Where to start when starting-up?

A Curated list of startup resources

Having been an entrepreneur as well as helping other startups build from the ground up, I know first hand how completely overwhelming it can be when making the leap to launch your new idea. As an advisor and mentor, I am constantly hearing the same questions: Where do I start? What are the best resources? And which ones are free?

Here are some resources to get you started on the right foot:

Websites + Tools

  • Y Combinator Startup Library
  • Startupstash — Curated directory of resources & tools to help you build your Startup including market research, analytics, project management tools and investor relations.
  • Startup{try — 500+ startup resources, organized by 350+ topics.
  • AngelList — Website for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers looking to work at startups. The platform has a mission democratizing the investment process. It started as an online introduction board for tech startups that needed seed funding.
  • Chats.Directory –A curated list of the best Slack groups for professionals
  • TechStars Every Damn Imaginable Startup Podcast Reviewed
  • Bootstrapped.fm — Forum and community of bootstrapped startups and podcast.
  • Mattermark — Discover, Prospect, and Track Companies
  • Starter.one — The professional network connecting startups and investors
  • Product Hunt is a curation of the best new products, every day. Discover the latest mobile apps, websites, and technology products that everyone’s talking about. This is the go-to place to promote your products.
  • BetaList— Access to over 25,000 early adopters ready to provide you with valuable feedback. Requirements to be featured: “Your startup should not be live yet. It should have a ‘coming soon’ page where visitors can subscribe to a mailing list. Your site should have a custom design and not use a template such as LaunchRock, Unbounce, etc.”
  • VC Firm Social Capital Opens Up Its ‘Magic 8-Ball’ Growth And Data Tools For Any Startup To Use
  • Help a Reporter Out — HARO provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage. HARO sends you a daily curated lists of inquiries from reporters seeking sources in your vertical.
  • Press.Farm — Find journalists to write about your startup. Get 250 journalists’ emails, and social profiles for just $9.
  • Invisu– A wizard that guides entrepreneurs to create their investor one pager/send-out deck in a clear, concise manner that gets them the meetings. The result is a sleek and responsive page that investors love receiving, allowing both sides to communicate seamlessly and better manage fundraising.
  • A curated directory of 280+ marketing resources & tools
  • Maker book— A directory of the best free resources for creatives
  • Marketing Stack –A curated directory of marketing resources & tools
  • Freebie.Supply— Awesome free things for entrepreneurs & startups
  • Template Stash –Curated collection of best free themes & website templates
  • Content Marketing –Stack A curated directory of content marketing resources
  • Growthverse –An interactive visualization of marketing tech tools
  • StockSnap.io –Search for free stock photos for your startup blog.
  • FreePik –Free graphic resources for designers and developers
  • Blend Images –Multicultural commercial stock photography agency, which specializes in ethnic lifestyles, business, medical and educational imagery for advertising.
  • The Starter Kit –Curated resources for web developers and visual designers
  • Agile Designers –Best Resources for Designers and Developers
  • Always Learning –The best resources for learning programming and design
  • Beaqn.in –Front End Vault 270+ Front End resources in one place
  • NoDesk –A curated collection of resources for the digital nomad
  • Streak– CRM, inside Gmail.
  • Wave – Free and easy accounting, invoicing, and more.
  • Asana– Web and mobile project management application designed to help teams track their work
  • Trello— Free app that makes working on group projects as easy as using sticky notes on your whiteboard.
  • Slack — A cloud-based team collaboration tool. t’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.

Crowdfunding

Some of the more popular crowdfunding sites for validation and marketing include:

  • Kickstarter— Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. To date, tens of thousands of creative projects — big and small — have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community.
  • Indigogo— Indiegogo is a launchpad for creative and entrepreneurial ideas of every shape and size.
  • Fundable — Largest business crowdfunding platform dedicated exclusively to helping companies raise capital.
  • GoFundMe Business — Similar to KickStarter and Indigogo but appears to be more with no deadlines or goal requirements and no penalties for missing goal.

Social Media-

(Compiled by The Startup Workout)

Facebook

Regional Facebook Groups

North America

Europe

South America

Asia / Australia

Reddit

“Reddit is another great place to gather valuable feedback and advice. If you’ve never used Reddit, fear not because we’re going to cover some Reddit 101 right now.

Reddit is made up of thousands of subreddits, which are essentially individual categories / communities. Each subreddit has it’s own posting guidelines and moderators. Some subreddits will only allow you to post text posts — meaning that you can’t directly link to a post or website and will instead need to provide a summary with a link.

You also may be required to have a certain amount of karma before being able to post. To can earn karma by commenting on other submissions and adding to the discussion.

There are 500,000+ subreddits but there are few tools out there to help you find ones in your niche. I like to use the metareddit tool and RedditList.com which shows you the top subreddits by subscribers and growth.

Here are some of my favorite Startup related subreddits:

Posting on Reddit is–in many ways–similar to posting in Facebook groups — you don’t necessarily need to focus on startup related subreddits and can instead live within your niche.

So for example if you have a new exercise product, there are many ways that you could use r/Fitness and others related to your niche to validate your idea and gather feedback.

Also, it’s important to avoid anything overly promotional. If you do post something super promotional it will most likely end up being deleted extremely quickly.

Instead, focus on sharing and creating content that adds value for other Redditors. If you create real value it can pay dividends for months or years to come.”

Ad Networks-

(Compiled by The Startup Workout)

“Self serve ad networks have been a godsend for entrepreneurs and startups. Less than a decade ago, advertising online would require in many cases a $5,000 — $10,000 minimum media buy. With Facebook Ads and others, the barrier to entry has been reduced to almost nothing.

The truth is that many ad networks will give you $50 — $200 to test their platform with. Available promos and offers change frequently but you can usually find something that works with a bit of searching.

  • Facebook Ads — This is my favorite ad platform to test and validate ideas. There are hundreds, actually probably thousands of posts that will tell you why Facebook ads are amazing but it can be summed up with one word: targeting.With Facebook ads, you can reach almost any demographic big or small and in many cases in a much more effective way than comparable contextual ad platforms like Adwords. A few additional notes:
  • Facebook allows you to buy ads on a CPC (Cost per click) or CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions) basis. I’ve experimented with both quite a bit and CPC always seems to do better for me personally. If your ads have a high CTR (Click through rate) it may be worth experimenting with CPM.
  • When constructing an ad, the image that you use will make the biggest difference in CTR so it’s worth testing many different images before you start experimenting with ad copy.
  • Facebook has an insane amount of volume so make sure you are targeting hyper relevant interests and pages. I like to keep my initial ad reach below 200,000 people.
  • Facebook wants to keep users on Facebook so sending traffic to a Facebook page vs an external website can dramatically reduce your CPC.
  • Google Adwords ($75 free for new accounts when you spend $25) — Adwords is still a viable option and has improved targeting over the years. Learning to use retargeting can also yield some great results.
  • Twitter Ads— This is a platform that I’ve had limited time testing but have heard good things about, still less targeted than Facebook simply because Twitter profiles are more sparse but there are quite a few promotional coupons floating around.
  • Bing Ads ($100 in free clicks for new accounts) — Basically the same as Adwords but in many cases cheaper. The tradeoff is less volume.
  • Linkedin Ads ($5 activation fee) — Ideal for B2B & Enterprise. Targeting via job title, job function, industry, geographic area, age, gender etc.
  • Amazon Product Ads ($75 in free clicks for new accounts) — Drive traffic from Amazon to your products. Ideal for physical products or products that would be sold on Amazon.
  • Sitescout ($500 minimum deposit) — Self serve platform for banner and mobile ads that can be targeted by site or category. You can reach some of the sites through Adwords without the large minimum deposit.
  • Stumbleupon Ads— Cheap traffic, and lots of it. Interest based targeting.”

Women Founders

Social Entrepreneurs

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