Gust - The startup portfolio

A walkthrough on how to use Gust to showcase your startup.

Gust is an amazing platform for startups. Basically Gust allows you to create a portfolio-page for your startup that contains a profile of your venture and an overview into your business model (or anything you are comfortable showing to investors). Today I want to do a walk-through on Gust, the features it offers and how to use Gust as an entrepreneur tutorial o make the best of this resource as a progress-tracker (even if you’re not looking for investments).

First thing to understand is that Gust like many other tools is not a cookie-cutter in that it will not tell you how to make your company. You have to do that yourself. Gust can be most effectively used as an organizer for you, your team, your resources and some key-questions to think about when you want to create a startup out of your idea. To get started, you first need to create an account. When you go to sign up for your account, you will come across the following page where I chose an individual entrepreneur:

Photo credit: Gust

After picking an individual entrepreneur, you will be taken to the signup page that asks for your name, and other relevant information. Completing the signup takes maybe 5 mins and after that you enter your portfolio area. You can start filling up the popup box with the elevator pitch and some basic information about your startup. Realize that all of this information can be and most likely will be changed as you learn more about your idea and receive more validation on it. This is how the portfolio page would look like in the beginning:

You can start by editing the Company Overview and Gust already tells you what should go in there, “Tell the world what makes your company special.” The idea with the Overview is that the customer pain that you are trying to solve should be fairly obvious to you and this part should be the easiest to fill up. Writing is an exercise and while writing about your company overview, you will come to a more coherent understanding of the problem you are trying to solve and the story behind why this company needs to exist. Filling up the profile, you can also scroll down to add any previous investors or more importantly advisers as you gather some around you. When people are not given proper direction to work in, they often get confused and when they get confused they look at their business card1 for direction. When you as a founder get stuck and need advice, your advisors are there for you and that’s the purpose behind putting them on Gust:

Recently, Gust added a new feature to upload a pitch deck. Using this, you can upload a pdf of your PowerPoint and if you get a chance to meet with investors, you can give them access to your Gust portfolio and they can see it in action:

So far, we saw the first parts of Gust: The profile page and the pitch deck. What comes next is by far one of the most powerful parts of using Gust to develop your ideas: The Executive Summary which lists parts from the business model2 in a question-answer format and asks more. These questions not only help you fill up the executive summary, but also the word limits force you to write in a clear, concise and coherent manner. The boxes underneath the question give some hints on what should be expected for each question:

The next section is financials, by far this is one of the most important sections as you start to get into your revenue plan and financial projections. Gust allows you to add previous investments or any other valuations that you might have incurred. The only thing to keep in mind is not to share more than you are comfortable with: Gust is not a platform to make your business on, but only to showcase it. That’s why Gust keeps financials to minimal to what was your revenue and what your strategy is to make more of it:

Lastly, Gust has a feature to add any additional documents that you need to. This can include your NDA if needed, or any legal terms that you have created in terms of sharing agreements, or sales. Keeping those in Gust gives easy access to anything if needed:

Overall, an amazing platform to create and collaborate on startups. Please let me know if this tutorial was useful and any improvements on it in the comments or tweet to me!

  1. Eric Reis mentioned this in one of his talks, I paraphrased the quote. 

  2. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder