Victoria Yampolsky, Startup Advisor
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Victoria Yampolsky, Startup Advisor: Episode 13
Victoria Yampolsky is the president of Startup Station where she takes her passion for math and helps new startups develop valuations that they can take to investors to secure their first (or next) round of funding. An interest in the sciences and later maths points to something important about Victoria, she loves facts, and in her line of work, it’s the facts that get the money. Converting the vague and amorphous bits of an unknown product into something investors can evaluate has now become teaching students how to do the same. Victoria is now intent on teaching as many new entrepreneurs as possible how to build their own valuations. You can find her at thestartupstation.com.
Learning from Your Mistakes
Victoria’s first business was a film company. And like many first ventures, it didn’t go quite as planned. She had a slate of films, a production partner, a distribution partner, and a finance partner. Only the finance partner wasn’t who he said he was. When the film company folded, it was a hard lesson, but it allowed Victoria to go into building Startup Station with a much stronger foundation. She learned how to put together business materials, how to make connections, how to think through business model analysis, and how to vet people that you’re going to work with.
The Accidental First Client
After the film company, Victoria went to visit a headhunter, to feel out her options. Only, she never got that far. While there she met someone from HP India who was starting a mobile app and eventually came on as their senior strategic advisor. And through working with them, she met future clients. Then, those clients told friends in the community about her, and the word of mouth spread.
How Much Money You Need to Start
Starting a service based company as a solopreneur can be done with very little money. A product based startup is an entirely different beast. Paying to build your prototype can cost $30,000 to $50,000 and there are legal fees to build the company’s legal structure as well. Even if you’re able to build your MVP (minimum viable product) yourself, try to set aside $10,000 to start. For some that is a lot of money, but it is doable. You’ve got this.
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Download the transcript here