A financial modeling
course for startup founders

This 6-week course teaches you how to create investor-proof projections,
estimate your fundraising needs,
and track the core KPIs for any kind of startup
Book a Slot

Next cohort: March 2023

When your done, you'll be able to...

design and connect a financial model for any type of startup
build, connect, and edit any financial spreadsheet
test different scenarios, and understand their outcomes
understand the KPIs that affect your business, and
Join our next cohort

Starting March 21st, 2023

Still not sure?

Download a sample financial model built by our team

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Course Outline

(Optional) Module 0: Leveling up our spreadsheet skills

This module is designed as a leveling course for founders and entrepreneurs who are new to spreadsheet tools like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. It starts with the basic building blocks of formula-building, and advances into reference functions like INDEX+MATCH.

We focus on the tools that you'll need to connect most financial models.

Lessons included:

  • Setting up a basic spreadsheet: creating and formatting a worksheet, entering data
  • Common math functions (e.g. SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN)
  • Date and time functions (e.g. TODAY, NETWORKDAYS)
  • Using lookup and reference functions (e.g. VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH)
  • Using logical functions (e.g. IF, AND, OR)
  • Collaborating with others and using version control
  • Formatting and presentation tips
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Consolidating data from multiple worksheets

Module 1: Understanding Drivers

Driver-based modeling is the single most important lesson we will be teaching in this course. This module is the key to unlocking your understanding of financial models and will allow you to dissect and break down any type of business into parts that you can model on a spreadsheet. 

Lessons included:

  • What is driver-based modeling, and why is it important for startups?
  • Common direct and indirect drivers of startup growth
  • The KPIs to convert drivers into revenue
  • Simple model maps: SaaS, eCommerce, and Traffic-based business models
  • Adding conversion funnels
  • Advanced model maps: Marketplaces and virality
  • Converting maps into variables
  • Homework assignment before our Live Session

LIVE SESSION on Model Maps

Caya, our CEO (and CFO), will host a 60-min group session to review some of your financial model maps and provide feedback. We'll select some business model examples from our students, and our team will model them during the session.

Module 2: Let’s build- Part 1

Now that we understand the basics of how financial models work, we’ll get to building our first formulas to connect the maps that we’ve been working on. 

Lessons included:

  • Setting up the layout: inputs vs outcome spreadsheets
  • Standardizing our format: variables vs formula results
  • Our first formula: a marketing budget
  • Scaling linearly vs exponentially
  • Defining launch dates
  • Our first complete map: from driver to costs

Module 3: A canvas on steroids

We’ve built our first financial model, but we need a better canvas to work on if we want to scale the spreadsheet. We’ll walk you through the (free) template our team built, and that over 20,000 startups have used as a starting point.

Lessons included:

  • The basics: SG&A, COGS and Revenue
  • Advanced sheets: CAPEX
  • Understanding VAT and Sales Taxes vs Income Taxes
  • Managing headcount and staff scaling
  • Advanced sheets: Cap Table

Module 4: Let's build- Part 2

With a superpowered canvas to work from, we now move into connecting a complete model map inside an existing financial model template. 

Lessons included:

  • [SaaS] Connecting churn and estimating MRR
  • [Marketplaces] Building a Marketplace Financial Model with buyers and sellers
  • [eCommerce] Creating a simple inventory tracker
  • Projecting virality (and its dangers)
  • [eCommerce] Creating a simple inventory tracker
  • Tracking KPIs
  • Building a simple dashboard with charts

LIVE SESSION on Model Maps

Caya will host a Q&A session to address questions you may have come up with through the building process.

Module 5: Scenarios and Projections

At this point we have a fully functional financial model we can use to estimate anything we want. It’s now time to put it to good use to answer the questions a founder needs to solve before pitching investors.

Lessons included:

  • Building a dropdown scenario picker
  • Determining if the business is scalable (and/or venture-backable)
  • Budgeting an investment round: expenses and milestones
  • Building a simple dashboard with charts and KPIs

LIVE SESSION on estimating a funding round

Caya will host a LIVE session to use the financial model we’ve built to estimate a few growth scenarios, and balance the speed in which the team scales to make up for a compelling case for a potential investor.

Module 6: An intro to historical expenses

Bringing historical expenses into the model is a task of its own: it requires a good understanding of historical KPIs, and even some accounting and bookkeeping knowledge. The realities of companies are usually very different, but in this module we’ll introduce you to some universal best practices to match your future projections to your historicals.

Lessons included:

  • Projected vs Historical data: tips and best practices
  • Understanding a P&L sheet
  • Importing a P&L sheet
  • Creating a Data Input sheet (and linking an external reference)
  • Extracting KPIs and using them as Assumptions
  • Best practices and final thoughts

The financial modeling course for startup founders

10+ hours of on-demand lessons
3 LIVE sessions hosted by our CEO
7 different pre-built financial templates
Lifetime access to course resources
Detailed knowledge base access
Book a Slot

Next cohort: March 2023
Fully refundable before start date

Join our next cohort

Starting March 21st, 2023

Book a Slot
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