Why reinvent the wheel? Startups are complicated and each is unique but innovators from every end of the startup building spectrum have developed tools to make launching and growing a venture easier than ever before. These platforms range from helping with market research to helping find an investor. By using these tools, you can drastically reduce the time it takes to validate an idea, launch an MVP, and scale your startup!
Here is a ready-made list of my hand-selected tools to help on your startup journey from end to end.
Develop The Idea
Finding an idea may not seem like the hard part but it is the most critical component of launching a startup. Use these tools to help develop your thesis and see what consumers all over the world are looking for.
Reddit/ Startup Ideas (free)
Product Hunt Idea Forum (free)
Do Some Research
Once you've secured the idea, validation is the next step. From understanding the competitive landscape to identifying the best position for your venture in the industry, these tools will help build your unique selling point (USP).
Uber Suggest (free)
Create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
After doing some market research, you should have a clear idea of what your product/ service offers in comparison to the rest of the businesses in your space. Once you’re clear on that, it’s time to see if your venture “has legs”. By developing a website and/ or a prototype, you’ll have something tangible to bring to your audience. You’ll want to design a product (or a product page) that matches your brand and have a clear call to action- typically a sign up form where interested customers can give you their information.
Pro Tip: when I’m thinking of launching a new venture, the first thing I do is give it a name. This helps make it real for me and also helps me when talking about it to mentors and potential customers. I always head to GoDaddy and type in the name I’m thinking of to see if the domain is available. If it is available, that’s a good indication that the name isn’t being used by another company. If it’s not, I google the domain name and see what it’s being used for. This process helps with market research but also helps me get creative with naming, which is something I personally find troublesome.
Brand Development Tools
Tailor Brands (free)
Website Making Tools
Landing Page Making Tools
App Making Tools
Find a Co-Founder
Once you’ve developed a website, landing page, and/ or prototype- you need to evaluate customer demand. This process typically takes 2–4 weeks and a lot of your time and energy with regards to marketing.
If I’m able to get 50 sign-ups, I move forward with the venture and start looking for a partner or co-founder. If I’m unable to get 50 sign-ups I either kill the project or spend another 2–3 weeks trying different marketing tactics.
CoFounders Lab (freemium)
Founder Dating (freemium)
AngelList- Talent (free)
I want to stress that being a solo founder is totally acceptable if you’re willing and able to put in the work it takes to grow a startup completely on your own. There are pros and cons to having a co-founder but typically being “in it” with someone else helps ease the pressure off of you.
Beta List (freemium)
PR Newswire (paid)
Find & Secure Investment
Beyond the stage of raising venture funding, there are tools available to help scale a venture (like HubSpot as a CRM system and Asana as a project management system) but what you will need is completely dependant on what you’re building.
I hope this list is helpful in finding your footing during the 0–1 phase of startup launch!