Founders of super-awesome startups at any stage, if you can give ONE advice as per your experience to budding startups & founders, what will it be?

Hey everyone,

I recently started working on a startup as a side project, while working full time for another firm.

We recently launched Beta, & I followed & implemented super-awesome advice/suggestions from the fellow Redditors.

Let's start a thread where you can put the most crucial advice based on your own personal experience.

I am sure this will help a lot of budding startups.

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

CRM/ERP for early stage startup to manage business

Our startup has been in business for a little over 18 months now, and we have received our first startup funding ($ 400k).

So far we’ve been managing everything in google drive but it’s becoming unmanageable. We have document everywhere and we’re at the point where we have quite a few supplier leads, we’re in discussions with suppliers, we are having meetings and setting tasks but there’s no easy way to manage it, and make sure things are getting done.

We are in the medtech/biotech space so typical software dev Agile platforms don’t exactly match what we want. Over the last few days I’ve been trying what I thought might be a good option – Bitrix24 – in depth. I like a lot of what it does, but some things are just annoying. For example, I’d like to be able to easily attach a quote to a contact (for example a supplier) so that everyone in the team can see it. For some reason I can only set up a “deal” in one direction (us being the supplier and the contact being the purchaser) – but we aren’t really at the sales point in the business yet.

Essential features: – contact management to keep track of our growing list of contacts – email integration (saving emails in the CRM so everyone in the team can see them) with GSuite – project management (even if it’s just simple tasks and Kanban) – Linking to Google Drive docs would be nice (many “cloud CRMs” have 5gb file allowances. We already pay for google drive… – relatively easy to use (some of our team members while scientifically talented aren’t entirely computer geniuses) a nice interface makes it a lot easier to sell to the team

Nice to haves: – some moderate accounting stuff (tracking sales for companies, making invoices, tracking costs?)

We don’t want to be spending a fortune on this, $ 400k sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t a huge amount in biotech. We will be going for Series A in 6-10 months, but we’d like to spend <$ 100/month total for 5 users.

Appreciate any insights anyone has. I’m trying to look around some of the CRMs and ERPs and they look like they’re either stuck in the early 2000’s or simply don’t give a demo!

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

Tech cofounder, idea stage, vesting vs founder stock opinions

I’m working on an idea stage startup with a few other guys (still pre-wireframes).

I would be the tech cofounder in charge of building the MVP (anywhere from 2-5 months and around 20k-60k of my time).

Of course I’d also be responsible for ongoing feature updates, bug fixes, etc after launch (a full or part time commitment from my experience).

We’ve started to talk about equity this week. I’m easy going and would prefer to keep things simple. We initially agreed on a 4-way split and I’m okay with this equity percentage wise.

We’d discussed a generic 4 year vest and 1 year cliff.

However, thinking more about this, if I’m getting 25% vested monthly over 4 years and it takes me 4 months to build this… I’ll have invested 50k of my time at the most risky point of the venture and be essentially 2% vested at that point… the equivalent of investing 50k at a 2.5M valuation which is sort of high in the context of this specific venture and where it’s at now.

I’m not so much concerned about the absolute percentage, but rather the vesting schedule.

Should I be asking for a clause that provides some percentage as founders stock or at least some sort of accelerated vesting tied to delivery of the MVP?

Otherwise I could potentially build this thing into a company and be ousted with a dilut-able 2% stake

Again I don’t want to make incorporating any more complicated than it needs to be… anyone have clever ways they’ve tackled this in the past?

Thoughts?

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

What does the fundraising landscape look like in the COVID-19 era? Harder or easier to raise an early stage round from your perspectives?

Looking to do some investor outreach in Q3 for raising some seed funding and would like to understand what the fundraising landscape looks like ahead of time while we’re in this pandemic.

I assume in periods of economic uncertainty that fundraising is a lot harder and investors are probably being much more conservative with their available investment funds…

Thanks in advance for your inputs, upward and onwards!

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

Mozilla goes full incubator with ‘Fix The Internet’ startup lab and early stage investments

After testing the waters this spring with its incubator-esque MVP Lab, Mozilla is doubling down on the effort with a formal program dangling $ 75,000 investments in front of early stage companies. The focus on “a better society” and the company’s open-source clout should help differentiate it from the other options out there.

Spurred on by the success of a college hackathon using a whole four Apple Watches in February, Mozilla decided to try a more structured program in the spring. The first test batch of companies is underway, having started in April an 8-week program offering $ 2,500 per team member and $ 40,000 in prizes to give away at the end. Developers in a variety of domains were invited to apply, as long as they fit the themes of empowerment, privacy, decentralization, community, and so on.

It drew the interest of some 1,500 people in 520 projects, and 25 were chosen to receive the full package and stipend during the development of their MVP. The rest were invited to an “Open Lab” with access to some of Mozilla’s resources.

One example of what they were looking for is Ameelio, a startup whose members are hoping to render paid video calls in prisons obsolete with a free system, and provide free letter delivery to inmates as well. I wrote about the company here.

“The mission of this incubator is to catalyze a new generation of internet products and services where the people are in control of how the internet is used to shape society,” said Bart Decrem, a Mozilla veteran (think Firefox 1.0) and one of the principals at the Builders Studio. “And where business models should be sustainable and valuable, but do not need to squeeze every last dollar (or ounce of attention) from the user.”

“We think we are tapping into the energy in the student and professional ‘builder communities’ around wanting to work on ideas that matter. That clarion call really resonates,” he said. Not only that, but students with canceled internships are showing up in droves, it seems — mostly computer science, but design and other disciplines as well. There are no restrictions on applicants, like country of origin, previous funding, or anything like that.

The new incubator will be divided into three tiers.

First is the “Startup Studio,” which involves a $ 75,000 investment, “a post-money SAFE for 3.5% of the company when the SAFE converts (or we will participate in an already active funding round),” Decrem clarified.

Below that, as far as pecuniary commitment goes, is the “MVP Lab,” similar to the spring program but offering a total of $ 16,000 per team. And below that is the Open Lab again, but with ten $ 10,000 prizes rather than a top 3.

There are no hard numbers on how many teams will make up the two subsidized tiers, but think 20-30 total as opposed to 50 or 100. Meanwhile, collaboration, cross-pollination, and open source code is encouraged, as you might expect in a Mozilla project. And the social good aspect is strong as well, as a sampling of the companies in the spring batch shows.

Neutral is a browser plugin that shows the carbon footprint of your Amazon purchases, adding some crucial guilt to transactions we forget are powered by footsore humans and gas-guzzling long-distance goods transport. Meething, Cabal, and Oasis are taking on video conferencing, team chat, and social feeds from a decentralized standpoint, using the miracles of modern internet architecture to accomplish with distributed systems what once took centralized servers.

This summer will see the program inaugurated, but it’s only “the beginning of a multiyear effort,” Decrem said.

Startups – TechCrunch

Equity Monday: Intel covets Moovit, two early stage rounds, and Uber’s earnings

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a jumpstart for your week.

Equity had a busy last few days, so to help you catch up: Friday’s episode was a lot of fun (Duolingo, Figma, OMERS, and aquafaba), and we also dropped an Equity Shot on Saturday, digging into the first major technology earnings week.

But this morning we were busy digging through what’s happened over the last few days, and what’s to come. Here’s the rundown:

We wrapped asking that’s going to come for companies that were still speculative businesses before the slowdown. They’re going to vaporize, right?

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

Startups – TechCrunch

Do I need to incorporate the business in MVP stage?

I am about 1 month away from completing my MVP and sharing it with the customers I've spoken to as a small test group. To take payment, is it legally required to incorporate the business? I am pretty early stage and may even change the name (people have trouble spelling it). I am also moonlighting with a full time job most days, so it wouldn't be ideal to have to state any extra income (If I'm lucky, haha) or do anything that might alert my employer.

I have researched this a little and felt the info was quite blurry. I'm assuming the startup mentality is just to get the MVP out there, see if it works, then think about that a bit later. Thoughts?

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

Day in the Life of Very Early Stage Startup CEO and Key roles

I know that for startups no day is similar to another, but on a general basis, for an early stage software startup that is pre-launch, what is the role of a CEO if there is already a CTO and CFO on the team too? What would a CEO do on a daily basis if the CTO is working hard on writing code and building features for the product and might have insights about design and the CFO is working hard on financial issues, creating revenue models and pricing models and looking at cash flow? Assume that the CEO had enough technical skills to build a very basic prototype/proof of concept for the product but not more than that but can also understand some technical issues too and also that the CEO doesn’t have formal product UI/UX design but can do basic rudimentary design and figure where things should go and work with an actual designer to make mock ups and send to the CTO and engineers to build features around.

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

Legalities to consider when you are at the “building of your MVP” stage.

I was wondering what kind of legalities you should consider when just starting out and in the process of building an MVP. When should you incorporate your business etc. (fyi my site will collect data from individuals and let them build a profile based on a specific interest. This info would be searchable by others who also have profiles). Any help would be appreciated.

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

At what stage is it okay to get an (angel) investor involved?

We're a group of three people. We are currently facing some cash crunch due to the ongoing Pandemic and have been looking forward to get some investment by giving equity.

We are still in an early stage tho. We have a product as a service setup. Our product is still in development. We'd need to employ more people for development however.

Can we get an investment at this stage?

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