Evaluation of a project potential: project team

Team is more important than all other factors altogether

Perspectiva Solutions Sp. z o.o., Krzysztof Jakubczak

Importance of a project team

A good point to start with is statistics from the USA market I heard some long time ago. So.... most of the startups fail. From those which survive and become successful about 80% will change their business profile! Only 20% of startups will stay with their initial business concept.

You can assess this fact in various ways but there is one particularly interesting perspective: team skills. If you face the situation where you need to change your business profile it typically implies very challenging transition period. If your team doesn't have all the skills and motivation then probably the project / investment is going to fail. That is why on mature VC markets the team is being evaluated first and investors pay most of their attention to this aspect. Just recently I read a very interesting publication where it has been stated that for early projects the team factor takes 53% of weight in the decision making process of perspective investors and it makes more than all other factors altogether. Even more important is fact that the team is evaluated as most important success driver.

For more data, please, refer to the table and source link here

Ideal team. Example for med-tech project

So, what is ideal team? Let me show you on the example of a med-tech project. This a project where one want's to end up with a medical device, manufactured and market deployed. The starting point for the considerations on the team are essential skills needed to develop the device and to commercialize it. Let's try to enumerate most critical of them:

  1. Leadership

  2. Business development

  3. PR

  4. Engineering

  5. Production

  6. Quality Control (QC) and Assurance (QA)

  7. Regulatory affairs (RA)

  8. Medical

  9. Administration

Long story short: you will not need all skills at the very beginning of the project on-board but on the other hand a project plan without a concept about production or RA is basically worth nothing. To conclude, to present a valuable investment memorandum you will have to present who is going to take care about each of the skills group mentioned above. This has to be credible concept. People with little experience in the role will be of low credibility. You will need to fill the gaps somehow. Sometimes you may want to attract people by offering them shares. Sometimes a good enough option will be to offer someone an employment. The choice is yours but an important point to revise is: how critical the role is. The more important the person is, the stronger motivation factors you need to offer.