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Exposure—young startups need all they can get. No matter how good your idea, no matter how expert your execution, and no matter how innovative your product, if nobody knows about it, no one is going to use it.

However, not everyone has the means to take on a growth hacker or marketing team from the get-go, especially when the founders are still hashing out the basics in a dorm room on the weekend.  

Facebook famously tackled this problem in its infancy by making sure to get itself adopted by college campuses surrounding people that weren’t getting on board or hadn’t heard of it yet.

Although that’s an innovative strategy, it’s not one that will work for everyone. So what’s a new startup to do? Luckily, there are many platforms and communities out there specifically aimed at startups. Here are three essential ones to be on at various stages of your company’s development.


You and your co-founders have a great idea, a website, and maybe even an MVP. However, nobody knows about your product. Index.co is a free database of tech companies that was built with the communities as the focal point. By putting your company on Index, immediately everyone who follows the city or country your company is based in—or the markets in which you operate—will receive updates from your company. You can also gain more exposure for your startup by filling out your profile page with press coverage of your company, product updates, your current team and a link to your hiring page.


Your product is in beta stages and it’s time to test it out with a good amount of new users. Enter Product Hunt. Get your app or service posted and many early adopters will quickly get wind of it and give you valuable feedback on your product, while also gaining some valuable exposure if it takes off.


You’re in the early stages of your product’s journey and are not only hoping to gain valuable advice, feedback and input but also gain exposure at the same time. The Startups thread at Reddit is a great, often overlooked forum to visit in order to get like-minded folks’ opinions and input on your site or product. Whether you’ve got a question to ask, a critique request, or simply would like more eyeballs on your site, it’s the perfect place.


You and your team have ironed out all the kinks and resolved all the bottlenecks, and now you’re ready to get some funding to give you a good boost towards your company’s next stage of growth. Silicon Valley’s (and the world’s) most prominent VCs and Angels are among AngelList’s active users. The ultimate hub for startups and investors, AngelList also provides a convenient way to find out which angels are putting their money where, and who you should approach.


You’ve fully launched on the domain choice of startups everywhere—.CO—and would like to spread the word about your site to their community.  That’s where membership has its perks: by signing up for the .CO Membership Program, you’ll have the opportunity to get your company featured in the .CO directory. Not only that, but you’ll gain access to a ton of valuable perks available exclusively to .CO members. Your startup can get promoted by taking advantage of PR and marketing offers, get hooked up with free or discounted tickets to hot industry events, and score free stuff to help you and your startup succeed.

The ultimate advocate for startups everywhere, .CO is proud to provide over $20,000 in prizes, including a trip to Amsterdam, to the winners of the .CO Innovators Track in this year’s Global Startup Battle.


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Dae Smith Dae Smith