First-time Founder’s Ultimate Resource Package
I firmly believe that the BEST way to learn anything is to do it. However easy it may sound like, it’s not always straightforward to put it into practice. Some people don’t know where to start. Some people aren’t aware of the great resources out there. Some people overthink and fall into the analysis paralysis trap. I’m by no means a seasoned or successful entrepreneur who have raised multi-millions in funding nor have I made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 list. But I’ve been lost. I was at once didn’t know where to start when I wanted to start my own business. I wish I had known what I know now. I have also been lucky to have friends and mentors to provide me with their experience and guidance. Now, I’d like to share all the resources I’ve found helpful during my journey with you. I hope you, who is a first-time founder or aspiring first-time founder, can find this resource package helpful in your venture!
The concept of startup accelerator was first introduced by Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator. It’s a cohort based program that typically last for three months with a demo day at its end. There are many accelerators now. You can find most of them at F6S.com. The most prestigious ones are:
There are another category of accelerators run by big corporates, such as Google. They are:
Incubators are different from accelerators in many ways. Typically, you receive investment when participating in an accelerator, and you pay to get into an incubator. Accelerators normally last for a fixed amount of time, the most common ones are three months, whereas incubators don’t have a time limit. Your startup can stay in an incubator as long as it needs to. Most importantly, the values provided by accelerators and incubators are very different. Accelerators provide mentors, industry experts, and access to investors. Incubators provide office space, hiring assistance and network opportunities. The incubators I am aware of are:
Ann Arbor Spark
Bootcamp is another form of program you see quite often. It’s a more relaxed program for founders in the ideation stage to learn basic business frameworks and evaluate if the opportunity is worth bigger commitment. Here are a number of bootcamps I am familar with:
Future Founders Bootcamp in Chicago
Ann Arbor Spark Entreprenure Bootcamp
Start Studio in TechTown Detroit
Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely and extremely challenging journey. You are literally creating something out of nothing and hoping to change the world. Few people have the courage to do so. It’s critical to stay connected with your fellow founders to share experience, exchange expertise, and get support. Here are a few of the founders' communities that might make a difference for you.
Useful Tools or Platforms
Crunchbase: find investors, founders and all fund rasing information
Mailchimp: email automation tool
Dripify: Linkedin automation tool
Website and MVP Development:
Unicornplatform: easy to make beautiful landing page or website.
Webflow: same with unicornplatform
Figma: wireframe construction and product design
Bubble: no node application development platform
Undraw: open source illustrations
Unsplash: high resolution, royalty free images
Banking and Accounting:
Mercury: banking made easy for startups
Zero To One
Crossing the Chasm
The Founder’s Dilemmas
I intend this resource package to always be a work in progress. Please leave a comment or PM me diresctly if you’d like to contribute to the completeness of this list!
Onwards and upwards!