How to Perfect Your Startup's Website

This post summarizes the journey of Lisa Mah, Senior Venture Manager at CDL, and her tips on how to perfect your startup's web presence.

This post summarizes the journey of Lisa Mah, Senior Venture Manager at CDL, and her tips on how to...

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During XdHacks’ 2021 “Consultants” event, held from March 20th-21st, Lisa Mah of Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) held an informative webinar on how integral your startup’s website is in communicating your purpose and intent, and how to perfect the process. 


Before Lisa became a Senior Venture Manager at CDL, she came to Canada alone at 16 years old and graduated from Sauder School of Business with a Finance degree. Her experience participating and organizing hackathons with BizHacks led her to platforming startups today mainly centered around artificial intelligence: machine learning. As a coordinator for the CDL Apprentice Program, she also helps empower young women in STEM. 


Lisa prefaces her discussion by encouraging the audience to interpret CDL’s own website: She asks you to think about some keywords for what you think CDL does, based on this landing page. 


She then goes on to point out a few main points: 

  1. CDL, as an early stage startup program for deep tech and science, shows this through menu items such as “Programs” or “Mentors”, with the “Apply” button bringing the idea together that CDL is a platform where people come together to do something impressive. The slogan in the middle of the page, “Build Something Massive”, corroborates this. 
  2. Next, the background highlights a prominent figure, Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space and also a past commander of the ISS. He is also a mentor at CDL. Thus, you get an idea of the subject and scale of the projects that CDL help pursue.  


Another example of a website’s landing page Lisa shows is Shift, a startup based out of Victoria BC that graduated from the CDL program. She elaborates that a landing page helps: 

  1. Be someone’s first impression of a company, 
  2. Provide targeted messages to the right audience, attracting them with something of value that they’re needing, 
  3. And convert these people from visitors to customers. 


Shift’s landing page gets it right by having the main object of attraction be their simple 5-word slogan: “The workstation for productive people.” Below, they supplement it with a one-sentence value proposition. Lisa then emphasizes the importance of balancing a website or any marketing material to navigate an increasingly attention-bereft society, and uses the example of the very visually significant download button right below the slogan and value proposition. 


This blog post is a loose summary of the first 10 minutes of Lisa’s “How to Perfect Your Startup’s Web Presence” workshop given during XdHacks’ 2021 Consultants event. To see Lisa break down more websites and their intentional design, visit the link below to watch the whole 30 minute video:


Furthermore, CDL has their Apprenticeship Program, where they aim to empower underrepresented demographics in STEM, business, and entrepreneurship, and elevate them towards more ambitious career goals.