There is no blueprint to start a business. There’s no one size fits all solution for any startup. When you decide to follow the entrepreneurial path, you’re given a blank canvas. What you decide to paint is your choice. What I am laying out here today is not going to work for every entrepreneur, but it is a solid strategy and roadmap that can help your business get off on the right foot.
We all have great ideas. Ones that we feel can be world-changing. Some are and well… some might not be. That’s okay. To us, they all seem like great ideas, and when we tell them to friends and family they might seem like great ideas as well.
This has always been my personal issue with doing friends and family rounds when raising the initial funds to start your business. Most are going to be very biased and aren’t going to want to tell you “no.”
They care about you and believe in your ability. It’s difficult to label this as proof of concept when they are people that know you. So how do you prove that concept and what do you do to get the initial capital to start your entrepreneurial journey? You crowdfund.
Crowdfunding is amazing. It’s a way to raise capital from strangers to achieve one goal. In my company Inventrify’s case it’s about raising that initial capital to start your business, because believe it or not it takes money to start a business.
Crowdfunding allows you to raise capital and obtain proof of concept because if people donate to it, then its something that the market wants and if people don’t then chances are no ones going to donate to it.
These people that are sharing your crowdfunding campaign via social media and donating to it aren’t just friends and family, it’s anyone that sees it. So they won’t feel as obligated to donate to it. This really can help give merit to your Idea and help you decide whether or not you’re going to go onto the next stage of your journey which might be to Incubate.
To Incubate something is to help it grow in its early stages. For startups, there are many Incubators to choose from, one of my favorite that is sort of a hybrid is Founders Institute. They help take you from the “idea” stage into a full-fledged company via mentor support and leadership. They help you with validating your idea and figuring out if it’s a real company or a dud.
The Incubate stage is very exciting for new companies, you’re watching your baby grow, learn to walk and hopefully get ready to Accelerate their growth! What’s next after Incubating your startup/ idea? Accelerate of course!
This is growth. This is work and this is the payoff. You have your idea, you’ve utilized crowdfunding to prove the concept of your business and help justify it by the market AKA donors giving to your crowdfunding campaign and saying they want this idea to be a reality.
You’ve incubated the idea, help perfect it by going through a rigorous program such as Founders Institute and are ready for the next level. Some amazing Accelerator Programs are TechStars and Y-Combinator. They are two of the worlds leading Accelerator Programs and help your idea BOOM. These programs not only help you with getting further funding, such as Series-A rounds and beyond but they also help pair you with industry-leading mentors and leaders who can help guide your business into a possible IPO.
The only thing left to do now is, thrive! This is your time to shine, to show the world why you’re the next Elon Musk. The next visionary who’s ready to take the bull by the horns and change the world!
What phase are you at? Don’t be afraid to get started on your journey, if you have an idea that you need to be validated then head over to the number one community-oriented crowdfunding platforms Inventrify or one of the others and start your journey today.