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Futureworks Incubator
October 31, 2017

Video Recap & 6 Essential Lessons from the Futureworks Finance & Operations Workshop at BF+DA

Futureworks Incubator’s Finance & Operations Workshop at Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator from SecondMuse on Vimeo.

Elli Papadopoulos from Skopos Collective, Alek Marfisi from Upwind Strategies and Ulas Neftsi from Baruch led a recent workshop on finance and operations for startups. Incubator company and Urban-X grad WearWorks was the featured guest, and founder Keith Kirkland shared valuable insight into the everyday financial life of a startup. Above is a video of the workshop; below are lessons and pictures. Also, check out the workshop presentation and a very useful financial budgeting spreadsheet (page 51) here.

6 Essential Finance and Operations Lessons

  1. Finance projections aren’t just about money. They’re tools for investors and for your company to inform decision-making across the board. How do you distribute a product, build a Website, create partnerships?
  2. Make sure you are modeling out your customer acquisition costs. A $3,000 sale is great, but not so much if it cost $5,000 to catch that sale.
  3. Some important acronyms:
    • EBITDA = Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
    • COGS = Costs of goods sold
    • Mezzanine Debt = A convertible note that converts to equity once milestones are met
  1. Questions to ask yourself:
    • Do I have money for tomorrow, for next week, for next month, for next year?
    • Do I accurately know my burn rate?
  1. Five important financial categories you should be tracking:
    • 1. Revenues
    • 2. Expenses
    • 3. Assets
    • 4. Liabilities
    • 5. Equity
    • Revenues + Expenses = Income Statement
    • Assets + Liabilities + Equity = Balance Sheet
    • Revenues + Expenses + Assets + Liabilities + Equity = Cash Flow Budget
  1. Be comprehensive in addressing your expenses. For example, WearWorks’ Expenses include:
    • COGS of inventory, packaging, fulfillment & distribution, freight & customs & duties
    • Executive compensation
    • Salaries and payroll taxes
    • Rent
    • Product development/R&D
    • Marketing, advertising, promotions
    • IT & cloud services
    • Credit card commission fees
    • Insurance and professional fees (legal, accounting etc)
    • Office supplies
    • Telephone, cable, WiFi internet
    • Travel





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