l'm working on a project that combines top two internet industries (social media and e-learning) to create a first of its kind. The project tosses the world to a unique way of connecting with others around the globe that's based on learning and capacity advancement without loosing the interactivity of a regular social media platform.
The product development has started but currently needs funds to continue. I don't want to go crowdfunding because of the sensitivity of the project. I talked to an angel investor but seem to have his focus in other areas, further tries to get to talk to more investors have not been successful as there are really very few early stage investors out there and they are difficult to find.
I was wondering if anyone in this beautiful community could help with any piece of information, advice or ideas of other options that I can leverage to get funds.
I think it's a lot harder nowadays to get funding because of the sheer quantity of startups that are well, starting up. Seed/angel investors have moved up, further along the lifecycle, where before, an idea would land you seed funds but now, you not only need to have an MVP, you need to have paying customers (if you're a B2B business) or have at least 10000 MAUs (for B2C businesses). Do you have government grants you can apply for? Or perhaps go the incubator/accelerator route?
When it comes to growing outside money, most people consider venture capital or angel investors. Look towards government grants as well. One of the most unbelievable trends of the last few decades has been the decreasing cost to start a business. It is particularly true for technology businesses, but I think it applies to many other industries as well. The success of a startup depends on various factors such as a brilliant idea, perseverance, and adequate initial capital. One must look for the various fundraising options available to an early stage start-up project beside crowdfunding.
Early stage investors are difficult to find. You may want to see if there are any incubator or accelerator options in your area. Many of them can introduce you to investors once you've gone through their program.
Another option is government grants. Check out the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. There's over $2B available for startups and small businesses. They're very competitive and the grants don't provide working capital (there needs to be some R&D involved), but they are non-dilutive. With your focus on e-learning, you may want to check out the Dept. of Education, they participate in the SBIR program.
It really depends on how much money you need. If you need less than $10K, I would try to fund it yourself and get your product to the next level. The further along you are before you start talking to investors - the better.
When it comes to seed stage... there is crowdfunding, friends & family, credit cards, and/or a private loan from a bank.
As the experts say, you need to decide what your "MVP" is... Minimum Viable Product. Feel free to connect and message me. I would love to learn more about your startup.