One of the biggest challenges for early-stage investors and others in the startup sector is identifying tech startups most worth focusing on, such as those with strong management teams, seed funding and products. Startup.Directory just made that task much easier by introducing our proprietary, hands-on rating system. All active startups in our database now feature a rating from 0 to 10.
Here are the components of our startup rating system:
- Management team: Many investors would argue that the management team is the most critical factor in startup success. Our analysts look at each startup and rate the management team based on their level of business experience. A team consisting of only a small number of graduate students would receive a low rating. A team with a very experienced entrepreneur and product engineer, working alongside a faculty member, would receive a high rating.
- Funding: Our rating system also considers the amount of funding a startup has raised from any source, including investors and grants. Startups with more than $1 million in funding receive the highest rating.
- Information availability: Our analysts also consider a more subjective issue of how much information is available on the startup, both on its website and on the Internet. While this factor will produce a lower rating for strong startups that are in stealth mode (more on that below), information availability and quality presentation of that information is critical for investors.
- Product release: This rating gives a modest weighting for a startup that has released a product and/or received FDA or CE approval.
Our analysts have reviewed every active startup in our database and assessed the above factors. We believe this is a very unique approach to providing quality information on startups. In addition to the fact that we identify startups much earlier than any other database, we provide hands-on comments and ratings. Some large (and expensive) databases have numerical ratings, but they are based on web data (website hits, Twitter traffic) that may be highly relevant to an Internet company, but largely irrelevant to a life science or clean tech startup.
Our rating system gives a low rating to very early startups that may actually be very promising; for example, if they have an experienced entrepreneur leader, but no website, fundraising or product yet. However, we highlight these promising, but early-stage startups by placing them on our “Watch List.” Later this summer, we’ll also add a “Stealth Mode” mark to indicate startups that are explicitly holding back information.