For VCs and other investors

Category design helps a company discover, define and win a new market category. For investors with a portfolio of companies, injecting category design thinking into those companies increases the odds of better returns.

Our Portfolio Day is a cost-effective and time-sensitive way to teach category design to six or more portfolio company leadership teams at once. The companies come away with an understanding of the principles of category design and tools for thinking about category design. A workshop session gives each company a start on developing a category strategy and writing a POV.

CDA’s partners will run the half-day course (about 5 hours) and workshop in a live setting. This offering does not work over Zoom. It requires live interaction among our team, the investor’s team, and the teams from the participating companies.


Prior to the modules, your team should have read the book Play Bigger and supporting materials from CDA. On our end, we prepare by reading background material about each company, and conduct a brief pre-interview with each attending CEO.

Workshop Day

Opening Session: Category Design Interactive Master Class: CDA presents on category design thinking, with discussion and Q&A. Ends with instructions for the breakout session.

Breakout Session: Based on learnings from the class, each company huddles to try to come up with a brief statement of the problem it seeks to solve; what the solution looks like; and a potential category name. CDA partners circulate among the companies to discuss progress and challenges.

Presentation and Peer Review: Everyone returns to the session. CDA asks each company to present their problem/solution/category, to be discussed in the room with guidance from CDA.

POV and Mobilization Tips: Outline of what a POV is, how to structure one, and how to roll it out to the company and various outside audiences.