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Vito Proietti- The Path to Startup Success:

We did some research and crunched the numbers to create an infographic that tells the stories of startup success says, Vito Proietti. We created this infographic with VCs in mind — specifically, for those who want to grow their firms’ portfolios by investing in startups like Airbnb and Uber.

The infographic includes a list of all known rounds (if you know one we missed, please comment below).

As far as we can tell — although it is difficult to be 100% certain — none of these companies has raised money from VCs prior to their Y Combinator classes:

1) Airbnb: $600k from YC & Wendel Rosen;

2) OMGPOP: $200k from YC;

3) Loopt: $400k from YC;

4) Scribd: $400k from YC & Ron Conway;

5) Reddit: $100k from YC;

6) Hipmunk: $15.2M seed round led by Reddit, Bessemer Venture Partners and others (founder Adam Goldstein is a graduate of Hazlett’s “Build A Better Startup” course at Penn);

7) Justin.tv: $1.5M angel round led by Sam Altman of Loopt/YC;

8) Viddy: $3M “Friends & Family” round led by Wendel Rosen (of Airbnb/YC);

9) Skout: $1.45M angel round led by Ron Conway (of Loopt/YC).

10) Quora: $11M angel round led by Sherpalo Ventures & Peter Thiel.

Some other interesting facts about YC companies:

  • Seven of the twelve have received funding from Ron Conway, who has invested in 5 out of the 6 Y Combintaor companies that are worth more than $100 million.
  • The average amount raised by these seven companies is just over $7 million.
  • Five of these twelve companies have been acquired before raising a Series B round.

Many entrepreneurs are on the path to business success, but it takes hard work, dedication and passion to make your startup dreams come true says, Vito Proietti.

Here’s a look at some of the most important steps along the way:

Many entrepreneurs are on the path to business success, but it takes hard work, dedication and passion to make your startup dreams come true.  Here’s a look at some of the most important steps along the way:

1) How to Be an Eventual Success

2) Build a Business Model That Works

3) Rally Your Early Adopters

4) Understand the Market You’re Entering and Plan Accordingly

5) Create a Strong Social Network Presence

6) Recruit Exceptional Employees and Get Them on Board Fast

7) Get Feedback from Customers Regularly and Actively

8) Negotiate Like a Pro from the Beginning

9) Consider Raising Money When You needs it most  

10) Don’t Fear Failure  

11) Know When to Cut Your Losses, But Stick to Your Vision    

12) Know When to Keep Going    

13) Attract the Right Investors    

14) Know How To Handle Success!


Q: What does it take to become a successful startup?

A: There is no formula for startup success. It takes hard work, dedication and hustle. And of course passion for what you’re doing.

Q: How do I know when my company is ready to raise money?

A: When you feel like your business model has been validated by customers (and it scales) and you’ve grown fast enough that the market is beginning to recognize how big this opportunity could be (i.e., there are competitors entering the space), then it’s time to start thinking about raising money.

Q: Where should my first round of funding come from?

A: The best early-stage investors are angel investors; they tend to invest in smaller amounts of money (seed rounds) up front, before you need to raise a Series a round.

Q: How much should I expect to pay for an experienced CEO?

A: As high as $150K/year and as low as $50K/year, depending on the startup market the candidate is coming from. Previous experience matters but isn’t necessarily required; there are many successful great CEOs with no prior startup experience (e.g., Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook).

Q: What resources will my startup need in order to succeed?

A: Great founders are hard to find, so be sure you have some cash set aside for recruiting them — it can be very expensive. Other critical resources include office space, equipment, computers, Internet connection, marketing materials, and software licenses. It’s also important to have a small team in place that can hit the ground running once you secure your first big customer.


Entrepreneurs must be passionate, dedicated and work hard to make their dream come true says Vito Proietti.  It takes years of dedication and passion before your startup dreams come true.  

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