It takes a lot of resources to be successful as an entrepreneur, and it’s hard to know where to look. That’s why we’ve put together these resources for our fellow startup founders!
Startup founders often get asked the question, “Where can I find resources for my startup?” We’ve compiled a list of our favorite resources to help guide you through your journey.
Table of Contents
Best Resources For Startup Founders
When I decided to start my own company, I had no clue what these words meant. Coming from an academic background, I lacked a lot of institutional or basic business knowledge at the start. Never having started up a business before, it was daunting to figure out how to start. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do and a deep desire to grow this idea. Are you in the same position I was in just over a year ago? I want to share some resources I wish I had access to at this point to alleviate your concerns or questions.
Resources are available for free in multiple formats, depending on what and how you want to learn. I feature playbooks and guides, online courses, founder stories and encyclopedias. I recommend exploring a few of these resources to find the answers to your queries. For very early-stage founders, these guides will help you refine your idea and help it grow.
MaRS Startup Toolkit
MaRS is one of the biggest innovation and startup launchpads in North America. While it might be a bit early to apply to their early-stage startup program, you can avail of their toolkit. These resources cover a lot of important topics. These include:
- Company Building: Everything you need to know about forming and positioning a company. I learned that there is an official way to get your business recognized by your government. Some steps need to keep your business in good-standing afterwards.
- Fundraising: Learn about different funding strategies and investors. What does it mean to give up equity in your company? What are venture capitalists and angel investors? How do you find them?
- Operations: All the nitty-gritty legal stuff, agreements and accessibility. I realized very late that understanding this information is extremely important in health-related startups.
- Recruiting and Hiring
- Branding, Marketing and Sales
Techstars Entrepreneur Toolkit
Techstars is one of the most successful seed accelerators in the world. They help innovative tech companies make it big. Their toolkit features 20 bite-sized modules that take you through what you need to know. These modules are organized in a logical sequence. If you have absolutely no idea how the startup world works, this provides a pathway to learn from start-to-finish. This toolkit covers everything including:
- The Lean Canvas: A quick exercise to help define everything from market segmentation to value proposition.
- Key Performance Indicators: How to set out realistic and measurable goals.
- Pitching: How to present your business idea to potential investors.
- Navigating Mentor and Co-Founder Relationships
YCombinator Startup School
YCombinator is an accelerator that incubated companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, DropBox and Twitch. You can sign up for their startup school for free, immediately gaining access to many courses. The topics cover everything you might want to learn, even how to come up with a great startup idea. The resources are very easy to navigate. It also features a forum for founders to build community, ask questions and find answers.
StartHouse: 600 Free Pitch Decks
StartHouse is an incredible resource to take your pitch deck (your slideshow presentation) to the next level. It gives you the actual pitch decks successful companies presented to investors. You can find the companies in your business niche to study the competitors. Without any prior guidance, I found making a pitch deck extremely challenging. I recommend browsing this site for inspiration and guidance.
Version One Startup Handbook
Version One is a venture fund that invests in early-stage companies. Their handbook aggregates lessons from the almost 100 startups they have worked with or continue to work with. Compared to the other tools, these resources are in an eBook format. This living document will continue to grow. After all, the tech space is moving incredibly fast. Version One provides a great explainer on using their handbook:
Built around best practices and real-world experiences, but it doesn’t mean that everything will fit your specific startup and situation. You may want to add your twist to some practices or ignore some advice altogether. As you’re building your business, never forget that you’re in charge. It’s up to you to decide the best way to run it.
Startups.com — Like Wikipedia, but Built by Founders
Startups is a tech company providing a platform to help people launch their idea:
We provide education and tools to walk aspiring Founders through the entire startup process: including education, business planning, mentorship, customer acquisition, funding, and staffing.
Their library of resources is free to peruse, forming an extensive encyclopedia for founders. It is split into four sections: videos, founder stories, expert advice and playbooks. Several step-by-step playbooks help build your company (or even newsletter) from scratch.
resources for entrepreneurs 2021
1. Online Geniuses
“Online Geniuses is a large Slack community of entrepreneurs and marketing leaders who talk shop across multiple areas of running a business. The community provides added benefits too, such as Q&A sessions with top industry leaders, link exchange or guest posting opportunities and business partnerships in multiple verticals.” ~ Mario Peshev, DevriX
2. Product Hunt
“One forum I highly recommend following is Product Hunt. It’s an energetic and active community of makers that curates the best new products every day. In addition to helping you engage with like-minded founders and find early adopters for your own product, it allows you to discover innovative and exciting products and stay on the cutting edge of the latest technologies before they become mainstream.” ~ Vishal Shah, Ledger & Tax
3. Lean Luxe
“Lean Luxe, which hosts both a newsletter and a Slack channel, is an incredible resource for any entrepreneur considering building a consumer-facing business. It’s on my very short list of things I pay attention to with religious fervor.” ~ Colin Darretta, Innovation Department
4. Indie Hackers
“For entrepreneurs or anyone planning a startup, I’d recommend Indie Hackers, which is a forum that has lots of great advice and resources and a large and knowledgeable community. It’s a great resource for networking, learning and sharing information.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
“I would recommend Akimbo. It’s run by Seth Godin and they have a great website and series of seminars and groups. There’s lots of activity online around them.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
“Quora has a number of entrepreneur-based topic threads that you can follow for startup advice and industry insights. Startups and entrepreneurship are two of the most popular topics, both with over four millions followers. One helpful feature is that you can see the most viewed writers within each topic, which allows you to follow thought leaders across individual topics and subsections.” ~ Jordan Conrad, Writing Explained
7. ProBlogger Community Facebook Group
“There are several Facebook groups that are great for entrepreneurs. I particularly enjoy the ProBlogger Community Facebook group that’s built to offer resources and advice to new business owners. Members of the community can give each other advice and share their personal experiences so others can learn from them.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms
8. Facebook Ad Buyers
“I found the group Facebook Ad Buyers helpful when we were planning our social media marketing campaign. This group features both industry experts and first-time business owners. You can learn a lot about implementing Facebook ads to grow your channel and get more traffic to your website.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
9. SaaS Growth Hacks Facebook Group
“For software-as-a-service (SaaS) entrepreneurs, I highly recommend the SaaS Growth Hacks Facebook group. With over 23,000 members worldwide, the discussions that are fostered on the page are rich in insight and advice. Plus, if you need any help with a certain aspect of your SaaS business, people are ready and willing to answer any questions or point you in the right direction. It’s a super friendly community!” ~ Ismael Wrixen, FE International
“Believe it or not, I think Pinterest is a great resource that entrepreneurs should follow to get the best business management, marketing and growth hack tips. It’s an untapped resource that many entrepreneurs don’t know how to use.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
11. Digital Marketing
“There’s a group called Digital Marketing on LinkedIn. They have over a million followers and contributors, so there’s a constant stream of helpful information available for marketing, design, testing and so much more. If you’re even remotely interested in marketing, I suggest you give this group a shot.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC
12. Entrepreneur subreddit
“The Entrepreneur subreddit is a great place to get advice, network and seek collaborations. With around 900k members in the group, there are experts in almost every industry and area of business. Reddit itself is a community known for its brutal honesty and upfront feedback. This is a great place to soundboard your new ideas or see what others are doing and learn from their experiences.” ~ Shaun Conrad, Guitar Repair Bench Online Lessons
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.