Evaluating a successful founder is hard work. We adapted research done by Gordon Bell et. al. (with his permission) on successful Silicon Valley founders at later stages and adjusted his model to work on early stage companies.  This work was titled the Bell-Mason diagnostic (ppt).

BlueChilli looks at nine characteristics of a founder and asks objective questions to give a relative score on each of these nine characteristics which are then plotted on a polar plot. The resultant surface area is then calculated which results in an overall score which helps us determine how much equity we require. The stronger you are as a founder, the better your score and the less equity we require.

These nine characteristics are:

  • Leadership
  • Business planning
  • Market understanding
  • Sales skills
  • Your team
  • Your advisors and board
  • Cash reserves
  • Finance-ability
  • Understanding of technology

Being a CEO is a multidisciplinary job and what we want is an even balance of these characteristics in founders we work with. Our model is designed to reward balance in founder skill-sets and analyse it mathematically.

Filed under:   bell-mason   evaluation   founder   process   startup