l'm working on a project that combines top two internet industries (social media and e-learning) to create a first of its kind. The project tosses the world to a unique way of connecting with others around the globe that's based on learning and capacity advancement without loosing the interactivity of a regular social media platform.
The product development has started but currently needs funds to continue. I don't want to go crowdfunding because of the sensitivity of the project. I talked to an angel investor but seem to have his focus in other areas, further tries to get to talk to more investors have not been successful as there are really very few early stage investors out there and they are difficult to find.
I was wondering if anyone in the community could help with any piece of information, advice or ideas of other options that I can leverage to get funds. If you would like to put your money in this or knows someone that will be interested... Talk to me in inbox.
Thanks as I look forward to your valuable contributions
Having been an entrepreneur for 20 years, and a reasonably active early stage investor for many of those years... I can tell you what i do myself as an entrepreneur, and what i look for in the founding teams of companies i invest in:
As an entrepreneur i:
1. bootstrap at least through proof of concept.
2. do whatever i must to live through that period (in the past i have sold my car, sold my house, given up my apartment, stopped eating out, etc...).
3. make sure everyone i meet walks away wanting to either work with me or to use the product.
4. leverage every relationship i have to make it to the next stage.
4. fully commit (if i have a job - quit, no vacations, etc...)
As an early stage investor i look for the following in the founders and idea:
2. willingness to lose everything
3. unstoppable work ethic
5. that they have proven people will pay for the idea (presell the product before it has been launched for example).
6. skin in the game (most of their personal wealth is invested in the company - even if that personal wealth is only a few thousand dollars).
There are 10's or even 100's of thousands of early stage investors in the US. You can find many on gust, angelist, and linkedin without much effort.
Couldn't agree more with Shawn's first point. You at least need POC (proof of concept).
These days no one funds power points presentation or Idea on paper. The problem with an idea on paper is the fact that it competes against thousands but when you have a proof of concept you are competing against hundreds thereby improving your odds.
Understand that the chances of an investor’s money going down the drain on your idea are a few multipliers of its earning healthy returns. If you don’t even invest your own money on POC, MVP or at least a website that talks about your idea why should the investor do so?
I hope this has helped and good luck!
Remember you're awesome!
There really just isn't enough detail in your post to give an answer with any value, except to write that the sensitivity argument likely a non-argument.
What is sensitive about the brand/product? If it can be easily copied, it's likely not a great idea. If you cannot fully explain it, it's likely not a great idea. Remember, you can AND SHOULD talk about your idea with everyone, everyday, all day. Get people excited! You've not done that here, and it's a wasted opportunity.
@Shawn Kernes gives you some great advice. You have to be willing to loose everything you have to get all that you want.
I have been an entrepreneur and I am presently building the MVP for my next startup. From my experience, there are no investor, angel or otherwise, who will fund an idea or product still under development. Product, customers and team must be in place before you can actively look for investment. Shawn has said it all in his comment. If you believe in your idea, build it and start selling it first. Good Luck.
Credit cards, 2nd job, consulting, side gig, rent out a room in your house to a lodger, what about the living room? AirBnB renrent your car when not using it sell it and use the proceeds aand cycle to work. Rent your parking space. Can you downsize anand use profit? Switch utility to save money, swith insurance provider, give up television.
Bit random, but... Quitting a job was not the best idea. I did to have more time, more focus.
Then I realised - I could use my salary to hire 2-3 people via geographical arbitrage.
Damn... Always learning. Don't quit your job just yet!
Thanks Shawn for the great insights and sharing your personal resorts. Good to know that I have the right drives toward the project as you outlined. I will look more in the directions you pointed and see how that goes. Thanks a great deal
Thanks Karen for your interest. I will get in touch.