Conventional wisdom says that investors believe that the quality of the startup team is essential for success. If you doubt that, take a minute and Google “importance of startup team.” I see 4,530,000 hits, including from,, and – all of which make great points. These articles are filled with a mix of stories about startup grit, commentary on founders’ education, and various testimonials.

One article that does an excellent job of analyzing startups is First Round Capital’s 10 Year Project. It looks back at the firm’s 10 years of data and offers some great insights into their own investments. Among their findings:

  • Female founders outperform their male peers
  • Startup fortune favors the young
  • Where you went to school matters
  • Solo founders do much worse than teams

These are interesting points, but does this mean that if you are not a young female from a top school you shouldn’t do a startup or you shouldn’t get funding? Well, not everyone is First Round Capital – or one of their companies. And there’s that pesky team thing popping up again. So how do you know about the team?

The Power of Team, the Value of Analyzing the Team

I believe in the power of the team, and I’ve seen investors act on their confidence in the startup team – or lack thereof – when it comes on betting their money or not. And yet I wonder how often investors go with their guts versus gathering real data and conducting meaningful analyses before investing. I suspect most rely on their gut, even though good analytic tools exist to help investors assess the startup team.

Through my many years of business experience, I have experienced numerous exercises and instruments to look at both individual performance and team dynamics. For the most part, I have enjoyed seeing the output and learning more about myself and my teams’ qualities, particularly related to performance. About five years ago, I started working with Teamability, an innovative approach to understanding and analyzing team dynamics. All of the tools out there illuminate different things, but from my perspective nothing captures team dynamics the way Teamability does.

Investors and the leaders of startups themselves can take a close look at their teams through an analytic tool that things like team chemistry, teaming characteristics and role fit of the people working together in startups. It’s called Teamability, and it’s awesome!

Understanding Teamability

Teamability was created by The Gabriel Institute, itself a Philadelphia-based startup, with the goal to provide accurate and statistically valid data and analysis of the roles, teaming characteristics, team coherence and chemistry of teams. I have personally discussed Teamability reports with hundreds of individuals and their teams, and strangely I get the same comment over and over: “This is freakishly accurate.”

Teamability helps participants identify which of the 10 roles they may naturally gravitate toward on a team:

  • Founder
  • Vision Mover
  • Vision Former
  • Explorer
  • Action Mover
  • Action Former
  • Communicator
  • Conductor
  • Curator
  • Watchdog

Teamability also indicates Team Coherence – essentially a measure of how likely someone is to remain aligned with team goals. It also identifies teaming characteristics and helps team members understand how to show proper respect and value for other members of the team.

If you would like to discuss Teamability with me personally, I will be happy to talk to you – probably as long as you are willing to listen.

Here are my offer for startup leaders and my offer for investors.

Opportunity for Startup Leaders

Several years ago, the good people at the Gabriel Institute who created Teamability, did a crowdfunding campaign to enable free Teamability reports for startups. Yes, startups can get the Teamability experience free – F-R-E-E for their team. I normally charge $350 per person, which includes the Teamability Experience for each person, a Teamability review with each individual, and a team overview with the leadership team.

If you contact me and ask me to set your team up for this service, I will do so at no charge and can also provide you with some guidance and support for your team at no charge. Note – I will handle requests in the order they are received and will not be able to offer free support indefinitely.

Opportunity for Investors

If you’re looking to invest in a startup, wouldn’t you like a thorough analysis of the team? You can receive a highly accurate analysis completed by The Gabriel Institute along with Teamability Coach.
With the startup team’s consent and participation, we will complete individual Teamability reports for each person, a team analysis, and a Teamability Playbook for the startup team and then share this with you. The cost is $4,500 for up to 10 people, and $9,500 for up to 35 people. It can be completed in three weeks. If you’d like more information, we’re happy to talk with you.

You can contact me here.