So you’ve got a terrific idea for a startup? Great!
If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, you may feel overwhelmed by all the new vocabulary and concepts around building a business.
Techstars encourages all of us to #GiveFirst, so today my gift to you is a long list of great resources from across the web. Give these articles a read, and before you know it, you’ll be finding a great co-founder, building a MVP, acquiring customers, perfecting your pitch, and even raising a seed round!
BUSINESS: Defining and fine-tuning your core offering
- The business model canvas: https://strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas
- Building a MVP (Minimum Viable Product): https://rubygarage.org/blog/how-to-build-a-minimum-viable-product
- Achieving PMF (Product-Market Fit): https://www.forbes.com/sites/hayleyleibson/2018/01/18/how-to-achieve-product-market-fit/#44378185476b
- Running design sprints: https://www.thesprintbook.com/how/
- 10 steps to perfect your startup pitch: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/10-steps-perfect-your-startup-pitch
- Pricing your product: https://www.sequoiacap.com/article/pricing-your-product/
- Branding must haves: https://foundr.com/brand-identity-system-startups
PEOPLE: Finding and working with the right people
- Finding great co-founders: https://guykawasaki.com/how-to-find-a-co-founder/
- Creating the right culture for your startup: https://www.techstars.com/content/accelerators/creating-right-culture-startup/
- How great leaders inspire action: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action
- Three types of mentors you need: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/327671
- Five rules for networking: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyhoey/2019/01/10/five-rules-for-networking-your-startup-in-a-new-city/#777ead803735
- How to write the best forwardable email: https://alexiskold.net/2015/06/24/how-to-write-a-forwardable-introduction-email/
TECHNOLOGY: Getting the tech correct
- What makes a good CTO? https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2015/08/28/what-makes-a-good-cto-great-8-qualities-to-hire-for/#49e7a3e04b03
- Making engineering team communication clearer, faster and better: https://firstround.com/review/making-engineering-team-communication-clearer-faster-better/
- Common UI/UX website mistakes: https://www.techstars.com/content/startup-digest/common-uxui-mistakes-can-ruin-website-design/
- Understanding modern web development: https://levelup.gitconnected.com/web-development-introduction-39ed3544e95c
- What is blockchain? https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/
- Everything you need to know about AI (Artificial Intelligence): https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-ai-everything-you-need-to-know-about-artificial-intelligence/
GROWTH: Getting customers
- Tools for understanding your customers: http://firstround.com/review/the-tools-early-stage-startups-actually-need-to-understand-their-customers/
- Marketing tactics: https://www.techstars.com/content/uncategorized/9-marketing-tactics-new-startups
- Marketing automation: https://www.techstars.com/content/startup-weekend/utilizing-marketing-automation-startup/
- The ultimate guide to customer acquisition: https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-acquisition
- Dictionary of marketing terms you should know: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inbound-marketing-glossary-list
- Making sales a priority: https://tech.co/startups-you-need-to-make-sales-a-priority-2016-03
FUNDRAISING: Money to grow and scale
- Startup fundraising: https://www.techstars.com/content/accelerators/startup-fundraising-executive-summary/
- Raising money for your startup: https://www.inc.com/mark-suster/raising-money-for-your-startup-here-are-6-things-you-absolutely-must-do.html
- A fundraising template every entrepreneur can use: https://techcrunch.com/2015/05/30/how-much-does-your-startup-need-to-raise/
- What is an angel investor? https://www.startups.co/articles/what-is-an-angel-investor
- 16 startup metrics you need to know: https://a16z.com/2015/08/21/16-metrics/
- Nine seed funding gotchas: http://www.techstars.com/content/blog/9-seed-funding-gotchas/
- Why investors prefer founding CEOs: http://www.bhorowitz.com/why_we_prefer_founding_ceos
Read all these and still want more? The Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit offers videos, exercises, and more to help you #domorefaster.
P.S. Last year I read 12 books. This year, I set myself a stretch goal, and I’m aiming for 48! However, I’m going to need your help. If you also like reading, tweet at me @iamsabakarim, and let me know what you’re reading so we can chat about it—and possibly feature your recommendation on my next Techstars Blog.
Applications are now open for 22 of our accelerator programs (the most open at the same time ever), across North America, Europe, and Asia. This is why our managing directors and program managers are hitting the skies to learn more about what you’re working on.
Come to a Meet and Greet in your city and find out if Techstars mentorship-driven accelerators are a good-fit for you. If you haven’t attended one before, check out this video to see what our Meet and Greets are all about.
Pro-Tip: There are six things we looks for in a company: team, team, team, market, progress, idea. No, that’s not a typo. What this means is if you get the opportunity to connect with us in-person or online, worry less about digging into your technology stack, product features, or financial models—and show us who you are, how awesome your team is, where your passion lies, and why we should invest in you.
What to know more about what Techstars is up to? Here are just a few recent launches:
- A space focused accelerator program in Los Angeles;
- A student-led ventures program between the U.S. and Ireland;
- A maritime tech focused accelerator program in Singapore;
- A startup ecosystem development program in Buffalo;
- Techstars Studio, a new offering to rapidly envision, validate, and launch disruptive startups.
We look forward to meeting you! If you’re unable to make any of Meet and Greets listed, feel free to join an upcoming Virtual Meet and Greet.
As we continue to grow the Techstars worldwide network, we are on the lookout for startups worldwide from even more verticals than last year… or even last week.
Join us over the coming months as our team visits cities across the world. This is your opportunity to get inspired, connect with our team, and share with us what you’re working on. You can also apply for a one-on-one meeting with our program staff to learn more about our programs. Visit accelerate.techstars.com/meetandgreet to sign up.
There are 16 Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator programs that will be kicking off in February 2019. Applications are now open.
Pro tip: Unlike your college essay, it does help to submit earlier. In some cases, we’ve had an influx of applications come through on the night before applications close. Again, it’s not compulsory, but it doesn’t hurt to get in front of our team earlier.
If you’re not familiar with Techstars, perhaps you have heard of one of the companies that went through our programs that we’ve helped accelerate:
- Pillpack, acquired by Amazon for $1 billion
- SendGrid, first company to go public from a tech accelerator.
- Classpass, the reason you can visit multiple gyms in your area
- Sphero, creator of the BB-8 and other app-enabled robots.
So what makes Techstars different? We’re a mentorship-driven accelerator – an enormous network of mentors, who are investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals who continue to give advice and help companies grow. Until six years ago, Techstars was just in the United States. Ten years ago, we were only in Boulder. Now, our mentorship-driven accelerators are across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and my homeland of Australia.
Now is your opportunity to join the Techstars worldwide network by joining us for a meet and greet session in your city!