App ideas are a dime a dozen these days. The fact that you have an app idea will no longer impress any investor. What counts is whether you can get the idea to work, and how far you can take it. Investors will give their money to startups that can demonstrate that the idea can and will work, and the ability of the founders to grow the business. It is an investment, after all, and like any business deal, the investors expect to turn a profit.
In today’s world, it is very difficult to get that initial investment to help you build your app. However, not all hope is lost. Here is a collection of the best ideas of funding for app:
- Big Brand Campaigns
Big brands often have idea-pitching competitions as part of their CSR. For example, Uber recently had an initiative dubbed UberPitch, where startups got an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to VCs while having an Uber ride with them. Huggies had a similar campaign where they invited moms who have original, innovative product ideas that can make the lives of parents easier to apply. The winner got $15,000 and business support from Huggies.
Such campaigns don’t come often, but when they do, they are a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to source funding and business support.
- Participate in (And Win!) Startup Competitions
There are many startup competitions out there, both ongoing and soon to start. Most of them are open to anyone who is interested, and winning them often comes with generous cash prizes and perks. For example, a recent competition by Office Depot for small businesses offered a huge amount of office supplies as a prize. The beauty of going this route is that not many people know about these competitions, which increases your chances of winning.
- Are You Eligible For College or University Funding?
When did you first have your app idea? If you have an idea while in college, start searching for funding options from day one. What are your options? Many universities offer non-equity grants or direct investments for institution-affiliated entrepreneurs. Other universities have partnered with private companies and investors and created incubator or accelerator programs for startups. Try to find the options you have and take advantage of them.
- Sell Your Product Before It Launches
Do you have that major customer or potential business that would benefit greatly from your idea? Are they willing to give you an advance payment to help you complete the development process?
This method has gained widespread popularity as a way of reducing risks while raising funds and getting the word out there about your business for free. Ask potential customers to fund your app. In exchange, have special offers for early birds and supporters.
Platforms like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Go Get Funding has revolutionized how crowdfunding is done. It is possible to get millions of dollars in funding through some of these platforms.
- Get Local Help
What options does your state, county or municipality have for ventures such as yours? Have you made direct inquiries from them and not just done a quick Google search? Most of these offices have Small Business Development Centers that can assist you by connecting you with potential investors. They can also offer loans or grants. If your business succeeds, the local economy gets a boost, so it is in their best interest to help you out.
- Test Your Idea Out On Social Media
Do you have that app idea but you are still not sure how well it will work? Sometimes it is wiser to find out a bit more data concerning your idea before spending lots of money building a prototype or a working app to try it out on. One of the best ways to test out your idea is through social media. You get instant access to millions of generally unbiased opinions. A great example is that of Bill Gandy. who used to share his historic city photos on Facebook. People loved them so much that he decided to open a gallery to showcase them. He managed to raise more than $12000 in funds in less than 1 month for the funds he needed.
These are just a few ways you can source the funding you need for your app. There are lots of other even more drastic methods you can employ, such as convincing people to fund your idea as a birthday present, cutting down on luxuries, selling your stuff online, letting out your house or even taking a loan from the bank. Your limit is your imagination. Get creative and you will never hit a wall where you realize you have absolutely no funding. Think outside the box.