TL;DR

Your First Investor is V2.0 of Equity Free Funding Stash. This name totally resonated with us as it reflects our purpose of helping fellow startups with finding their first investor. Please check out the list and let us know what you think by sending a mail to [email protected] or [email protected].


Hi There,

It was July 2016, our main product was slowly taking shape. It was over 6 months that we had quit our jobs to start something on our own. We had already talked to multiple investors. Amidst vague and confusing meetings, some of which made us realise that we sucked at pitching, we did have a couple of good funding offers maturing. On one hand our cash reserves are slowly depleting, we have bills to pay and families to answer to. On the other hand the product and the idea is receiving lots of positive attention however it is too far away from generating any meaningful revenue.

We knew we needed to raise money but the thought of selling a stake in a dream that is still forming, made both of us squirm. We knew that getting funded was a vital part of our journey. We knew that funding will not only change the velocity and trajectory of the business, but also boost our morale.

We also knew that taking VC funding at a very early stage almost always means you will loose a part of your autonomy along with a chunk of your company’s ownership. That is when we sat down and decided to look at alternate routes to get just enough funds to keep us alive for 6 to 10 months. We considered everything from doing freelance work to getting a bank loan. Just to ensure that we could get to some meaningful revenue before we looked at raising funds from VCs.

The Precursor

We heard about Start-Up Chile from a friend (Praneeth’s college senior actually) who had attended the program in the past. For the next couple of days, we went on a research spree and found many accelerators which give you money without taking equity share in your company and studied their offering, terms etc. We were able to gather a list of some really fine orgs around the globe. We even applied to Start-Up Chile. With all that research, we were now sitting on some really useful data for a startup especially early in it’s life cycle.

Equity Free Funding Stash 1.0

We decided to put the list on github for others to use. But, we thought if we can help others in our situation to somehow get excited about the fact that there are other ways to fund their dream instead of selling their company off, we would be giving back. On a whim, we decided to make a map mashup and host it. It took us a couple of hours to go from a spreadsheet with data to a beautiful map mashup of the list. Inspired by Bramk’s startup stash we named it equity free funding stash.

The Hunt

We have something, now we need to show it to the world. What better place than Product Hunt, right? We anyway wanted to experience product hunt as we had our main project coming up for launch in a couple of weeks. So, in the middle of the night, we submitted the product, put a couple of screenshots and went to bed.

The response we received for Equity Free Funding Stash on PH was nothing less than overwhelming for us. We trended for some time during the day and received amazing emails both complementing our effort as well as suggesting improvements. A lot of people engaged with us on PH and twitter as well. Since the product was launched as an open resource on 16Metrics.com, we got a lot of indirect traffic, SEO karma, appreciable traffic hike via social sharing. The icing on the cake was when we recevied an interview request from a Journalist for a Leading English Newspaper.

It’s been more than 6 months since we launched our little side project on product hunt. We’re now part of the Start-Up Chile seed generation 17 🙇.

The 2.0

Your First Investor is the V2.0 of Equity Free Funding Stash. This name totally resonated with us as it reflects our purpose of helping fellow startups with finding their first investor without having to sell off a part of their dream.

We decided to make the interface even more slick and the information even more useful. The product already has...

  • An updated list of equity free funds available across the globe
  • Enhanced social sharing options
  • Individual links to each accelerator
  • Twitter integration to know application deadlines, latest news etc. direct from the org

When we had a ton of queries about the program, we had to go on a scavenger hunt across the world wide web. We thought we can solve this problem for other startups by getting other entrepreneurs who have been part of these programs in the past, to open up about their experiences. We are currently working hard on getting...

  • Interviews with alumni who have attended the program and received the money. Both in a readable format and as a podcast you can listen to.
  • Interviews with key people from the Incubator/Accelerator.
  • More such resources like competitions, perks etc.

If you have any suggestions about how we can make YourFirstInvestor.com a better resource for early stage startups, please drop us a line at [email protected] or [email protected].

--
Praneeth & Vinay

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