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Org Chart Template for a Series A Startup
As your startup grows, maintaining sound organizational design becomes more important. Learn how to scale for success.
Credit: Westend61 for Getty Images.
By Clayton Spangle
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7 minute read

One of the most important aspects of building a startup is organizational design. This includes:

  • Who you hire
  • When you hire them
  • How you structure your team

If you aren’t prioritizing the structure of your company, you shouldn’t expect to ever reach your full potential.

And as your startup evolves and grows, maintaining sound organizational design only becomes more important. Keeping your team too small for too long can spell disaster for any company. Scaling up too fast can be just as dangerous.

So what should the org chart for a startup look like during the series A round? What positions should you add, and what does each job title entail?

Let’s take a look at an org chart template for a series A round startup.

What Is a “Series A Round” Startup?

First things first, what exactly is a series A round startup?

The series A round is the first major round of venture capital financing. It follows the seed stage, when most startups don’t have a product yet—just an idea. By the series A round, a startup should have a minimal viable product they can use to prove their potential. The next step is gathering the capital needed to develop the product and scale the business further.

At this stage, roles within the organization should start to become more clearly defined. One-person “departments” should grow into fully-fledged teams, with department heads empowered to recruit and onboard new staff.

Here are the department heads your series A startup org chart should have. What Positions Should Appear on a Series A Round Startup Org Chart?

Founder

“Founder” or “co-founder” is always the first member on any startup’s org chart. Of course, this only refers to their role in founding the company, not their actual responsibilities. That will be covered by an additional title. Typically, the CEO of the company will be a founder. If there are two co-founders, the second will often fill the role of CTO or VP of Operations.

(Note: having multiple founders is almost always better than having only one.)

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

At the top of virtually any startup reporting structure, you’ll find the CEO. The CEO guides the overall direction of the company and takes responsibility for its ultimate success or failure.

The CEO’s responsibilities include:

  • Establishing a vision for the company
  • Setting long-term goals
  • Developing big-picture business strategies
  • Managing the company’s finances
  • Creating policies for employee conduct
  • Representing the company to the world (the CEO is usually the “face” of the startup)
  • Avoiding potential risks
  • Overseeing the company’s social responsibility
  • Communicating with potential investors and securing capital for the company
  • Leading by example

The CEO will probably also handle most administrative duties. Fortunately, those duties are generally limited at this stage.

VP of Operations

The VP of Operations manages the company’s operational tasks. This role is effectively the second-in-command under the CEO.

In theory, the CEO establishes the long-term strategy for the company, and the VP of Operations is responsible for executing it. However, during the early stages of a startup, those roles will be less defined, and they will collaborate and share responsibilities more than they would later on.

The VP of Operations may also be known as:

Regardless, their responsibilities include:

  • Working with the CEO to design long-term strategies for the company
  • Implementing the day-to-day operations needed to reach the company’s goals
  • Overseeing operations and getting involved when necessary
  • Managing other department heads
  • Establishing policies to promote a healthy company culture
  • Ensuring that the company functions as efficiently as possible
  • Evaluating employee performance
  • Creating reports on the status of the company for the CEO

Head of Product

The Head of Product plans and oversees the company’s product strategy. They “own” the product, and just as the CEO is ultimately responsible for the success of the company, the Head of Product is responsible for the success of the product itself.

There are a number of alternative titles for this role, such as:

  • Chief Product Officer (CPO)
  • Product Manager
  • VP of Product
  • Product Owner
  • Director of Product Management

The Head of Product’s responsibilities include:

  • Researching the startup’s customer base
  • Analyzing any data gathered through research
  • Developing a product strategy to answer customers’ needs and preferences
  • Communicating that product strategy to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  • Assisting the CTO in improving the product through future iterations

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

The CTO manages the startup’s technical needs—from top to bottom. That involves working on the product itself as well as helping with any IT issues the company runs into. In short, they’re the go-to tech guru for your startup.

When working on the product, the CTO takes the Head of Product’s theoretical design and makes it a reality. However, as with the CEO and COO, the CTO and Head of Product will likely share more responsibilities during the series A round.

CTOs almost always have the same title, though some organizations use Chief Technologist instead.

The CTO’s responsibilities include:

  • Helping the Head of Product design the product
  • Using the Head of Product’s design to develop the product itself
  • Iterating and improving the product as necessary
  • Fixing any technical issues within the product
  • Providing IT support and cybersecurity for the company as a whole
  • Recommending technical upgrades and solutions for the company

Head of Design

The Head of Design guides the artistic design for the product and company. This affects the startup’s branding, making it essential when attracting customers and courting investors. Often, image matters just as much as function.

This role can have several titles, such as:

  • Chief Creative Officer (CCO)
  • VP of Design
  • Design Director
  • Lead Designer
  • Head of Creative
  • Design Manager
  • Executive Creative Director

The Head of Design’s responsibilities include:

  • Developing the company’s creative and artistic vision
  • Collaborating with other department heads, such as the CTO, to implement that vision
  • Pitching ideas to the CEO and other business leaders
  • Ensuring that their creative direction is aligned with the CEO’s goals
  • Creating variations of designs to target different customer segments if necessary
  • Managing other designers and reviewing their ideas as needed

VP of Growth

During the series A round, rapid growth is more important than ever. For many startups, this is a make-or-break stage. If they don’t grow fast enough, they may fade away.

If you’re hoping to make it to IPO, one of your main priorities should be building a reliable growth team—right from the start. That means hiring a VP of Growth you can trust.

The VP of Growth may also be known as:

  • Head of Growth
  • Growth Manager
  • Director of Growth
  • Chief Growth Officer (CGO)

Responsibilities for the VP of Growth include:

  • Developing strategies to help the company grow as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • Building a strong brand
  • Brainstorming and implementing marketing and sales campaigns
  • Maintaining consistent messaging across all public-facing channels
  • Working with other department heads to fuel growth
  • Securing partnerships
  • Setting milestones for growth, and ensuring that the company reaches those milestones according to plan
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