The latest edition of our Dear Abby for startup founders looks at what sort of companies should stay away from accepting VC dollars and alternatives to fund your business.
Bootstrapping your products business by offering services is a controversial move, but Sramana Mitra believes she has good evidence that it’s often a successful strategy.
backCode founder Sophia Viklund is on her fourth startup. Here are four things she learned along the way.
By Sophia Viklund (Founder, backCode)
I founded my first technology business in Moscow while I was in college in the mid-90s. It helped pay for my studies in London. I was studying to become a teacher, but realized all I wanted to do was to continue running my business. I was grateful to see that the outside world was very different from the small, conservative, suburban town I was from and realized that women can make it in entrepreneurship.
Seed funding in New Zealand is something that is rather illusive unless you are in Biotech or are developing something that will be used by farmers or sheep!
By Lou Donnelly-Davey (Founder & CEO, Scrattch)
I had the idea for Scrattch a year ago in the shower one morning – thinking how cool it would be to be able to create an online library full of all my favorite research. At this point, I did not know anything like this existed on the Internet. I had heard of
Bootstrapping means managing your time as closely as your money. Here’s how to do it.
By Ellie Cachette (Founder & CEO, ConsumerBell)
While venture-backed tech startups seem to get all the press, there are many, many ways to start your company.
Some entrepreneurs do it while hanging onto their day job full-time.
Some use the money they’ve saved to give themselves a defined runway (i.e., I get six months to accomplish these three things, otherwise, I move on).
Others seem to rely exclusively on hustle and luck. Here’s what I’ve learned about one of the less glamorous forms of funding:
I only wonder why it took me so long to step out of the corporate world.
By Yan Heim (Co-Founder & CEO, Froomz)
Launching Froomz hasn’t been an easy journey. In early 2011, I left behind a well-compensated senior management position with one of the largest telecom companies to pursue a dream.
Trading my high heels for bootstraps was a difficult decision, given the economic downturn and the fact that the job provided me with flexible hours while I was telecommuting most of the time.
Inertia tends to pull you back into the comfort zone. The choice became obvious when I started feeling fatigue from juggling my day job and night job with Froomz.
The app tracks your feelings over a two-week period, graphing a quantification of what you should do.
By Amy-Willard Cross (Editor, Vitamin W)
If you were wondering about keeping or tossing your boyfriend, Sarah Gray has just the app for you.
Should I Break Up With My Boyfriend is a 99 cent solution to that question. Forget quizzes or boring your friends, this app tracks your feelings over a two-week period. The result is graph which quantifies what you should do — and adds a bit of custom advice. And it’s just the first of her mobile offerings.
Gray developed the original version of the app because
I’ve decided that I will not leave my full-time job until my startup is funded.
By Brittany Haas (Founder, Happily Ever BorroWED)
As I meet with more and more potential investors, I know the first question is “Why are you raising X dollars? What does it go towards?” The underlying and sometimes second question is “What will you pay yourself?”
I was watching an episode of “Shark Tank” a few weeks ago, and one of the people pitching COULDN’T answer that question. He said “I’d be comfortable making 6 figures.” Yes – well wouldn’t we all. However, #startuplife is not about 6 figures. It’s about bootstrapping, it’s about drive, and mostly it’s about budgeting.