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By Ajay Batra

How to discover exciting startup ideas and build a cohesive founder team

At ideation stage (Level One), one creates a foundation of transparency, trust and innovation for the nascent venture. It helps the founders in identifying startup ideas that uncover opportunities in the market, while aligning with the team’s interests, capabilities and resources.

This level ensures that a committed and balanced team is available to work on the launch by creating platforms for founding members to openly discuss roles, responsibilities and rights. Thus, the founding members commence the venture with an objective understanding of their personal motivation; as well as a shared understanding of their collective strengths and weaknesses. Early discussions on the venture’s viability, vision and values are integral to this maturity level.

  • Proceeding to launch the venture without adequate domain knowledge, technical skills or financial resources
  • Conflicts between founding members on contribution and rights
  • Lack of an exciting and achievable vision for the venture
  • Mis-alignment between co-founders’ personal goals and the venture’s purpose
  • Identifying startup ideas that are neither unique nor well-timed in the market
  • Working on startup ideas with low growth potential
  • Lack of clarity about founding members’ roles and responsibilities
  • Inadequate attention paid to legal and Intellectual Property Rights issues
  • The inability of the founders to seek early feedback on their ideas from experts and mentors


  1. A founding team is created and supported to develop the venture
  2. Founding team members identify their interests and goals
  3. Founding team members share their interests and goals
  4. Founding team identifies and selects relevant decision-making methods
  5. Ideas for new, or improved products or services, are identified and analyzed
  6. Purpose and values for the new venture are defined
  7. Capabilities critical to the proposed venture are identified
  8. Founding members evaluate themselves on each capability as needed for the proposed venture
  9. The founding team identifies resources that are critical to the launch and growth of the venture
  10. Mentors or advisors needed for the venture are identified
  11. Gaps in the available resources are analyzed and addressed
  12. Founding team members establish roles and responsibilities among themselves
  13. Governance and regulatory requirements for the proposed venture are analyzed
  14. Key activities and milestones for the launch of the venture are identified

This is an extract from Ajay Batra's book -The Startup Launchbook (, published by Wiley