April Ifs

If interviewing VCs

Make them squirm for a change. Serial entrepreneur and investor T.A. McCann offers insider gold with the five questions you should ask at the beginning and end of your VC meetings. 

Hold their gaze and demand an answer to this question:

Based on what we discussed today, on a scale of 1-10—with 10 being that you’re going to give me a term sheet with no questions on valuation—how would you score this opportunity?


If considering a female-forward accelerator 

The WIC: Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program (WIC:MCAP) opened applications this week. This six-month accelerator propels cloud and AI innovations to the forefront with co-market and co-sell readiness. A.k.a. thick, juicy enterprise CONNECTIONS. 

A number of Underwire readers participated in the first WIC:MCAP cohort, covered here. Applications close on on May 15, 2019. The accelerator kicks off on June 3, 2019.


If in need of a headshot

Get thee to a Tara Gimmer Photography studio. Tara regularly offers quick, professional headshots for $129 in her Seattle and Madison studios. As of this writing Tara had slots available on May 6, but she frequently sells out. Sign up for her emails to be notified of upcoming dates.

If SEO is low on the to-do list

Here’s a practical overview of five SEO mistakes many startups make. Number one, get off Medium. The other recos are things you can do yourself to establish good SEO practices until you can hire a pro.


If seeking diverse stock photos 

Two options to get accurate representation into your marketing imagery—Tonl and Broadly.

Seattle-based Tonl was co-founded by Karen Okonkwo, who recently won the peer-award at the Female Founders Alliance Champion Awards.


For trans and non-binary imagery, there's The Gender Spectrum Collection from Broadly (owned by Vice Media). The collection represents members of these communities in careers, relationships and home lives.

Props to  The Bent's Insta feed  for the clever use of illustration for daily affirmations and storytelling.

Props to The Bent's Insta feed for the clever use of illustration for daily affirmations and storytelling.

If barely managing the management of people  

Since managing is such an important part of building a startup, check out The Bent, a weekly newsletter that will make you a better boss. It’s produced by Andy Anderegg and Emma Thesenvitz, who've managed and built teams into the hundreds at Groupon, zulily, Julep, Reviews.com, and more. This newsletter is funny, conversational and useful for leading teams with empathy and authority.

Illustration by Cari Vander Yacht

Illustration by Cari Vander Yacht

If cheap, culty food sparks joy     

Get on the waitlist for the Rancho Gordo Bean Club. Once you're in, you get four shipments throughout the year with six bags of heirloom beans. Cook up a pot of beans every Sunday to fuel your lunches throughout the week. Here's The New Yorker's article (and audio version) about Rancho Gordo, which doubles as a case study in using scarcity to create brand loyalty.