Starting and running a company can be extremely stressful and difficult. One of the hardest parts is running into roadblocks and not knowing how to remove them. I ran into many operating my own companies. I've personally built companies as the CEO and founder that have done over $20M in revenue and have raised over $7M in venture capital from Venture Capital funds in Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. I've gone through multiple accelerator programs. I've advised and invested in over 50 early-stage tech startups from inception to Series A fundraise. This includes everything from company formation, fundraising, ideation, product-market fit, sales, finance, operations, analytics, and HR for early-stage companies. My style is no bullshit. If I don't think I can help you I'll tell you straight up. I don't sugarcoat feedback because it is the only way you as an entrepreneur will grow. My time is super limited with a lot of projects but feel free to reach out to see if I can be helpful. Twitter: www.twitter.com/martygberg Quora: www.quora.com/profile/Marty-Greenberg-2
This was something I struggled with early on. I didn't really know what would be my calling.
At first I thought there were some "logical" paths. So I started studying for med school, and even though I wasn't excited about it, it felt like it made sense.
After some really hard reflection I felt this wasn't the best path and just started meeting with everyone I could. People from every type of industry and asking them what they do.
Over time I would get very drawn in to certain conversations and I'd realize that I was getting excited imagining doing the work they were working on. This is what I call "the pull", that intuitive excitement that is initially really hard to explain. I followed that pull, ended up starting a company that went on to raise millions and impact thousands of peoples lives positively and haven't looked back since.
TLDR: Talk to as many people as possible. When you start to feel excited about something, follow that feeling wherever it leads.
If you're looking for a company that can help you with consulting on your DevOps I can refer you to a few options that I have personally worked with and are excellent.
I'm based in Silicon Valley, the heart of innovation, and have helped many companies build their products with either outsourced engineering or with firms that consult on your internal engineering teams. Feel free to call if this is helpful.
Great to hear!
Your first step is to talk to customers to determine if this is something they would want. The best way for you to find out if your market has interest is to talk to them early and often.
Once you've determined there's enough interest from the market your next step is to make an MVP. The simplest possible version of your solution that will still appease your customer. Once it is ready, bring it to them and have some early customers try it out. Get feedback very early in the process! Don't build too much before getting lots of feedback.
As you're getting feedback continue to improve the product. Be careful not to build too many features just for one customer.
PITCH DECK & STORY
Once you have enough traction, you can share you story with investors. There's an entire process involved with finding investors as well as constructing a pitch deck and a story. I've worked with many tech companies who have raised money to do that.
Feel free to call if you have any questions in your journey!
The best place to start a company is Delaware. It has the most protections for businesses and has a long history of being the state of incorporation for almost all of the major companies in the United States.
The incorporation process can be difficult but there are some services that help like nitrouscompany.com.
If you need any help feel free to reach out.
That's great what you've done so far!
I've raised over a million dollars specifically from angel investors.
Raising money is usually a full time job. In order to get angel investment you need to put together a good pitch deck, practice your pitch and be prepared for good questions.
Next you need to find angel investors. Usually the best way to meet angels is through introductions from other founders.
Finally when you meet with the angel investors you want to tell them about all the progress you've made so far and how their investment will accelerate your progress. You also need to explain to them how your company has a lot of prospects for either making money, getting acquired or eventually IPO.
It can be a very difficult process. If you need any help feel free to reach out.
Great you're interested in starting a business!
Since you're starting a t-shirt business there are loads of different options for marketing your company.
Many of the best e-commerce companies market on Instagram and Facebook. Instagram is great for t-shirts because someone can be browsing, they can see a shirt they like, buy it and stay in the app and continue browsing.
You'll want to make sure you have good pictures and that your e-commerce website is optimized for converting interested leads into customers.
Happy to chat more on the strategy.
I've gotten accepted into two different accelerator programs in the US. Both were ranked in the top tiers (Gold and Platinum Plus).
For startups in an accelerator with limited resources, there are a handful of ways to get cheap traffic. Depending on the product, they may find that certain growth hacks like SEO, LinkedIn, Craigslist or Reddit can all be great channels. Its important that the product being marketed is relevant otherwise it will feel like spam. Another method for cheap traffic is to pitch a PR story and try to get coverage from a media outlet.
There are many different avenues to get traction and customers without immediately using paid ad channels.
If you have more questions on finding good cheap marketing channels feel free to call me.
I've personally been accepted into two accelerators.
The wait time depends on the accelerator. For one accelerator, I didn't hear back until at the absolute last minute (the week before it started). For another accelerator I heard back about a month before it started.
In terms of improving your chances for an accelerator, having an alumni give you a reference is a big help. Also continuing to show signs of traction and growth is a big help as well. There are a handful of other ways to get the attention of the decision makers at the accelerators too.
Call me if you need help getting into an accelerator.
When I was starting my company we used a platform called FundersClub in the US.
We had to go through a pitch and get formally accepted in order to work with them.
We went on their platform and proceeded to raise $100K. Our company also received some great publicity from being on the platform.
Another option is Republic Labs which is similar and also based in the US.
Call me if you have any questions on the equity platform process.
The best way to learn is by starting a company yourself. This could be anything from a web development company, e-commerce or even a lemonade stand!
The second best way to learn is to work closely with another entrepreneur, either at a startup or as an assistant to the CEO/executive. It's important to see exactly how the startup works on the inside so you can bring experience when you start out on your own.
Being an entrepreneur isn't easy, don't forget to have fun.