Looking for some advice

Jane-Ellen Burnham
6 replies
Hi guys! I just started working on my own startup! I'm really passionate about my idea, and, as I just graduated from high school and only work part-time, I figure this is the best time to go all-in. My product is an app, and I have coding experience- just enough to know what this app would take is wayyy beyond my skill level. I know that I will need to hire engineers to get this thing started. I have a pretty thought through concept/design. My main issue is funding. What is the best way to get funding, so I could afford to hire skilled engineers? I'm worried that without a product yet (and the fact I'm an 18 year old female) VC's won't take me seriously. I've started building a website, giving an overview of my app and who I am. Would that be helpful in pitching/ show I take this seriously? Also, I'm very paranoid of someone taking my idea that can code better than me and "beat me to it." Any advice on that? Thank you for reading this all! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Replies

Wireframe your idea first into a model that you can test the concept of. It is a chicken and egg scenario if you are not willing to tell anyone your idea before you build it. Funders are looking for tested business model/ideas so validating your idea is really important. You may find you don't even need an app but it is something else. Checkout leanstack if you don't need to learn about Lean startup principles, that learning will stand you in good stead.
Veteran failure, engineer, founder
Start out with figuring out about your customer, validate that the pain you **think** they have - - Is that really their pain - Are they finding solutions already, which means there is competition - How much are they paying Be skeptical of your idea till you validate. It does not matter how much you think it is worth, find customers - - Just a landing page is good to start - Write about it, talk to real people - Create a mockup and ask people to use it as if it was an app Investors take you seriously when you show traction, that you can validate an idea and work to get it known to the customer, measure their demand.
Man behind the Under Cloud.
Hi @jeburnham, @daniel_herrera1 and @sumitdatta have both done an excellent job of providing two perspectives of the same issue, and that's the market fit β€” when thinking about the ideal target audience for your product, does it provide something that audience would appreciate? By demonstrating this fitness, you demonstrate to potential investors that there is a viable market for your product to grow into.
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Contrarian Maker
Hey, first of all - Congrats and wow. You just graduated high school and trying to start up - this is incredibly great in itself. There are at least a few errors you are likely doing here - based on your question. Most of us have done those mistakes, so you need not worry. But you do need to be aware of them. Mistake 1 : Worrying that someone will "beat you to it". That is very very rare. And you can never prevent it - theoretically even your own hired engineers could ditch you and build it. But writing great code is like 30% of the startup, and in early stages, it's value is less than 5%. So just share your idea freely. If you are passionate about it, you will stick with it long enough to get it right. If not, you will anyway not do it long enough. And most of the time, people scoff at your idea instead of copying it. Mistake 2: Worrying about funding. @daniel_herrera1 and @sumitdatta have already covered this. You need to focus on validating your idea. Don't worry about funding yet - it will hurt your chances of even fund raising. You are 18, you have the energy that many of us have left behind, and you are inexperienced enough to see the possibilities that most others will pass on. Use that to your advantage. Mistake 3: Trying to build a complex tool in the first go. Don't do that. If it's way beyond your skill level, you will have trouble recruiting the right engineers anyways. Any complex idea can be broken into barebones. Just strip the idea down to something you (or a friend you trust) can build. All the best
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