While successful startup founders may have different backgrounds, experiences, ideas and insights, they share a common desire to make an impact and drive change. Startup founders are fighters, creative spirits and independent thinkers. They’re visionaries who believe their ideas can disrupt industries, create new categories and change the world.

A founder’s journey is extremely exhilarating and incredibly challenging – particularly at the very early stage. This is a time when most founders have little proof of concept and few resources. A time when most founders are just starting to learn and grow as leaders, yet also the time when the most critical decisions have to be made. It’s those early design choices that can make or break a startup.

In 2019, Sequoia Capital India launched Surge, an early-stage company building program for startups in India and Southeast Asia, to help founders make the right design choices and to lay the foundations for enduring companies that will continue to make an impact for generations to come.

The curriculum, which spans a 16-week period, has a strong focus on the human aspect of the founder journey. We cover the psychology of entrepreneurship and spend time on personal leadership and effectiveness, in addition to sessions on defining culture and creating world-class teams. We also address core topics like customer acquisition, business models and moats, pricing and monetisation, and more. 

To help aspiring founders across the region who are just starting out, or who are thinking of starting up, we have distilled some of the key learnings from Surge in this Founder Starter Pack. We believe that making thoughtful design choices at the very beginning of a startup’s journey is just as important as the quality and speed of execution. This pack gives an overview of some of the key fundamentals founders should think about, even before day one, including your vision, business model, product and performance, as well as your pitch. We will add more topics to this pack in the months to come.

Meanwhile, we hope this first edition helps guide you through some of the early steps in the company building process.

To access the Surge Founder Starter Pack, click here. We’re also running a webinar series on these topics. To sign up for these webinars, watch out for announcements on our social media pages.