Anyone who has ever considered starting their own business, or is currently in the process of doing so, knows that every little bit helps when it comes to making ends meet. Part of the charm of startup culture is the low-budget creative atmosphere that seems to continually fuel innovation. But, eventually you're going to have to keep the lights on and water running, and you can’t do that with creativity alone.
Whether you are a business that is just starting out, or already well on your way, there are plenty of online platforms that offer startups advice and funding opportunities. Here are six online resources that can help you pay the bills and grow your business at the same time.
At one point it seemed that anyone with a clever idea could make a video showing why the world should invest in the next big thing. While a lot of crazy projects have gotten funded over the years, utilizing a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter continues to be a viable way to get your project off the ground. Of course, if you want to reach your funding goals, it’s best that you do your market research, have a solid plan, and treat crowdfunding like a global VC.
Those who are new to the startup world might not know exactly where to start when it comes to looking for funding. While the freelance economy has grown immensely in the last five years, it’s important to know where to look. Platforms like Toptal offer a wide range of freelance professionals that specialize in startup funding. Startups seeking a consultant on Toptal can also rest easy knowing that they carefully screen each candidate, ensuring they have the necessary professional background and experience to guarantee a successful project.
If you couldn’t already tell by the name, appbacker is definitely worth checking out if you are a startup working in app technology for both Android and iPhone. The platform helps people discover different apps through the crowdsourcing model. Investors can scroll through apps from around the world, and if they like what they see, they can choose to invest. Funding incentive is based on an investor's ability to purchase an app at the wholesale price, eventually making a profit once the app starts flying off the shelves in the official app store.
Investors are more likely to invest locally, which is why Gust is an attractive option for startups around the world, as they represent over 80 countries worldwide. Founded by a team of investors and lawyers, Gust knows its way around the startup world. With portals for both startups and investors, the platform seamlessly connects those seeking funds and those looking to invest. Startups can create a profile on Gust, and also have access to tools and tips to help them regulate finances and legal matters.
Not just for investment, although that is a major part of the platform, AngelList is also a great place to find startup jobs as well as recruitment. Those startups that are looking to expand can greatly benefit from this feature, while also getting their name out there to potential investors. Their syndicate platform, led by technology experts, gives those who are looking to invest the chance to apply to a lead or directly invest in a fund.
From top corporations to big name accelerators, Seedrs aims to simplify the funding process for investors. Providing a vast network of investors from 48 different countries, who tap into an additionally impressive network of startups, there is plenty of room for collaboration on this platform. Seedrs also encourages investors and startups to continue their relationship after the transaction is made. Their online and offline networks aim to keep both startups and investors in the loop.
Depending on what stage of development your company has currently reached, exploring various funding options available to you is a worthwhile endeavor. Rather than blindly pitching investors, investigating each potential platform, whether it’s crowdfunding or hiring a freelance funding expert, will save you time and resources so you can focus on the right type of investment based on your needs.
About the Author
Josh Althauser is a tech entrepreneur and open source advocate specializing in providing mentorship for startups for their marketing technology. You may connect with him on Twitter.