Like many people, I’ve been following Mashable’s 16-episode documentary called Behind The Launch. It is a series designed to take readers behind the scenes to see what it’s like to launch a startup. You get to feel the ups and downs, and see what it’s really all about without any sugar coating. It’s like experiencing it without actually experiencing it, if that makes sense. The company they are following for this documentary is Vungle, a startup that recently raised 2 million dollars in funding from some very big names like Google and AOL.
At Bit Rebels, we are very involved in the startup community. Many of our advertisers are startup companies, and many entrepreneurs who we talk to regularly want to launch a startup. Even one of our guest authors, Jeff Kell, quit his day job to work full time on his newest project called 105 Conversations. I love the whole startup mentality because it’s full of inspiration, hope and most of all, innovation.
Even the definition of startup is evolving. These days, there are as many different kinds of startups as there are flavors of coffee at Starbucks. By definition, a startup is “a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” I read a very good article on Startup Lessons Learned that talks more about this definition and what a startup really is. Although sometimes we’d like to think that anyone who is working in a garage tinkering on what they think is the next big thing has a startup, that isn’t always the case.
And then, of course, there is the issue of funding. Why is it that some startups seem to get funding right away, and others spend years trying to find investors with no luck? I used to think it was because some startups are simply better than others, but now that I’ve read so much on the topic, I don’t necessarily think that is the case anymore. It seems to me like getting a startup funded is very similar to getting a blog post to go viral. In other words, just like it’s not enough to write a killer post and then sit back and wait for people to find it, it’s not enough to have a rockin startup and just hope people will invest in it. Like anything else, it all comes down to the mechanics of your promotion. That is as important as the startup itself.
According to this infographic created by Funders and Founders, raising money is simple but not easy. This chart, which was created for first-time entrepreneurs, goes through some general guidelines to follow if you are trying to raise capital. There is also a very good accompanying article about this on Women 2.0. Have you raised money for a startup before? What has been your experience?
Click Infographic To Enlarge