Ceo · Cofounder

What are the main responsibilities of a startup CEO?

Olga Dybenko QA tester

January 27th, 2017

I am currently in the process of setting up a business with a few other cofounders. In the process of doing so we are trying to figure out what are our skills and weaknesses in order to see where each one of us falls within the project that we are creating.

With that been said, we also want to know who will be the most qualified out of all of us to lead the project and to be the startup CEO. Based on your experience, what are the main responsibilities of a startup CEO and what are the common patterns on those that typically succeed?

Thanks so much :)

Don Hawley President at DLH Consulting

January 27th, 2017

I have been a start up CEO a number of times in a number of businesses. The most impactful part of the early stage responsibilities is driving the strategic business plan, driving the financial plan, preparing a comprehensive business plan. Preparing to communicate the plan to others that are needed to make you successful. The ability to be perceived as the one with vision, passion and confidence in the plan and the ability to communicate all elements with those same character qualities is of paramount importance. Credibility with others is important so previous experience is a help. Virtually every start up needs capital so the ability to raise the initial capital is typically the most important and time consuming function of the start up CEO. I hope this helps.

Alejandro Cremades Author of The Art of Startup Fundraising & Serial Entrepreneur

January 27th, 2017

It really depends on the stage in which the company is at. However, at an early stage (Seed, Series A, and Series B) the startup CEO's main responsibilities should be to lead the following fronts:

  • Fundraising
  • Sales
  • Recruiting
  • Vision
  • Execution

Anne Marie Gibel A creative artist with two decades of art shows

February 6th, 2017

I am also in the process of setting up a business.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

January 27th, 2017

In addition to the others, this person has to be the "face" of the business, able to articulate the vision, mission, and ambition, and to represent the company as it tells its story to the public and investors alike. Both must think this person is clearly smart and experienced.