The Philosophy of the Fluency Score

Fluency Score data is revolutionizing the startup support and investment industry with data-driven decision making, much like what Moneyball data analysis did for baseball.

Pattern-matching (what you look like) and social capital (who you know) are the current drivers for decisions on which companies will access capital and resources for their business. In a massive jump ahead in technology, the Fluency Score provides an objective, standardized metric that can be used industry-wide to remove bias and level the playing field for the very best, most promising companies to emerge, based on proven metrics.

The Fluency Score brings true equity to the table, in addition to the value it brings to our customers both at the company level and at the dataset level.

Equity research findings: How can we level the playing field for startup capital access? 

The “how” of de-biasing the startup selection process with Fluent, the FICO score for startups. This article offers research findings as an immediate call to action that can affect real change, revealing how adding the Fluency Score to selection processes increases diversity and inclusion outcomes.

Article

June 2021

VANE Angel Network Conference

Fluent CEO Beth McKeon will be presenting on both, “The Risk and Reward of Investing in Startups,” and, “Building Your Investment Thesis and Using Data to Get Better Over Time.”

Conference

November 12-14 2021

Startup Champions Network Fall Summit presented by the Kauffman Foundation

Twice annually, Startup Champion Network members meet to connect, learn, and share experiences that fellow entrepreneurship ecosystem builders truly understand.

Conference

October 12-14 2021

Fluent Partners with the Center for Innovative Technology for Virginia-wide Network of Fluency Score Data 

Virginia, through CIT’s vision and leadership, is paving the way for a future of networked and sophisticated data that helps more startups succeed and more entrepreneurial support organizations achieve their mission.

Press Release

June 2021

Portfolio Diversification Done Right: Risk, Reward & Social Impact by Beth McKeon

Fluent’s founder Beth McKeon presenting on a panel hosted in Houston by baMa, the business angel Minority association, as part of the event “Changing the Colors of Investment.” The esteemed panel will discuss how to diversify your portfolio, reduce risk, and at the same time, make a social impact when choosing your investments.

Panel Presentation

June 16, 2021

Sand Hill Angels Seminar Series: Scoring Angel Deals with Beth McKeon

Optimizing for product-market fit in investment decisions is the number one way to de-risk early-stage startup investing. Fluent CEO Beth McKeon will be sharing how her company’s flagship product, the Fluency Score, which works like a FICO Score for startups, is being leveraged by investors and accelerators to select and track companies. 

Presentation

May 2021

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Truth Behind Starting Up Your First Business

Colorado’s top Female Founders, including Fluent’s founder Beth McKeon, share the truth hidden behind all the lies, damn lies, and statistics of building your dream company.

Together, we will determine what the real hurdles are, what the real benefits are, and what next steps you can take to optimize for the outcome you want. 

Presentation

April 2021

Accelerators: The Good, The Bad, & the Future

In this episode of The Keystone podcast, Beth shares what she has learned from running 18 accelerator cohorts in five states: what works, what’s changing, where the future may take us, and how we can redesign the experience to make it as impactful as possible for entrepreneurs.

Podcast Interview

Dismantling Systemic Bias against Black Founders: Replacing Social Capital and Pitch Culture with Data by Beth McKeon

Black Lives Matter. What is the startup industry going to DO in response to this call to action?

The startup support and investment community cannot continue to iterate on the current social, financial, and cultural practices rooted in bias that have systematically left Black founders behind. The solution and the path forward for our industry requires a completely new decision-making framework, not based on who you know or how you present yourself, but on standardized, objective data.

Blog Post

June 2020

Testing Business Ideas: Columbia Venture Community Webinar Special Event with David Bland and Beth McKeon

Measuring entrepreneurial risk and the value of experimentation in a post-coronavirus world.
 
Innovation thought leader and startup advisor David Bland, co-author of the best-selling new book Testing Business Ideas joins Beth McKeon, Founder & CEO of Fluent, an expert on startup risk assessment and virtual accelerator management.

Webinar Recording

Your Startups (Probably) Don’t Need Capital by Beth McKeon

Entrepreneurial support organizations that use the Fluency Score have a sophisticated, fine-tuned tool to understand the current status of the startups in their network, to diagnose what they need to close the gaps in their scores, and to help their founders better articulate their progress.

Blog Post

December 2020

AEO (Association for Enterprise Opportunity) National Conference Panel Discussion

Featuring CEO Beth McKeon, speaking about The Fluency Score as a tool for de-risking loans in the microfinance space.  

Far too many capital providers consider microbusinesses and growth businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color as too risky. Join this incredibly robust session, Underwriting Loans in a COVID-19 infused Recession, as experts explore how community lenders are de-risking loans. If we are to change the way capital flows to underserved entrepreneurs, we must address the infrastructure for lending.

Virtual Conference

What Does Success Look Like Before We Can Measure Jobs Created or Funding Raised? by Beth McKeon

As an industry we need a way to assess and diagnose the health of our startup ecosystems. And we need a more fine-tuned metric of startup progress, one that is a leading indicator of success rather than a lagging indicator.

These are two of the most powerful use cases for the Fluency Score for entrepreneurial support organizations and local economic development organizations.

Blog Post

October 2020

Fluent and Other Denver-Based Companies Win DoD SBIR Innovation Contracts

Four Denver-based companies won a total of a quarter of a million dollars in non-dilutive funding in a recent round of tech innovation funding conducted by the US Air Force. The Fluency Score will leverage a “Phase I” SBIR contract to unlock continued opportunities to bring private sector innovation to the DoD.

Award Announcement

Spring 2020

InBIA Partners with Fluent and SourceLink for $375,000 Rollout of The Fluency Score 

Fluency Score evaluations will be conducted among startup accelerator applicants as well as program graduates in over 20 startup accelerator cohorts across the United States. This strategic initiative will explore the potential for The Fluency Score’s data to help entrepreneurial support programs with their selection processes.

Grant Announcement 

2020-2021

The Fluency Score: A Qualitative Data Tool for Evaluating Commercial Viability of Companies Pursuing DoD Investment in Innovation

The Spark Collider is a two-day event that brings newly awarded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I companies together with relevant Department of Defense and venture capital stakeholders.

AFWERX @ Captial Factory

March 10-11, 2020

National Entrepreneurship Week

One of the hottest – and most urgent – topics for ESOs is sustainability. How do we ensure our programs continue to demonstrate value and impact? How do we keep key funders and stakeholders engaged in this work over the long term? 

We’re excited to share how The Fluency Score can help entrepreneurial support organizations demonstrate the ROI of their work during this National Eship Week presentation! 

Webinar Recording

February 18, 2020

The Flash Bang Dazzle of the Pitch by Beth McKeon

A Fluency Score measures a business model’s risk, not the flash bang dazzle of a pitch (or a founder’s ability to pitch). It’s the fastest way to check in on what has been sufficiently de-risked in the market with customers and where a team need to focus business model development efforts.

Blog Post

December 2020

Learn How Your Accelerator Can Access The Fluency Score for Free via the InBIA-Funded Pilot

Want to learn more about how your accelerator program can access The Fluency Score for free this year? Watch our short demo of the product and a great Q&A in this live video chat/info session!

Webinar Recording

About Fluent

Denver-based data technology company Fluent’s flagship product is the Fluency Score, which works like a FICO Score for startups.

Used by investors, accelerators, foundations, and the Department of Defense, the Fluency Score measures business model risk in early-stage ventures to produce a standardized score and visualization of product-market fit. Fluent is defining a new category of sophisticated data-driven decision making, leading the way in professionalizing this risky asset class and unlocking an equitable framework for access to capital and resources across the industry.