Some useful tidbits to get your off the ground as a Scout (plus a ton of useful resources baked within 🤗)
P.S. This is just the beginning — check out the rest of our Knowledge Base for a lot of detailed Q&As 🙌
👌 Scouting best practices
❓ What deals can I post on OpenScout?
You’re welcome to post any early stage investment opportunity to the platform that you believe there will an audience for amongst our investment community.
Along the way we’ll provide you with helpful resources to make the decisions on who these companies may be and we’ll continuously review deals posted by all Scouts to help them both to make better decisions and present companies in the most helpful fashion.
There may be times that we remove a deal as we do not think it meets the standard expected by our investors but in these cases we will always open a dialogue with you and look to explain the decision to ensure you can relay this back to the individuals leading the fundraising round.
❓ What companies should I be scouting?
Most of the scouts on OpenScout typically scout companies that are tech-based and looking to raise capital from Angel Investors and venture capital companies. Investors on OpenScout won’t be looking to invest in companies that do not offer a significant return on their investment so a company that cannot demonstrate sufficient scalability and growth potential is most likely unsuited to be scouted on OpenScout.
Scouts should also be scouting those companies that also meet the criteria outlined in their profile (e.g. stage, sector and region).
Remember that all of the companies you scout on OpenScout will ultimately reflect your ability to scout great companies and determine the degree to which you can build a respectable and admirable track record as one of OpenScout’s top scouts. Therefore, you should only aim to scout the best companies that you come across.
❓How do I tell companies I want to scout them?
❓ How do I find companies to scout?
When you find a company you want to scout, reach out to them and tell them you want to scout them on OpenScout.
If the company is unaware of OpenScout, what we do and how the platform works, it would be useful to explain what OpenScout is and why it benefits them to be scouted on OpenScout.
Alternatively, feel free to send them over this Quick Start Guide on processes involved when being scouted.
Any of the interactions a scout has in their day to day work offer an opportunity to find companies to scout. Many scouts will scout a company that they believe are venture back-able businesses but do not have the capital to invest themselves.
Deal flow can come from a variety of different sources such as friends, colleagues, forums, communities, cold inbound, existing investors, angel investments the scout has made themselves, involvement in programmes such as accelerators and incubators, and/or personal research, amongst others.
Things that scouts might look for when finding companies to scout include traction, product-market fit, founder fit, existing MRR/generating revenue, an excellent founding team, existing investment, evident scalability/growth potential, attractive vertical etc.
❓How do I communicate with companies when I’ve scouted them on OpenScout?
❓How much information should I gather about the companies I scout?
Feel free to communicate with the companies you have scouted in whatever way works best for you. You are the one with a relationship to that company and so should nurture and maintain it as you see fit.
It's a good idea to keep the the companies informed on any noteworthy investor activity.
There are some must have information in order for you to scout a company on OpenScout, such as their sector, stage, introduction, pitch, etc. So make sure you have the basics.
However, because you as a scout will also need to justify why you’re scouting a company to prospective investors, you probably also want more information beyond the basics. Use your best judgment to gather the appropriate amount of information so you can make your case to promote the company to the right investors.
💪 More than a scout
💡 From the very beginning of Landscape’s conception, we’ve been a champion of transparency and building in the open.
We want to continue applying these principles to OpenScout.
Our aim with OpenScout is to build a platform, and more importantly a community, where excitement, trust, accessibility, openness, familiarity and a sense of buy-in though contribution are all factors that engender a sense of strong belonging and shared ownership. 🤗
This is far more than just a marketplace where scouts are connected with investors and vice versa. This is a space to meet new people, learn new things, improve existing processes and discuss actionable approaches that can be implemented to introduce new ways of working.
What does this mean for scouts who are part of the OpenScout community? It means every single person has an invaluable role in helping build the platform and shape the future of scouting and venture capital.
Below you’ll find some of the ways we are going to do this, some of which are immediately going to be available, others we will be building over time.
🎤 Monthly Scout roundtables
Every month, we will host a scout roundtable open to all scouts on OpenScout. In these sessions, you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts on what has or has not been working and suggest ways that we can improve your experience as a Scout on OpenScout.
All scouts on OpenScout will be able to attend various events that will be hosted regularly. These include in-person socials (open to both scouts, investors and founders), OpenScout sponsored events where scouts can organise events in partnership with OpenScout (in the aim of helping them capture more startups), monthly roundtables (see above) and OpenScout’s dinner series.
💌 Scout newsletter
We will be sharing a monthly newsletter detailing all stats and goings on related to OpenScout. Expect to see data including number of deals made, number of startups scouted, number of scout applications, number of new scouts, scout of the month, deals of the month, number of new investors, total value of success fees received and more.
💬 Slack community
We have an exclusive Slack community for scouts.
We want every scout on OpenScout to play a significant role in helping us shape OpenScout and determining its roadmap. We aim to achieve this in a number of ways.
We will have a public roadmap hosted on Canny where we encourage you to add and/or upvote feature requests and to actively share feedback.
Every month, we will host a scout roundtable open to all scouts. In these sessions you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts on what has or has not been working and suggest ways that we can improve your experience as a Scout on OpenScout.
Held every quarter, we will have an OpenScout wide session for scouts whereby we will share our roadmap and listen to your suggestions as to what you think are important features we should be including or directions we should be heading. As part of these sessions, we will have retrospectives to examine what we’ve done since the last quarter, what went well and what went wrong.
All sessions will be recorded and notes taken to be stored in an openly accessible archive for anyone to look on.
👾 NFT drop
We’re looking into the possibility of minting Scout NFTs as a form of “Achievements” within the OpenScout platform, for example when you scout your first company, when you scout 10 companies that get funded, when you reach 100 introductions facilitated, so on so on.
These NFT achievements would then also act as a membership card to different gated areas of the OpenScout community.
It’s still early days looking into this, but we’ve got some interesting plans for the future. 🙂
💬 Useful assets
💡 Below are various bits of copy to be used to shared across LinkedIn, Twitter or to add on to your email signature. Please feel free to adjust to your preferences but please do not edit/remove any of the links.
📣 LinkedIn - Becoming a Scout
Very pleased to share that I am now a Scout on OpenScout. I will be sharing the awesome startups I come across here. Any investor that would like to follow my dealflow can do so by requesting to follow me via my OpenScout profile.
➡️ LinkedIn description
I’m a scout on Landscape's OpenScout platform, identifying promising early stage companies and sharing them with the Angels, VCs and Family offices that follow my dealflow. If you’re a founder looking to raise, feel free to reach out!
🎤 Twitter - Becoming a Scout
I’ve just officially become a Scout on OpenScout where I will be now sharing my dealflow. If you’re an investor and would like to follow my dealflow, you can do so by signing up to OpenScout here.
✍️ Email signature
Get an OpenScout Scout badge to add to your email signature here, which also includes a quick tutorial about how to add it.
💬 Startup inbound message
When talking with founders/startups you plan on scouting, feel free to include a link to this short one-pager we created specifically for Scouts to share with the companies they want to scout on OPenScout.
This provides startups/founders with a little bit of background as to what OpenScout is and shows why being scouted on OpenScout is a great thing!
💡 Here you’ll find a whole host of educational material taken from all over the web, assembled for you to read on topics related to scouting, venture capital, startups and anything else that we think will help you scout better.
P.S. Got your own suggestions of resources and materials you’ve found useful and/or think other scouts would find useful? Then drop us an 📧 with said resource(s) here!
- A short introduction as to what traditional venture scouting is.
- How one VC thinks about assessing pre-seed investments - written for founders but can very much be applied to scouts.
- The top seven things to look for when evaluating a marketplace business idea – or any business idea.
- This post discusses in detail what a Scout Program is, why it’s gaining traction in startup communities across the country, and summarises the key parameters of Scout programs.
- Startups are looking for good investors and investors are looking for good startups. On the one hand, communication is often the task of the CEO, and on the other hand, scouts also help with the search process. Sensible cooperation with them can give a startup serious benefits. This pieces looks how startups/founders can work with a scout to get the most out of such a relationship.
- Three questions to ask to determine if a startup is VC fundable.
- This article looks at a company’s ‘fundamentals’, walking through the process of how to get a better sense of the health of a company relative to its peers and performance using this data. It also includes some examples of how to incorporate fundamental information and explains why those who learn to use fundamentals have an information advantage.
- You have a bright business idea that only needs a bit of money to kick it off, but all the VCs say that “you are not the right fit at the time”? Read on to see if your startup is actually VC fundable and find out what to change to attract VC money and if it’s actually worth it.
- Part 1 of the most common and/or or confusing metrics that illustrate the promise and health of a particular company with definitions, explanations and notes on why investors focus on those metrics.
- Part 2 on startup metrics.
- A comprehensive and detailed look at the key metrics that are needed to understand and optimise a SaaS business.
- Partly due to the success of recent unicorns (e.g. Slack, Uber, Airbnb, …) and partly due to the massive amounts of available capital, venture capital has taken a prominent place inside the startup ecosystem. But is this also the right route for your startup? Is your startup right for raising venture capital?
- Growth rates are a crucial concept to understand. Why? Because they help paint a picture of what the future might look like for a startup and if that startup can be as big as their valuation portrays.
- 10 factors to consider when evaluating the potential success of a new marketplace opportunity
💰 Venture Capital
- A look at what Venture Capital is in simple terms and at a high level to provide an understanding of the role Venture Capital plays in the startup ecosystem.
- A good resource with definitions of common industry lingo.
- Breaking down the basics of venture capital and explaining what you need to know.
- As the Venture Capital industry adopts more technology and a data-driven approach, often overlooked are the hidden biases that lead to suboptimal decisions. The study of these biases are collectively referred to as Behavioural Finance. This piece details these biases that affect decision making and offers a framework for thinking smarter for the Venture Capital industry.
- If a company has passed all due diligence checks the next question to ask are, “How much should a company raise and at what valuation?”. GoingVC built the model explained in this article, containing the most common VC valuation methodologies that are used to pull together a pre-money valuation.
- How likely is it that the product being developed by us going to be the clear winner when it comes to solving the problem? It is important therefore that VCs start assessing the product. How much has it changed since inception? How did those changes develop and what processes are in place to receive, track, evaluate, and implement new ideas?
- The market test asks whether or not the venture’s addressable market, also commonly referred to as TAM (Total Addressable Market), is large enough to warrant a venture investment.
- Using AngelList’s curated data, this articles shows that the returns of early-stage investments follow a fairly extreme power law distribution, with enormous positive outliers skewing portfolio performance.
- A good overview of the private equity industry told from an institutional LP perspective.
- Lessons shared by Zach Coelius, Managing Partner at Coelius Capital, taken from his involvement in Angelist syndicates.
- The value of any company is nothing more than the present value (i.e. today’s value) of all future cash flows. Of course, knowing these future cash flows is the challenge, so investors who look to value companies can use different models and means to estimate a company value, ranging from simple back-of-the-envelope methods to complex valuation models.
- Arguably the most important factor when deciding whether or not to invest: the management team. In this post, GoingVS provides a methodology for assessing the founding team and vetting the strengths and weaknesses of the key leadership roles within the company.
- The goal of screening is to whittle down from potentially thousands of investment opportunities those that are eligible for consideration given a VC funds’ philosophy, stage and sector preferences, and other criteria that define the interest of the VC.
- A detailed and well written piece on how to raise venture money by Paul Graham.
- Overview of the mechanics of a seed deal for those with little or no experience.
- A good starting point that breaks down the processes involved in a venture deal.
- Founders might find potential investors to fill the top of their fundraising funnel, set meetings and build relationships with future investors in the middle of the funnel, but fail to eventually close them at the bottom of the funnel. How can founders better understand an investor’s motivation to ensure they find the right investors and actually raise capital with them?
📈 Future Trends
- A podcast episode about the rise of solo capitalists and the role they will play in venture capital.
- More family offices are moving into VC including international family offices. This article looks at the rise of family offices in VC and how they are investing.