These resources are a companion to Startup Mixology: Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. Startup Mixology explains the ingredients of winning entrepreneurship through the stories of companies like MakerBot, WordPress, Zappos, and Basecamp. You’ll also discover the harsh reality of starting up and how to stay sane and happy with moments of celebration. If you haven’t already, get the book here!
Microsoft BizSpark: Members get three years of access to resources, including over 900 development tools, platform technologies, and server products, as well as discounts on Windows Azure and a Windows Phone developer account. Members also get technical support, business training, connections to investors and advisors, and publicity on the Microsoft BizSpark site. Microsoft BizSpark, for example, has over 50,000 members in over 100 countries.
Rackspace Startups: Rackspace gives early-stage companies discounts on cloud services, developer tools, and advice and introductions to other startups.
Amazon Web Services: Amazon Web Services has a Self-Starter package that includes a free AWS account, support, training, and offers from partners.
.CO (Tech Cocktail partner): If you’re have a .CO domain, you have access to resources at go.co, including promotion, networking, and education. .CO offers things like free tickets to Startup Weekends, Google AdWords credit, SEO consultations, free or discounted coworking space access, and PR help.
American Airlines Business Extra: If you sign up for this program, your company earns points for travel awards when booking flights on American, while your employees also earn AAdvantage miles.
WordPress: WordPress blogs are free, and you can pay under $100 for premium themes or customizable colors and fonts. Groupon started out as just a WordPress site to test the daily deals model. Tech Cocktail is on WordPress, as are many media companies.
Squarespace: An easy-to-use website builder ($16 per month includes unlimited pages and storage).
Weebly: A drag-and-drop tool to design and build your own website (free or up to $8 per month). You can do a quick search for website builders and find a number of other possibilities.
Skype: A free voice and video chat service. If you need to call a phone number, you can buy Skype credit.
Google Hangouts: A free voice and video chat service with more features, including screen sharing, document sharing, and special effects. Call to US numbers are free.
FreeConferenceCall.com: A simple option for conference calls.
Speek: A more robust conference calling experience, including web and mobile versions.
Basecamp ($20-$150 per month): Project management and productivity software.
Tracky: A reinvented project management and to-do’s solution that focuses on individuals, not organizations.
Asana (free or $50+ per month): A very simple yet powerful solution with projects, to-do lists, and calendars.
Trello: An organization tool for individuals or groups to keep track of their business or personal life.
Moz Analytics ($99 per month): Recommend ways to boost your SEO and help you monitor competitors.
Raven Tools ($99 per month): Also recommends ways to boost your SEO and help you monitor competitors.
Trackur (which has two plans for under $100 per month): Find mentions of your startup on social media.
Sprout Social (which has three plans under $100 per user per month): Find mentions of your startup on social media.
HootSuite ($8.99 per month for business): Track and manage social media postings.
LaunchRock (free): Create a landing page for product signups.
Unbounce ($49 per month): A more comprehensive landing page tool that lets you do automated a/b testing.
MailChimp (free for up to 2,000 subscribers): A simple email newsletter creation tool and analytics.
Constant Contact: A suite of marketing tools for small businesses, including email marketing, social media marketing, digital surveys, event marketing, and local deals.
Google Analytics: Robust and free analytics.
KISSmetrics ($150 per month): More detailed analytics, including additional customer behavior tracking and tools.
Trac: Open source bug tracking for programmers.
Subversion: Open source version control for programmers.
GitHub ($25-200 per month for businesses): A code repository where people can house, share, and collaborate on their code. It’s free for open source projects.
UserTesting ($49 per participant): A tool where you can watch someone trying your product and giving commentary as they navigate through it.
Verify ($19 or $49 per month): Get user feedback about your design, see what people click on, and more.
Balsamiq ($79): A tool for creating mockups of your website.
Other apps and services
Google Apps: Free forms, document sharing, to-do lists, calendars, and more.
SurveyMonkey (free, or $25 per month for unlimited questions and responses): Online surveys.
Wufoo (free for up to 100 entries per month, $14.95 for up to 500): A form builder that lets you embed forms on your site.
Dropbox (free with paid plans that have more storage): A file storage and file sharing program.
Fiverr: A marketplace for outsourcing tasks like design, copyediting, and more for $5+.
crowdSPRING: A marketplace for crowdsourcing your logo, web design, and naming.
99designs: A marketplace for crowdsourcing your logo, web design, and more.