6 Creative Ideas to Help You Fund Your Startup

November 20, 2015

2:04 pm

Some of us have the funds, but lacking a viable startup idea. Others have a tested idea, but lack the funding. While bootstrapping is common at early stages, at certain point your startup will need extra capital. If raising capital from angel investors or venture capitalists isn’t exactly your “thing”, here are six alternative options to fund your startup.

1. Product Pre-Sales

If you have the initial funds to sustain yourself and your team before the launch the pre-sale model can work great for you.  If you create a product in demand and manage to spread the word with cheap promo strategies, you’ll gain the funds you need for production and further development.

For instance, Priska Diaz managed to raise over $50.000 for her company Bittylab with a strategically planned pre-sale of Bare, air-free baby bottles.

2. Be Your Own Investor by Mastering Micro-Investment Schemes

Timothy Sykes, a self-made 21-year millionaire shared some great tips in this guide: “I’ve turned $12,415 of my bar mitzvah money into more than $4.2 million in trading profits.”

His secret? Penny stocks.

In a nutshell, you can get massive profits to fund your venture by buying cheap (under $5 stocks) and re-selling them later own for higher profits. Certainly, it takes time and loads of hard work to raise some decent asserts, but the potential ROI can be massive in the long-term perspective, meaning you get the assets to fund your venture as well.

3. Purchase Order Financing

One of the most common problems that startups face is that they cannot accept large orders due to the lack of funds to actually build and deliver the product; and they can’t do that as they yet don’t have the profits.

To break the vicious loop you can get in touch with a PO financing company to advance the required funds to your company under a specified interest rate.

4. Ask for IRA Financing from Friends or Relatives

Obviously, you can’t use your own IRA funds to direct them to your venture, but it doesn’t mean you should ask your close ones for support.

Just make sure you settle on mutually acceptable terms and do consult with a lawyer.

5. Participate in Startup Funding Contests

There’s more of them you can imagine and apart from funding, these contests also often offer incubator and/or mentorship programs; a dedicated co-working space and more.

Look into local opportunities by getting in touch with the local incubators and accelerators (they often hold pitch feast and other contests).

On a larger scale, make sure you keep an eye on TechCrunch Disrupt, 7VPD – SevenVentures Pitch Day, Slush, French Tech Ticket, LeWeb and others.

6. Seek for Relevant Grants

If you plan to launch a company based on some scientific endeavors, governmental and private grant programs could be your winning ticket to get funded.

SBA offers grants through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. EPFL offers up to 100,000 CHF in project funding for up to 10 international teams per year.

The money to fund your startup is always there. You just need to find the best opportunity for you and take advantage of it!

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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