Hello.

We are David Butler, Marius Swart and Ross Kimbel. We lead a pre-seed, co-creation platform for Coca-Cola called, Coca-Cola Founders. We open up some of Coke’s biggest challenges to repeat founders and co-create new startups together. We post our "inside-out" learnings related to co-creation on this blog. Join thousands of others receiving these blog posts by email.

Strategic vs. Traditional Investors

You started with a great idea. Then you gathered the perfect team and even gained some early traction. Now all you need is some capital to fund and scale your idea. That means it’s probably time to start talking with investors in the venture capital industry. For the most part, there are two main components to the venture capital (“VC”) … Read more

Test Your Killer Assumptions Early And Often

The notion of “fail fast” is pretty cliché at this point, but it’s something we are always thinking through when working with pre-seed stage companies. Of course, much has been written about how long entrepreneurs should pursue an early stage idea. But what’s the right answer? A week? A month? A year? Base on our experiences, it depends on a … Read more

What’s the Problem?

One of the recurring questions we ask our portfolio companies is “What’s the problem you’re solving?” This is an easy way to focus the conversation but also keep the team focused on the one thing that really matters.   But what we’re really trying to do is help them focus on the pain the problem is creating for people. The … Read more

Why Monthly Investor Updates Pay Off

Many of the leading seed-stage VC’s are reluctant to invest in companies when they can’t drive to the start-up’s office. Since we have 12 portfolio companies in 10 cities around the world, this presents a bit of a challenge. However, in just over two years, we have been able to generate a 3X return on the investments in our portfolio … Read more

In 2016, Traction is Everything

There is a new normal many seed-stage startups face as they try to raise a Seed Round of funding. There are new expectations around growth that every founder/early stage employee should be aware of when thinking about raising capital in 2016. In this post, I’ll summarize the shift that’s happening and double-click on four ways seed-stage startups can get the … Read more

How We Provide Value

I was recently reading Reid Hoffman’s post on the four different ways he works with companies, as well as Mark Suster’s piece on whether VC platforms make sense, and it got me thinking about how the members of the Coca-Cola Founders team like me provide value to our portfolio companies.     Referring back to Hoffman’s definition, our team would … Read more

Another Way to Kill Your Startup

There’s plenty of talk across the startup ecosystem about a growing tech bubble and how access to capital is drying up. At the same time, the Coca-Cola Company stock is flirting with an all time high. Of course startups and 129-year-old multinationals are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Yet we fundamentally believe that startups and multinationals can add … Read more

Burn Baby Burn

My headline does not refer to the annual event held each year around the end of August in the Nevada Desert known as Burningman. Rather, this post is focused on how founders can reduce their burn rates – which has become a “hot topic” given the current fundraising environment.   A recent post by Tomasz Tumguz from Redpoint shows that … Read more

Growing Backwards

One thing that The Coca-Cola Company is known for is building iconic brands that have been able to remain relevant over time—over a century in the case of Coca-Cola. It’s tempting to think that someone who works for Coke couldn’t possibly learn about marketing and brand building from working with startups, right?   Wrong! As you’ll see below, we’ve learned … Read more

Your Beloved Startup Is, To Some, Just A Lemonade Stand

When you are building a startup, you see problems worth solving everywhere. You’ve designed a solution to a big problem, that has a huge market and now you’re ready to land a major commercial agreement with a big company or partner capable of really putting your growth on the fast track. Yet, you find the conversations you do have with … Read more