Startup Right

Top 40 Founder Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Assembling a team. Developing a marketing strategy. Getting your first customer. Defending your IP. Bringing on advisors. Creating financial projections. Raising venture capital. The list goes on. Nothing is more challenging than launching a successful startup.
We are here to help.
This handout brings together the expertise from four startup experts across the DMV startup ecosystem to share what you need to launch and scale your venture right from 4 unique perspectives: Finance, Legal, Fundraising, Marketing/PR.
Each brought 10 mistakes to the table, and together, we created a Startup Right guide that includes all 40 startup mistakes and, most importantly, how to avoid them.


Zachary Giegel
Zach is a co-founder at District Advisory, a CPA firm that specializes in helping startups who are ready to scale achieve explosive growth through Bookkeeping, Accounting, Fundraising and CFO Leadership and Strategy. With over 15 years of experience in helping to grow over 50 companies as their CFO and accountant, Zach has the experience to help founders solve complex business problems and strategically manage one of the most important components of a business- cashflow.
Kelly Miller
Kelly is a tech-focused communications strategist and Director at Banner Public Affairs where she helps clients – from Fortune 500 companies to up-and-coming startups – communicate their value with compelling, data-rich storytelling. In 2018, Kelly helped spearhead the rebranding of DC’s beloved Tech Lady Hackathon to the more gender-inclusive Tech, Rebalanced. Her book Get Attention: Brand Building for Startups has been read by entrepreneurs around the world. In addition to advising and mentoring founders through organizations like the Vinetta Project, Kelly hosts free weekly office hours for early-stage ventures.
Mike Ravenscroft
Mike is Managing Partner of re:Founded, a Venture Advisory firm specializing in seed-stage startup and venture capital consulting services. Mike has managed venture-backed accelerator programs covering a range of technology verticals, from cybersecurity and defense technologies to smart city and urban IoT startups. He previously served on the Investment Team at CIT GAP Funds, the most active VC in Virginia, and one of the 50 most active VCs in the nation.
Max Moyer
Max is Principal at TRIUMPH LAW, a progressive boutique corporate law firm, with a focus on startup, venture, licensing & technology and M&A. Max has over a decade of experience practicing corporate law at top law firms (most recently Cooley) on the team of a startup company, and on his own, helping high growth companies, their founders, and stakeholders navigate every important stage of growth from inception to exit. As a former COO of a startup, Max approaches law like a founder – committed to quick, nimble and practical support.

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