Leo J Barnett
How to Fund your App
You should realistically have around £20 - 50K to get your fully polished Version 1 off the ground. If this doesn't come from personal savings or income there are other means! Hopefully you've validated your app first. Now let's get funding.
Bootstrapping: This is when a founder uses their own personal savings or income to finance the startup, without taking on any external funding. It's advised to not quit your day job when starting out for the first time. Keep a steady flow of income coming in. It can also keep you sane sometimes. If you are willing to go all in on your app try and find something that lets you go more freelance or part-time. In my early twenties I was doing prom-work, decorating and part-time extra work acting. It gave nice income and surprisingly good thinking time for my first startups. If you're a professional you should be better positioned. You'll achieve invaluable learning when building your own project or app on the side too. It's a personal development investment in many ways as a business.
Friends and family: Many first-time founders turn to their personal network, such as friends and family, for funding. This is a sensitive area but will be a huge motivator and getting things done when close ones invest. Have a plan to pay them back if things don't go to plan and of course show why you're doing it and the upsides! Keep them updates as much as possible with progress.
Angel investors: Angel investors are high net worth individuals who provide capital in exchange for an equity stake in the company. They can provide both funding and mentorship to first-time founders. You can find angels via various websites like angellist, crunchbase and Linkedin. Networking is crucial for founders, it's how I found my investors. Attend networking events, meet fellow founders and GIVE. Give what you can to people before you start asking. When you're valuable to someone it can really pay off in the future. One person can lead to many doors. There's also many events you can catch on Eventbrite or Meetup.com where you can meet investors. But to re-iterate, networking is a fundamental skill a founder should have. You should be comfortable getting yourself familiar in the industry and being bold enough to give your elevator pitch at every opportunity. Of course have a pitch deck ready here! A short and long one is advised. You'll need to outline your idea, traction (if any) research, problem, solution and team....and more. Let leojbarnett.co help you with that!
Crowdfunding: This is when a large number of people invest small amounts of money in a startup. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are popular options for first-time founders. Popular crowdfunding sites include: Seedrs - A partner of mine BUA FIT had a very successful raise here. Crowdcube - Invest in Europes most exciting businesses. Kickstarter - "Bring a creative project to life" NESTA - List some platform here supporting good causes
Incubators and accelerators: Incubators and accelerators provide mentorship, resources, and funding to early-stage startups. They often invest in exchange for equity and provide a network of contacts and resources. A massive bonus here is the community it brings Examples: F6S - This is a great place to find a good fit for your startup. Entrepreneur First Startupbootcamp Bethnal Green Ventures Huckltree Techstars
Government Grants / Loans: Government grants are available for certain industries and businesses, such as technology, renewable energy and social enterprises. List of government grants - Browse through to find your fit Gov Startup Loan - This is for loans not grants Innovate UK - The UK's national innovation agency NESTA - Charities and social impact
Venture Capital: Venture Capital firms invest in startups with high growth potential in exchange for a stake in the company. They tend to invest at later stages, when the company has a working product, traction and a clear path to revenue. Hold fire on going for VC money until you have an outstanding product, team and product - market fit.
Another alternative to this is to find a co-founder to reduce / split costs and work. Myself and team like to feel like a co-founder. Our services are personal and you get consultation in every area. We can help put your pitch together, MVP, build you product fully and put you in touch with our investor network. Reach out for more info at leojbarnett.co