Angel investing · Evaluation

How often are you founders / angels doing internal due diligence / risk management evals??

AK Managing Director @ Frontline Strategy

January 24th, 2020

We as an angel group are thinking about joining in on the bandwagon and making our founders take the TABS Score assessment regularly. What is the frequency that you are doing the same? Or as a company are taking an internal risk assessment?

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

January 26th, 2020

The manner you framed your question revealed the disingenuous nature of your argument. I agree with Andy this is baiting the community - "... joining in on the bandwagon" implies there is a bandwagon and that you are not the creator, operator, and beneficiary of the bandwagon.

Jesse Tayler App Store Inventor, Startup Entrepreneur

January 27th, 2020

I think your Angel group is lacking in input from your entrepreneur community.


I think if you float this idea among most any group of actively working founders, you'll be met with a great deal of pushback and equal amounts of skepticism.


I'm presuming they are not already doing this sort of thing.


I certainly don't.


I not even aware of others benefitting from any score or test as such, and I am not aware of any bandwagon regrading TAB scores or related subjects.


I think you need to sit down more regularly with founders and see how they view your role as most beneficial to your shared success together, and work up from there.

Andy Dent Founder & CEO Touchgram, multi-platform developer 30+ years, 90's C++ dev tools publisher

January 24th, 2020

What do you mean by "TABS Score assessment"?


"Temperament and Atypical Behavior Scale (TABS) is a norm-referenced assessment of developmentally dysfunctional behavior or behavior problems for infants and children aged 11–71 months" sounds vaguely applicable to startup founders because we're all optimistic kids at heart but suspect that's not the one you mean.


Is it "Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale - Assesses long-term impact of trauma, helping clinicians design effective individualised treatment plans"?

AK Managing Director @ Frontline Strategy

January 25th, 2020

Andy - no, I meant www.tabsscore.com not those personality assessments. Although those would be good to know.....


But we've made the TABS Due Diligence a requirement. I was just asking y'all's opinion.

Andy Dent Founder & CEO Touchgram, multi-platform developer 30+ years, 90's C++ dev tools publisher

January 25th, 2020

So is this basically a bait question to get us to pay for your test?


The site doesn't have a demo of what a report looks like and it is $350 minimum to take the test. But it is clearly "A Frontline Strategy Product".

Andy Dent Founder & CEO Touchgram, multi-platform developer 30+ years, 90's C++ dev tools publisher

January 25th, 2020

AK, please be aware my scepticism comes from a position of caution - there are a lot of predators out there in the startup ecosystem. I've seen friends burned.


One of the marketing problems for any service is trying to avoid looking like the scammers


In terms of evaluation and startup scoring, Social Capital started their Magic 8 Ball which has since evolved through Capital as a Service into Tribe Capital's approach as written about in TechCrunch. More info in the interview between Alex Danco and Jonathon Hsu from Tribe Capital but haven't seen what the actual data collection form looks like.

AK Managing Director @ Frontline Strategy

January 25th, 2020

Andy - we as an ”angel group” are thinking about making TABS mandatory. Despite it being a related entity / product.


Not a bait. genuine question asking what’s out there / what others are doing. Also not pressuring anyone to take the test. There’s no public demo because each assessment contains extremely private due diligence information - I’m sure you wouldn’t want your Information public As a demo. if you have more questions happy to answer - send me a dm. Thanks

AK Managing Director @ Frontline Strategy

January 26th, 2020

Well its unfortunate you feel that way - I could have posted the question anonymously had I been trying to bait anyone.


Andy - thanks for that. I’ll check it out!

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

January 29th, 2020

I think it matters what you consider adequate diligence and what your response is to which types of risk. Different types of businesses have different ways in which they are likely to be risky. And yes, there are plenty of VCs and even M&A departments that have auditors (sometimes external, sometimes internal) who complete diligence reports, whether that is a question set that is internally developed or one that an agency has developed to address a specific type of risk.


Dealing with risk assessments is what the company I work for now does, although it has nothing to do with investor risk. Still, some principles apply. When assessing risk, who is ultimately liable for the information gathered? How is the information validated? What happens if the information is wrong and no one detects it, even with validation steps? Relying on a score may not be all you should do.


There are four ways of dealing with risk. 1) accept it, 2) avoid it, 3) reduce it, or 4) transfer it. Ignoring it isn't really dealing with it. Even if you find risk, you may make decisions to continue moving forward with investment. You might set some remediation steps as a requirement. You might do nothing. You might alter some procedures so the risk is less exposed. You might make it someone else's problem.


In my experience, investors all do some kind of diligence. The quality may vary greatly, as may the attitudes towards specific risk categories.


What doesn't exist right now is a standard. The question set that TABS uses isn't a standard. It's their own proprietary system. Maybe it's good for you, maybe it's not. Ultimately you have to decide what risks you need to become aware of, and how you want to react to findings of risk, for your business. Use your own question set or someone else's, but it has to address the areas that are important to you.