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I have several dozen portfolio companies. Most of them send me monthly or quarterly updates. There are three items in the updates that I personally find more useful than anything else. They are:

  1. Cash flow / P&L top line summary
  2. Major changes / developments
  3. Problems the CEO is struggling with and wants help on

A hypothetical example is below. I wish all my update emails were like it. Call it the minimum viable update email.


Hi Investors,

Last month we burned through $45k. We are on track to turn cash flow positive before year end. We will decide in about three months whether we need a little bit of extra cash for working capital purposes or not.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.23.36 AM

There were no key changes last month. We have got two good candidates for CMO and will decide this month.

Key problems:

  1. We have some problems in our tech team. Our CTO isn’t experienced enough to manage through this. Can you recommend a mentor / experienced CTO to come in and help (this can be a paid coaching position)?
  2. I have been approached by a VC who wants to potentially pre-empt a Series A. How do I best deal with this?
  3. We have lost two important pitches against a competitor in December. Can any of you spare some time to talk through our positioning statements and sales process?
  4. I am worried that key competitor X has just closed a $8m Series A round (see here for more info), how shall we best deal with this (if at all)?

Many thanks,

Jens Lapinski
Managing Director of Techstars METRO. Before Techstars, Jens was a partner at Forward Labs, which he co-founded in January 2012. http://jenslapinski.com @jenslapinski

  • Foreign Entrepreneur

    Awesome. I have seen some templates already, but having the example truly makes the trick.