Increase your odds of success
Learn to be Strategic
Building and scaling a startup requires continuously thinking and re-thinking about strategy. Everything is dynamic around you, adapting quickly is key.
Being strategic is the single best way to de-risk decisions and to create organizational focus. It's elemental.
We help entrepreneurs think more clearly and discover better answers through their own reasoning - guided by our proprietary 34 Elements software. Our dashboard is like your own personal co-pilot, logically presenting and quantifying the 34 key success elements of a startup - allowing you to analyze and build your most sustainable strategy at an elemental level - combining education, startup interaction, and strategic thinking.
This is a new kind of collaborative learning that amplifies and delivers positive returns on your invested effort - NOT a tiring monologue-style lecture. Whether your goal is to raise money, reach your team's stretch objectives or just be a better leader - a sound strategy is the best way to get there.
Our 3 Pillars
Everything is connected
A startup by design is a perpetual work in progress, it is always broken somewhere and the charge of the founder is to know where to fix first. With time founders will improve their start-up but time is precious and it is not possible to fix everything at once - you need to know how and where to prioritize.
The solutions approach must be holistic since all elements are interconnected. Every challenge could have multiple causes so seeing the big picture is a requirement.
34 Elements is built on how successful startups operate in the real world and provides a holistic perspective to help founders consciously think in the right sequence.
Peer to peer learning & feedback
We cannot do it alone. We are building a community so that no one will ever be left isolated. It's essential to share doubts, good news, and struggles with well-minded entrepreneurs, during the academy, and after.
We limit acceptance up to 20 startups to attend a 7-week academy. Applicants are selected based on their level of organizational maturity and fit to the program. A willingness to invest energy in the program and an openness to change are critical selection attributes.
We take a low-volume, high-touch approach to maximize effectiveness and ensure value-add, tailored learning through peer-to-peer interaction and expert input.
Your personal co-pilot and dashboard
The structured sessions synchronize with 34 Elements, our custom software, developed specifically for the Academy.
We have codified the seven critical design building blocks into a diagnostic framework of 34 elements that guide a founding CEO and team day-to-day and long-term, providing a quantifiable, real-time assessment of the single most critical metric - ‘What is our startup's level of strategic fitness?
34 Elements provides startup's an individualized dashboard to help focus effort on prioritized objectives.
Who should consider it?
Entrepreneurs who are stuck, having trouble finding the right path forward or simply wanting to validate their strategy
The 7-week content applies to all domains, however by design it is most suited to technology startups.
Pre-seed / seed startups
To be effective the startup cannot be just an idea, it needs to have started so that we can address real things.
You have to have a team in place with at least a prototype.
Each week will cover two topics in separate 1h30 live virtual sessions with homework assignments.
Over the course of 7 weeks you will think strategically about your startup, in a structured way guided by software and be able to share your thoughts and doubts with fellow founders supplemented by expert coaching.
Breaking it down - 7 weeks, 14 live sessions, 3h/week,
21 hours total.
Introduction / Purpose
Positioning / Market
Product / Business Model
Traction / Scale
Team / Value Proposition
Timing / Go-to-Market
Analytics / Customer success
During the program
What you do
You role-play your homework in virtual breakout rooms with a limited number of startups (20 minutes)
You share your individualized findings to the cohort, and we collectively and objectively score your performance inside 34 Elements (45 minutes)
We introduce new elements to focus on via specific tasks, driven by our 34 Elements software (20 minutes)
The mic is always on, ask anything anytime
In between sessions, we have a Slack open to communicate
Each week you will have access to the 34 Elements CEO in a 15 minute one-to-one that is your opportunity to get specific expert perspective.
What you learn
Your startup's strengths, weaknesses and opportunities
3 things to improve right away
The key building blocks of successful startups and how they connect
Unbiased fellow entrepreneurs' feedback - including understanding the delta between how you and other founders perceive your startup
Your founding team's alignment strength
Stronger conviction in decision making
More confidence to face your doubts
Strategic solutions to apply to your startup
Your strategic fitness level and preparedness for financing
Discover our 34 Elements
Why Strategy Matters
Most entrepreneurs are product-driven and spend 90% of their time working on the product.
We believe that a good product is simply the consequence of the right strategy. You can always build a product with money but money does not buy the right strategy.
So if you have an A+ team executing a bad strategy you cannot win. Doing the wrong things better just helps you die faster!
Facts & Figures
of startups die because they built a product no-one cares about!
of organizations spend just one day a month reviewing their strategic implementation.
Early Birds Offer
8-week academy &
access to 34 Elements software for one year (updated often with latest best practice) Become part of the 34 Elements community forever (access to Slack conversations, and more coming)
Next Cohorts Agenda:
April 27 - June 11
May 25 - July 9
September 6 - October 29
October 4 - November 26
Sessions take place on Tuesdays and Fridays, or Mondays and Thursdays,
1h30 per session.
Why should I trust you?
We live in a world where entrepreneurs start to be confused by so-called mentors and coaches' profusion. There are no 'mentor' rules of engagement or code of conduct. Anyone can self-label and become a mentor, and there is no litmus test or 'Start-up' Angel network to ensure how legitimate a mentor is. Even more troubling, for a lousy mentor, there are no consequences — despite leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The reality is that many mentors are charlatans, in it for themselves, and operating a fraud.
I give my detailed opinion on this in the following article: https://medium.datadriveninvestor.com/mentoring-sucks-be6e7a3110af
In this context, it isn't easy to nurture a reputation and stand out.
34 Elements is my lifetime project; I have condensed everything I know into 34 elements. I won't betray entrepreneurs with non-sense. All I want is to help you think so you can find your own answers.
What am I committing to?
3 hours a week over two 1h30 virtual live sessions. 15 minutes one to one each week with our CEO. Assignments to prepare for the next session. We do not do the work for you, we help you think and if you want to leverage the content as much as possible we recommend putting 4 to 6 hours to prepare every week
What is the selection process?
Once you have applied we will review your application. You will then receive a confirmation, or if need be, we will set-up a quick phone call to clarify certain points. Once accepted we will provide every useful information to prepare you for an intense 7-week program!
How do you manage time zones?
We offer workable hours for everyone. We have different scheduling to accommodate worldwide zones. We also offer the sessions in English and French, you pick your preference.
Who should not apply?
Entrepreneurs that lack an open mind and are willing to self-evaluate and listen objectively. This course will make you think and probably will make you change how you view your startup.
Entrepreneurs that lack a good dose of humility. It's not an ego contest, it's a deep dive into reality and it often hurts.
Entrepreneurs that already have a winning strategy.
Is the price per startup or individual?
The price is per startup, so a team of founders can join the academy. However 34 elements will be used by one person, typically the CEO, but everything we do is teamwork.
Pierre Gaubil, CEO
I am the co-founder and CEO of 34 Elements.
I am European with a fine-tuned Silicon Valley mindset - having lived and thrived in San Francisco for 17 years - that enables me to bring a perspective that I rarely see in the so-called 'mentoring' communities.
I have built and successfully exited 3 startups (1 IPO and 2 M&As). As General Manager of Asmodee I scaled it from $25M to $125M in just 3 years.
I am currently General Manager of a US pre-seed fund called The Refiners that has invested in 54 startups.
I am a contributor to Start It Up and Data Driven Investor technology publications in Silicon Valley and Silicon Carne, a podcast about tech.
I have coached hundreds of startups and I find it deeply rewarding to see startups improve. You should know that I am direct, to the point, but I have a deep respect for entrepreneurs and try to stay positive and constructive.
I play drums.
My Substack: https://pierregaubil.substack.com/
Pashû Christensen, CMO
I am the co-founder and CMO of 34 elements.
I am a connector. I enable knowledge to flow from one person to another and build bridges between people.
In San Francisco where I lived for 10 years, I managed The Hive Think Tank, directed PARISOMA and supported EIT Digital and their community of European startups. I supported founders in executing their strategy and built the right communities around them.
In France, at thecamp I launched an international acceleration program sourcing and bringing back startups from different parts of the world, ensuring the possibility for them, to connect with qualified instructors, mentors, potential partners, clients and investors and access a tailored program.
I started my career in international development working for Doctors without borders, building health educational programs in Indonesia and for the French embassy Trade office in Equator.