to the greatest extent possible.

The class CEO from the previous year, Harriet Jordan-Wrench, emphasised that having two view points on the topic – of the investors and of the founders/entrepreneurs was crucial for the last years fellows. The class reflected Harriet’s very useful advice.

Class set up

  • When analysing the results from the pre-class survey, it appeared necessary to have a presentation on the different valuation methodologies used in practice to value startups when they raise money and upon exit.
  • The presentation was given by Gabriele Dini, Senior Investment Manager at Breed Reply. Thank you Gabe for your readiness to be part of our learning experience and for making such a difficult topic easy to understand.
  • Following the presentation, Gabriele was joined by another great investor Alexandre Covello, Founder and CEO of AngelsCube in a Panel Discussion that went deeper in the topic of Investor’s approach when valuing a company.
  • The last part of the class was devoted to a Panel with Entrepreneurs. We had the pleasure to welcome 3 exceptional entrepreneurs – Vishnu Chundi (Co-Founder And CEO of AssetVault), Sandeep Bathina (Co-Founder and COO of StockViews) and Tushir Patel (Co-founder of PPR Solutions, now Co-founder of Capium)

I would like to once again thank you to our amazing Panelists for attending the class, speaking openly and for offering hands-on advice to the fellows.

Lessons learned

Having fellows with so diverse backgrounds and in so different stages of their venture – from idea stage to exit plans, it is challenging to prepare a class that would satisfy all their objectives. Therefore, having the opinion of Investors and Entrepreneurs proved to be useful.  I hope we managed to address most of the questions of the fellows, despite the short time (the class was cut by 30 minutes due to weather conditions). However, I would advise the Class CEO of the next year to consider splitting the class in 2 streams – one stream for fellows with no/limited knowledge on the topic and another stream with fellows who already went through a valuation and now have more specific and advanced concerns.