Yes, financial models are always wrong. But it's important to create one anyway. Creating a financial model is less about being right or wrong, and more about going through the process of detailing how a business “works.” The result - a set of financial statements, key operational metrics, and a set of key drivers and assumptions - creates a map for you to explore how tactical product, marketing, organizational, and strategic decisions impact a company’s profitability. Such a model will help determine key milestones, capital needs, and types of potential investors.
We'll focus on building financial models in Excel. Students will learn how to turn the business model from a mental to a financial model by going through a sample company and building out assumptions, costs, revenues and user projections for the business. While we will talk about how to complete the model into full financial statements, the focus of the class are on costs, revenue, and user projections.
This class is great for Founders and anyone thinking about starting a business, as it's aimed to help entrepreneurs build a financial model to understand their own business and pitch investors. The goal is for you to leave with a set of tools and tactical knowledge for you to be able to build and communicate the financial model underlining your busines to yourself, employees, customers, and investors.
You will receive the Starter template financial model to use in class and beyond. You are not required to bring a laptop, but having a laptop to use in-class will maximize the value of the class.
Build a financial model. Raise investment capital. Profit.
(more or less)
Students are expected to have a familiarity with basic finance and a passing familiarity with Excel. if you are looking to learn Excel, take Shir Aviv's intro Class Behind The Curtain: Microsoft Excel Secrets Revealed! to learn all the Excel tips and tricks you will need for financial modeling and beyond (use the code TAYLOR10 for $10 off).
Taylor Davidson (@tdavidson) is the Director of kbs+ Ventures, the early-stage investment arm of the advertising agency kbs+. He is an advisor and mentor to a range of early-stage ventures, and over 10,000 entrepreneurs have downloaded one of his Excel template financial models for startups available at Foresight.
He loves creating things, traveling, baseball statistics, and whisky. The two most popular things he has ever written on the web are about how to fail in business and how to pack for a nomadic life, two things he would rather not be known for.
Taylor was born in Virginia, lived in the Bahamas and England when he was young, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Economics and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University with an MBA in Finance. New Orleans, LA owns a part of his soul, but he currently lives in New York, NY.