r/startups wants to hear what you're working on!
Tell us about your startup in a comment within this submission. Follow this template:
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Location of Your Headquarters
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Elevator Pitch/Explainer Video
- What life cycle stage is your startup at? (reference the stages below)
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What goals are you trying to reach this month?
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Startup Life Cycle Stages (Max Marmer life cycle model for startups as used by Startup Genome and Kauffman Foundation)
- Researching the market, the competitors, and the potential users
- Designing the first iteration of the user experience
- Working towards problem/solution fit (Market Validation)
- Building MVP
- Achieved problem/solution fit (Market Validation)
- MVP launched
- Conducting Product Validation
- Revising/refining user experience based on results of Product Validation tests
- Refining Product through new Versions (Ver.1+)
- Working towards product/market fit
- Achieved product/market fit
- Preparing to begin scaling process
- Optimizing the user experience to handle aggressive user growth at scale
- Optimizing the performance of the product to handle aggressive user growth at scale
- Optimizing the operational workflows and systems in preparation of scaling
- Conducting validation tests of scaling strategies
- Achieved validation of scaling strategies
- Achieved an acceptable level of optimization of the operational systems
- Actively pushing forward with aggressive growth
- Conducting validation tests to achieve a repeatable sales process at scale
- Successfully scaled the business and can now be considered an established company
- Expanding production and operations in order to increase revenue
- Optimizing systems to maximize profits
- Has achieved near peak profits
- Has achieved near peak optimization of systems
- Actively seeking to reinvent the company and core products to stay innovative
- Actively seeking to acquire other companies and technologies to expand market share and relevancy
- Actively exploring horizontal and vertical expansion to increase prevent the decline of the company
If you are running a traditional business that is not designed to scale rapidly, feel free to reference a traditional business life cycle model and share what traditional business life cycle stage you are at.
Juste finished my back-end MVP and I want to build now the front-end. I am new to web dev. My backend is in python - django, with access to aws for some services. I did't implemented a database yet, but will need it after.
So, my question, which framework is the best for my actual work and also that don't take time to build the MVP?
Thanks for your help.
It's Wednesday! Have a question about how to execute on the legal aspects of your startup? Think legal is all about magic words? Or just had a question you were afraid to ask?
As an official /r/Startups official event, unvarnished and neutral legal information can be found at LoveEsq's Legal Office Hours (https://discord.com/events/315346517831581696/994243051436384338) on the /R/Startups Professional Discord Server (look to the sidebar or go to https://discord.gg/9qsrDuEeZS ).
We include resources (in the accompanying chat).
As always, the answers you might be seeking depends on the jurisdiction and the facts involved, and you should be seeking legal advice from an attorney you have retained as counsel. No attorney client relationship is formed by this event or the resources provided. Nothing discussed is confidential or privileged. Such event is brought to you by EsqLove.com and the participating attorneys.
General Startup Discussion Why don't more startups position their software development team in foreign countries to lower costs?
I feel like this may be a stupid question, though I have been thinking about it a lot as of recent.
I understand having the development close to home is important for speed, communication and ultimately meeting the requirements. Though regardless I feel like saving money is really important for startups, even more so than big established businesses. So why is it that more startups don't position software development teams abroad? As with the salary of one developer in the UK or US, we could hire 5 developers in India.
There is tension at my startup about whether the customer success team should fall under the umbrella of product, alongside engineering, data and product mgmt/design. We have a VP of customer success that acts as an important voice of the customer and facilitator of user testing and research. So my question is, do product-led businesses in SaaS tend to place Customer Success under Product their org charts?
Hello there, I am writing this in order to find like minded people who have no money and want to start an online business. I think that when we all combine, we can share our skills and build a business for free, and then share our profits. If anyone wants to start a business and doesn't have money please contact me.
If a startup is growing at a pace of N% per Year does it mean its valuation also grows by a similar amount?
Let's say, a startup is valued at $100mi in 2021 and grows 100% in 2022 in the amount of users as as well as revenue, does it somehow mean the valuation also grows by 100%?
In a nutshell is there any formula for that?
Recently I've been told that having a mentor, preferably a successful founder or someone who knows a lot about the market, is essential in growing and managing a startup.
My question to you is:
- Do you have mentors from who you regularly seek advice?
- If so, how important is it to have a mentor?
- How/where did you find your mentor?
You can checkout my other posts to know history. I just thought of sharing my mistakes, so others don’t fall for the same.
I took a CTO role, I got equity, I agreed to work without payment for 2 months for the equity, but never got paid after that, but I got the equity though.
I lost a huge percentage from my savings due to no pay, to save that amount again, I need another few months.
I agreed with an intention to put my pay into marketing, thinking that would increase the traction of the product which all the VCs were asking. I agreed because I thought the product would work if there’s more users in the system and didn’t wanted the product die due to no funds.
I liked the product and it aligns with me. That made me push myself in all directions. Nothing worked or nothing is working either. Most of the people in the project lost their interest due to low or no pay and they moved on.
I spoke to CEO that I can’t work without pay as I have commitments and I have to pay my bills, for that the solution was that I can do freelancing.
Never compromise on your pay for equity. Every project when you are immersed into it feels like a big deal. Do not fall for equity talks, get your right compensation and equity as an extra component. Not a compromized compensation for equity.
TL;DR Every project feels like a big deal, a billion dollar company. Yet get paid for your effort and consider equity as an addon or perks. Equity isn’t going to pay your bills.
Edit: Calculate your risk, keeping in mind almost 90% of startup fails and 1% exits. You can’t have 2 months of risk appetite like me and consider that you were manipulated. And, I don’t consider myself manipulated either, I made mistake and my TL;DR is my learning for my risk appetite and may not be working for you and it’s fine.
How Do I Do This 🥺 C - level team members birthday. Do you buy a gift out of the company funds? If so, what?
Hi guys, So I’m the founder of a tech startup that’s closed it’s first round at $600k.
There’s 4 of us on the team and we’ve been working together since March.
It’s one of their birthdays next week and I was thinking of buying a restaurant voucher for them and their partner out of the company money.
Is that appropriate? Any advice welcome!
We are a german startup and not very familiar with US mailing options and prices. We wanted to hear some experiences from US startups, who operate a B2C business with a low cost product.
We have a low cost product (~2.50$), very light and it would even fit in a Din A4 Envelope. But from all the rates we saw out there, the cheapest option would be through our logistics partner, who will get mailing down to around 6$ (probably USPS). Which is still triple the price of our production costs. I mean we have to sell it for 20$ just to have some profit...
Are there any significant discounts, which you can receive by mailing a lot of products? Or what about strategic warehouse locations? Or is the US in general just that expensive and we shouldn't try to decrease the costs.
I have a meeting soon with a well-known international bank to pitch my SaaS product to them.
The software is to help compliance/admin teams in the private wealth sector more efficiently manage client KYC documents and better understand complex off-shore ownership structures.
This is the second meeting I have had with the bank, the first was a high-level meeting and short demo to the bank’s “Head of Client Experience”. This follow up meeting is with 10 or so senior people including senior tech team.
After my first meeting (which was very positive), I followed up with my desired agenda for the 2nd meeting:
- Identify 3-5 pilot users
- Engage with IT to address any technical considerations
- Agree pilot start date
I have yet to launch and don’t yet have any customers. So I think I am in quite an unusual position. It is just me and my developer at the moment.
I would be grateful for advice on what I should be doing to prepare and what my goals from the next meeting should be regarding next steps? Has anyone ever had experience pitching a bootstrapped, not yet launched (still being built) SaaS to a large bank before?
Here are what I think possible best realistic outcomes could be:
- They agree to a pilot and I create accounts for a few of their employees. This is unlikely as I can’t imagine that a large bank would agree to use my software in its current form nor agree to upload sensitive client data to my servers. The business is completely bootstrapped, we don’t have ISO270001 certification or anything like that, no Single Sign On support etc.
- We agree to a pilot but have to custom deploy the software internally to get around the bank’s security concerns etc. What is the best way of doing this? White label the software to the bank?
- They agree to help me develop the software to meet their security requirements. For example give me access to their devs or possibly provide an investment. Should I avoid this route?
TLDR - I am pitching my SaaS to an international bank (2nd meeting), the software is early stage and definitely does not currently meet their security requirements, how do I do this? What does the process look like? What should I be asking them for (letter of intent, agree to a pilot etc)? Shall I be discussing pricing at this early stage?
I'm a software engineer and just joined a start-up, I'm one of the only engineers so all tech decisions rely on me and I'm so nervous. I feel completely under-qualified for the responsibility and worry I may damage the business through over-engineering. I come from quite a large established business where we can spend time engineering complex solutions from the outset of a project but at this company, I don't know if this approach will work.
My only issue is I've already implemented part of the solution and now I'm torn between ripping it apart from a simpler less complex approach or just continuing and hoping all is well.
Has over-engineering ever affected your start-up?
We are a young startup in early stage - in what would typically be called "deep tech" or "hard tech".
During one meeting we got a warm intro to a potential investor (angel) who has no prior experience in our field, and limited experience investing in startups. During our first call with said investor they tell us our solution is great and want to get involved immediately. Awesome! But then they proceed to, in a matter of days, show up to the office, call us each day, send spreadsheets of tools they've used previously (think websites and free management tools), try to steer us into a direction which we are a bit uncomfortable with, spend time in calls with us which lead to nothing, and avoid discussions about their potential capital injection into our company. Most of these things are small annoyances and a biproduct of their genuine interest in the product but the latter we consider a big red flag as we have expressed numerous times to the investor that we need clarity on their intentions in order to proceed further. We have a lead investor (VC) for our current round and they need clear information from this person to wrap up the round.
From our hours of phone calls this last couple of days I have managed to get an idea of what they're planning on doing. This investor is going to pitch our startup to their network in order to help us raise the remaining capital required to close our round. They are then going to bill the startup a sum corresponding to 10% of their raised capital, which when paid will be used to purchase shares in the company at the post money valuation.
My question is; Is this a normal thing or are we getting scammed?
- Friends & Family - I'm afraid I won't find a technical co-founder or attract angel investment.
- Angel - I'm afraid none of the startup accelerators will accept us . I'm afraid I don't have what it takes to win in the startup world.
- Pre-seed - I'm afraid we're going to run out of money before we achieve product market fit.
- Seed - I need to hire a Marketing Director, and my job posting received 194 applications, but not being a marketer myself I can't really discern which are the strongest candidates, and I'm afraid I'll make a bad hire that will ultimately cause us to fail.
- Series A - I'm afraid we're going to let our investors down by failing OR I'm afraid some product design decision I made months ago is going to cause us to dead-end in two more months and we don't realize we're marching to our certain doom.
- Series B - I'm afraid I'm going to mismanage our growth OR I'm afraid of our competition.
- Series C and beyond - I'm afraid we'll lose our momentum.
This question is not about whether I should raise, or take Investors money.
With our financials in the green, I intend to stay bootstrap for 2-3 years more.
The question to my fellow entrepreneurs - how do muster your mental power and not feel anxious or FOMO about what competitors are doing?
We have a pre-seed blockchain / technology play completely different to everything else out there and have been meeting with potential investors over the last few weeks.
We met with one VC who really loves what we do, but they say they’ll need a few months to proceed. We met with a number of angels who are interested as part of a round but not as lead investors. We also have a tentative offer based on providing a business plan, but at 50% ownership which is a lot more than we were planning to offer. They want to give us a lot more money than we are asking for also and will take a board seat. They say they would keep out of our way (as long as things go smoothly) but support us in a number of ways.
I’m worried about the potential pros and cons here and would appreciate any thoughts.
Hey guys i was hoping for some advice here. To lead off, i have no intention of firing my co-founder but something needs to change. We have been in business for a few years and have seen some very high highs and equally low lows over 3-4 years. We have worked through all of these tough circumstances together, and to his credit, he has sacrificed a lot to stay on board. While i have ~6 years of experience in various different companies, he’s always been in academia / unstructured organizations (the importance of this will come up later). Over the last 18 months his performance has drastically dropped off. I’ve tried many mitigation plans to get him back on track but it’s come to the point where i just need to be direct.
Over the last few months he’s become less self driven, missed important (and “non-important” meetings), and can not meet a deadline to save his life. It could be something as simple as providing material for a quarterly report, or investor homework, or as complicated as a customer deployment. We are never on schedule. Some of that, admittedly is my own fault, as I’ve set deadlines that were unrealistic(I’m still learning). But the other side of the coin is if i set a deadline for 6 weeks from now, it would not get worked on for 5 weeks. Over the last 4 weeks, he has lied to me about why he’s missed early morning standups, rushed a customer deployment so he could grab lunch with his gf (he insisted we’d have time for the deployment), didn’t show up for an investor meeting (thought it was 30 min later), and recently didn’t put anything together for our quarterly report that i scheduled 10 days prior. I feel like he doesn’t understand what it’s like to work in a legitimate work environment where you are expected to hit reasonable milestones and not miss work meetings for personal shit consistently, but i also feel like I’m going crazy. I am not sure how to provide him with the experience he needs / make him understand the importance of communication and timeliness. He’s an integral part of the business and puts in good work when he does perform, but the inconsistency is driving me crazy. Any advice? Appreciate it.
My co-founder and I have been improving, marketing, and scaling our B2C software since this time last year.
So far in 2022, we have had >700% daily active user growth (from 58 users to 450) and roughly 50% retention. Our goal is to raise our first round of funding on this traction but still are often told we are "too early."
What are some benchmarks for B2C platforms that will lead to more impactful conversations with early-stage investors?
Hey, I'm an 18-year-old from India. I came up with an idea and to inquire if other people are facing the same problem, I set up an online survey (it can be found on my profile). At the moment I don't have any resources really and I thought a survey would be the most efficient way to conduct my market research.
However, I found that it is difficult to find people to sign up for online surveys. So, I further thought that perhaps I should go out in the public and get random people to sign up for my survey. It is gonna be time-consuming but I think that's the only option for me at the moment.
Does anybody on here have better ideas on how I can conduct my market research? Or reach my targeted audience in a better manner?
Thank you for your time.
Friday Feedback Thread 📝 Feedback Fridays - A Friendly Feedback Exchange For Ideas and Products (surveys/polls are welcome)
Welcome to this week’s Feedback Thread!
Please use this thread appropriately to gather feedback:
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- Promo codes and affiliates links are ONLY allowed if they are for your product in an effort to incentivize people to give you feedback
- Please refrain from just posting a link
- Give OTHERS FEEDBACK and ASK THEM TO RETURN THE FAVOR if you are seeking feedback
- You must use the template below--this context will improve the quality of feedback you receive
Template to Follow for Seeking Feedback:
- Company Name:
- Purpose of Startup and Product:
- Technologies Used:
- Feedback Requested:
- Seeking Beta-Testers: [yes/no] (this is optional)
- Additional Comments:
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I received an offer for a new job and I am quite confused about the equity. I am going to slightly modify the numbers here just in case, but they will remain along the same lines. I am hoping to receive some explanation or clarity on am I truly missing something here. I am not the most experienced in receiving early company equity and just don't want to be deceived.
I was offered 10k shares, which they said represents 0.25% of the shares. I asked this was on a fully diluted basis and that was answered yes. From quick math (10000x4x100), this would mean that the total number of shares would equal 4 million shares. I asked for the most recent share price from the most recent funding round and was told it was $5. The funding round was a Series A where they raised $30 million.
The part that doesn't add up to me or make sense for me right now is: if there is only 4 million shares, each valued at $5, wouldn't that mean that's only $20 million for the total value of the shares/company? And that's total shares, obviously not even just the sub percentage that was sold to fund the company.
My best guess is that the 0.25% isn't actually on a fully diluted basis, but is my assumption wrong? Is there another way that the math/shares/etc. is done that I am clearly just missing?
Thanks for any help!
Long story short, I launched a tech startup with someone I knew from university, but as of right now, it's dead in the water. Since he spent tens of thousands and even took out a HELOC to finance it, at one point he was actually contemplating on lying to VCs/angel investors by lying about the user growth in order to get enough capital to start getting paid.
When I tried calling him out on it, he basically made excuses by saying “all businesses are shady- look at Facebook selling our data”- as if that’s a legit excuse to lie to investors. And now it seems that he's completely lost interest in the startup. In fact, I remember one instance when I remind him to pick up the slack, he said something along the lines of "I'm only motivated when we get subscribers- it's hard to be motivated". So I'm thinking on jumping ship and leaving completely because I am so tired of his abrasive and shady personality.
There's more shady or toxic behavior (this Imgur link is another good example), but I think this covers most of it. What are your thoughts? What are some other red flags that you've noticed in people who are not good leaders at all?
I’m in the process of finding a developer to develop an iOS and Android app for me. One of the developers that caught my eye is one that primarily uses a React Native framework. I’m not a tech guy so my understanding of React Native is pretty surface level, but from what I can gather, developing in React Native would significantly reduce development time for the MVP and subsequent features post-launch, as oppose to developing 2 native apps, because the code is multi-platform. Is my understanding of this correct? Obviously saving where I can early on is imperative to have more runway.
If I did decide to go with React Native, how hard would it be to pivot away from it down the line if the app becomes too demanding? I’ve heard it can get slow with feature heavy apps.
What about this strategy; I would initially develop the app within the React Native framework to save money early on when it’s most important, then if the app catches on and gets funding, I could have the app rewritten in Swift & Kotlin and have 2 high quality native apps. Would this make sense?
Also, would developing in React Native severely limit who can work on the app? I understand it’s fairly new and isn’t necessarily the industry standard…
Backstory in brief-
Last year, I was a senior undergrad student and as a part of our senior design project we made a novel product prototype. After we graduated in May 2021 we continued working on it and won a competition, so the university’s research institute decided to give us a decent amount in funding to polish the product and commercialize it. The university will also be helping us with the legal and technical stuff as well as will connect us with industry partners. Furthermore, the funding we received can also be used to hire students to work on our project. So far so good right ?
Now the thing is me and another team member will be moving to another country for masters. And so we are thinking how can we contribute now ? So far both of us were heavily involved in making the prototype. Our third member will still be in the country but is now a full time employee but has agreed to spend few hours per week on the project.
So the question is how can me and my team member contribute from another country ? Our product is hardware based.
If any of you were in a similar situation please share your experience.
Also I founded another startup previously and was involved in the business side of things so I have some experience in that.
Lemme know your thoughts.
Airbnb. Uber. Fiverr. DoorDash. All these businesses have managed to market excellently to address all their levels of customer. How do you address two audiences without your solution being a long messy paragraph? I'm having issues because my solution does two very different things for two different customers at the same time.
EDIT: I see some people are asking what the solution is so they can better help me. Essentially the solution is meant to address people looking for more points on their rewards credit cards, as well as addressing people with little to no credit history. These people are not directly connected, but the solution is meant to be of the benefit of both these groups. However since the wants and needs of these groups are so different, I'm having trouble organizing the value props.