Started a company that makes MVPs out of college, advice to find clients?

I recently graduated college and I've started a company that makes MVPs (minimum viable products) with a friend of mine. We specialize in creating them quickly and as serverless mobile and web apps in react native and react respectively.

Literally the day after we decided to start this, with no marketing or anything being done yet, I received two calls from people looking for MVPs. Now it's highly likely that we'll work with one of them and the other is still a rough maybe, but after these (or if they fall through) I'm not sure where to go. Without COVID my instinct would be to go to entrepreneurship networking events, but because COVID is the reality I figure I've got to find clients online. I've done some messaging on Linkedin, signed up for a couple online networking events (the first one I'll be attending is next week), but haven't had any success just yet.

We know we should be looking for founders or product owners within larger businesses, what is your opinion on a good way to find these people, when they are in need of an MVP?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Need Advice, my advertising in Instagram / Facebook is failing.

Hi all,

I am launching a new startup this week for live workout and wellness classes and offering a free month in all of my ads on IG/Facebook. The site is seamless and checkout is fluid but I have literally converted NO sales after about $ 200 on IG and different AB Testing. It is only $ 10 a month afterwards so I dont think its a price thing. I am doing really wide demographics right now and getting about $ 1 / click to my website but that seems still very high. When I was doing my specific target demographic I was getting killed at over $ 2 a click. Does anyone have any ideas, guidance? I am pretty new to IG/Facebook advertising, I had a friend in marketing write my copy and have tried a few different things but nothing is converting. It feels like I'm just throwing money in the wind at this point.

I also just finished a 60 second ad with Saff from Tiger King and would advice on where / how to promote it. I was thinking of YouTube between workout videos as well as IG – does anyone have any guidance / blogs / advice on the best places / tips to promote video ads? Thank you in advance

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Advice on a Software Product demo presentation

Hello Experts

I and my other partner is working on a Software product (Web-based SaaS). We have completed the initial prototype (using Adobe XD) of how it would look like, features etc., Although I would still want to refine it based on the feedback from some known resources, my next move is to prepare a presentation on the concept with some potential clients.

The idea is to get this prototyping to the next stage by actually developing it but only with some static data so the clients can have the actual feel of the product and its features. Full-fledged development would cost a lot at this stage and I wanted to get the feedback from potential users first.

So I am here looking for advice on what to cover in the presentation and if possible some templates I can start with.

I also want to know if I need to sort out the pricing model before I meet the clients. I am not sure about pricing yet as it depends on my development cost and other infrastructure costs that I would incur in future.

By the way, we both are coming from a technical background and no prior experience in sales or business management.

Appreciate any advice in this regard.

Thanks

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Need advice on how to promote product

I recently made an online store an I’m trying to promote this bracelet to raise money for the black lives matter foundation. I’ve tried to dm a bunch of popular Instagram accounts to see if they would promote the product to help a great cause. The issue is they either read it and don’t respond or they want to charge way to much for a promotion that I can’t afford because I won’t make any money from the bracelets. If anybody has any advice on how to promote this product it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

13 Boston-focused VCs share the advice they’re giving portfolio companies

TechCrunch is focusing a bit more on the Boston-area startup and venture capital ecosystem lately, which has gone pretty well so far.

In fact, we had originally intended on releasing this regional investor survey as a single piece, but since so many VCs took part, we’re breaking it into two. The first part deals with the world we live in today, and the remainder will detail what Boston-area investors think about the future.

We broke our questions into two parts to better track investor sentiment. But, we were also curious what was going to come when things got back closer to normal. So, this first entry in our Boston investor survey covers our questions concerning what’s going on now. On Thursday we’ll have the second piece, looking at what’s ahead.

Here’s who took part:

What follows is a quick digest of what stood out from the collected answers, though there’s a lot more that we didn’t get to.

Boston VC in the COVID-19 era

Parsing through thousands of words and notes from our participating VCs, a few things stood out.

Boston startups aren’t having as bad a time — yet, at least — as area investors expected

Fewer companies than they anticipated are laying off staff for example. From our perspective, the number of Boston investors who noted that their portfolio companies were executing layoffs or furloughs (we asked for each to be precise) was very low; far more Boston-area startups are hiring than even freezing headcount. Layoffs appear somewhat rare, but as we all know cost cutting can take many forms for startups. Especially startups on the seed and early-stage side, which makes up the majority of these firm’s portfolio companies.

According to Glasswing’s Rudina Seseri, startup duress has come in “significantly under what [her firm was] expecting at the beginning of COVID-19.”

This may be due to a strong first quarter helping companies in the city and its surrounding area make it another few quarters. We might not know the full bill of COVID-19 and its related disruptions until next year.

More investors than we expected noted that their Boston portfolio companies aren’t raising this year

So what we’re gleaning from that fact is that any decline in Q2 and Q3 VC data is not because companies can’t raise, but because they don’t need to. Comments echoed a theme we wrote about in April: Boston broke records in Q1 in terms of dollars raised, but saw a dip in the number of checks cut.

Pillar VC’s Jamie Goldstein said that “about 15% of our companies are planning to raise capital this year,” which felt about average. Underscore VC’s Lily Lyman simply noted that, “Yes,” her Boston-area portfolio companies would hunt for new capital this year. Bill Geary of Flare Capital is on the other side of that coin, saying that “each of [his firm’s] Boston-based investments has successfully recently raised capital and will not be raising additional funds until 2021.”

It’s hard not to wonder if what happened to Boston unicorns Toast and EzCater was the exception and not the rule

 You see, Boston’s startup scene skews relatively early stage, so smaller companies don’t have high-profile cuts because, to be frank, there isn’t much staff to cut in the first place. It puts Boston in a unique setting to focus in on its early stage market, and investors all agreed that this is an important moment for the ecosystem.

The March-era stress tests are now months in the rearview mirror, and every startup has shaken up their spend and growth plans. Perhaps we have met the new normal, and it’s time to let the runway do the talking.

With that, let’s get into full questions and answers.

Rudina Seseri, Glasswing Ventures

What is the top-line advice you’re giving your portfolio companies right now?

This is a pivotal time, be efficient and drive execution. Cut costs where possible but at the same time don’t be afraid to spend for growth acceleration.

What percentage of your Boston-based portfolio companies are still hiring, not including those merely backfilling?

About 60%.

What percentage of your Boston-based portfolio companies have frozen new hires?

About 20%.

What percentage of your Boston-based portfolio companies have furloughed staff?

None.

What percentage of your Boston-based portfolio companies have cut staff?

One company that represents about 4% of the portfolio.

Are your Boston-based portfolio companies looking to raise new capital this year?

Most have raised recently, and consequently are not looking to raise at this time.

If not, are they often delaying due to COVID-19?

No, because of their recent raises, their fundraising considerations will take place in 2021.

Has duress amidst your Boston-based portfolio companies undershot, matched or overshot your expectations from March?

It has been significantly under what we were expecting at the beginning of COVID-19.

How has your investment appetite changed in terms of pace and location, if at all?

We have been very active and closed deals in this environment. Our expectation is that our investment appetite will remain the same going forward.

Are you making investments in Q2 into net-new founders and companies?

Yes, as a matter-of-fact we just closed a yet-to-be announced investment this month.

Are there particular sectors of startups in Boston that you expect to do well, aside from SaaS businesses that are benefiting from secular trends? Are there any sectors you have become newly bearish on?

Yes, those that are in our core focus areas — solutions that bring down the cost of cloud and data, platforms and tools leveraging AI, those that facilitate cost reduction, and intelligent solutions in cybersecurity that protect the enterprise.

How does the uncertainty of schools reopening impact the startup ecosystem?

This will further drive and institutionalize distributed teams and remote working as a go-forward mode of operating.

Startups – TechCrunch

Robert Kiyosaki – Life Advice (New for 2020)

What can we learn from the Fast Food Industry?

Checkout what Robert Kiyosaki has to say…

Youtube Video

Robert Kiyosaki, best selling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, breaks down what he would do if all of a sudden, he lost everything.

No more money, no more contacts, nothing except the knowledge in his head.

Where would he start to rebuild and how would he go about doing it.

This video is a great motivational tool to take a look at the lessons we can learn from the Rich Dad Poor Dad Life Experience.

What would you do if you had to start from scratch again?

Youtube Video

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Advice on the next steps of my Skincare startup.

Hello everyone! My name is Daniel, I'm from Washington DC and I need your advice on the next steps of my Startup. I started working on this idea a while ago, and I'm not sure what to do next.

I had an idea to develop a website where customers could choose any ingredients to customize their own lip balm. Before this concept, I made market research and found that there are many people who are looking for how to make DIY lip balms, and I decided, why not to make a lip balm builder where users can create their own lip balms and get an already finished product instead of doing it all by themselves at home.

Idea validation.

After that, I developed a landing page where I explained how it works, what benefits customers can find in my idea, and I offered a free sample for potential customers if they leave their email.

I started advertising on Facebook. In four days I received more than 200 emails through the landing page and FB lead form, the conversion rate was quite high. Next step, I sent emails to all interested users, from where they will go to another landing page, where they will order a free sample, but they will need to pay for shipping (so I can cover the cost of materials). About 30-40% of all customers opened email, and 20% went to the landing page, but no one paid.

Did I make a mistake by offering a free sample but charging for shipping?

I was very happy to receive so many emails that I did not expect, but is it possible that they leave emails only for a free sample?

I wanted to start developing an existing website where users will be able to create their own lip balms, but I'm not sure that I have fully validated the idea.

What should I do next?

I would be very grateful if you have any experience and suggestions that you can share! By the way, if you are interested in cooperation, I will be happy to connect and work together.

Thank you!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Advice from founders who have made 100K+ MRR, we made 45K last month and looking for advice on strategy.

Hey all,

We are a SaaS for a certain segment of eCommerce clients. We are founders with no prior successes under our belt as we are just two software developers. <10 employees total. Its been a few years and we have been steadily growing our revenue bootstrapping. I was interested if anyone who had prior successes (>100K~ MRR) would have some advice. If you want more information and want to take a look under the hood, I can do that, but will probably require a non disclosure and an approval from my board which I believe I can do. I do believe we have a lot to learn. What would you guys want to of known at this point of your company?

Thank you Reddit!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Need advice… started a business that took off at 20 and am in the middle of college degree I can’t finish. Drop out, stay in w/ major change- any experience with this? Thank you

Hi all,

I have ALWAYS wanted to own a successful business, and have tried (many times) in the past. I am 20 and have my AS in education, and am continuing the program for elementary education this fall to enter into my junior year.

I always had a passion for marketing and business, although I love educating and have been working in my public school system for two years. My family always encouraged me try to get a degree with job security, and start a business on the side if I ever wanted too.

Well- I did. In April I began a small venture of doing social media management for an online business woman. Did not expect this to be a hit. Fast forward three months and I have 10 clients, am making 8K/month, and killing it. Registered LLC. Room to scale more. I’ve had to turn down probably a dozen clients. I’m currently in the process of having a contract written up to hire a VA ASAP.

Here’s the thing. I’m a hard worker. I’ll work day and night. HOWEVER and elementary education program requires part time and full time student teaching. This is impossible for me to do unless I give up my business.

The family, and I, agree that I can switch to a marketing or business degree this week so I can start at the same college in the fall. Only other option is to not continue my education. I’m a straight A student with an AS in education and served as the Vice President in two honor societies. So to sum that up- I love school. I excel in it.

Does anyone have experience with this? My mind is scrambled. This is scaling so fast I have no time to think. I feel extremely grateful to have accomplished this and my clients are stable for now. We have great relationships, and there’s no shortage of other business women popping into my DM’s to hire me literally daily, so I see this working in the long term.

TLDR: Just finished AS in elementary education, about to finish program for the next two years. Started a business in April- took off and making 8K months. Can’t finish my degree and keep the business because it requires full time student teaching.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!