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VC, Angel or Accelerator? What’s best for our mobile app startup about to launch Beta on our MVP?

Background:

We are 1-2 months out from releasing Beta version on our first mobile app. We currently have limited funds as the only capital raised has been the initial investment of the three founders (roughly $3000). This does not mean we are incapable of launching a great app on our limited resources. We have a solid launch plan and are about to embark on our initial marketing/ad campaign to generate buzz before the launch of our first mobile app. To ensure success I believe raising seed funding would give us that extra boost we could not have achieved otherwise.

We have 3 founders with a generous split of equity that has been written in our contracts to have a 5% equity contingency each that is set aside for investors and raising capital. (15% total equity set aside for such uses)

Target Audience:

Our target audience are young business professionals, college students and people in relationships between 20-35

The Plan:

Pre-launch

On the pre-launch campaign we currently are planning to use an internet marketing service MaxAudience putting in $2000 for a two-month push to get our brand in front of 30,000 targeted users with a guarantee of minimum 2500 impressions on our website & social media outlets. During this 2-month process we will be scattering our companies brand all over Austin, Houston, San Antonio, San Marcos and surrounding Houston cities with our main focus around the major college campuses. The method is to gain brand recognition from both targeted social media ads and repetition of visual engagement (small banners/fliers posted in high volume college-student/young-adult atmospheres)

Launch (3 parts)

First we have determined that we can gain a large number of initial downloads through the use of our connections with sorority and fraternities around the nation. Our largest backing Sorority has over 75 branches nationwide and 17+ in Texas alone (where we are based). As new pledges come in they are required to participate in events in which this launch has been added to the roster. We will have booths set up during large events to give students a chance to win free items through our free raffle. We will have custom made FoodRoll t-shirts, koozies and gift cards from prospective sponsors (Major chain fast-food companies). To sign up for the free giveaways all you have to do is download the app and show that you've used it to one of our booth members. You gain 1 entry to the raffle for downloading the app, you gain another for adding us on Facebook, another for following us on twitter and the list goes on for doing the same for our sponsors (Downloading the FREE app is the only way to have access to multiple entries). We already have screen printers lined up to give us great deals on bulk purchases (friend pricing) which we have quoted.

The second part of this launch has to do with local Austin business whose website/app has over 1.5 million unique viewers per day and is a huge player in young adult interaction. We are planning a launch at Google Fiber Space in Austin Texas hosted/sponsored by this local Austin business. This will put our company in front of millions of people within our direct market while also creating buzz on all social media platforms. Hopefully this launch will catch eyes of large players in the Tech community resulting in multiple features by well-known bloggers and get us great publicity on local or even national news stations.

The third part of this launch is to reach out to well-known bloggers and large tech industry writers to let them know that this is happening rather than relying on them to find out after the fact.

Okay, so now that I have shared a quick & basic run-through of our plan of attack, I would love to hear some feedback on what fundraising/investing avenue you guys (and girls) would find to be most beneficial in the success of our company. (note we are currently developing 2 other apps, one of which will heavily sway our investors to invest more for less equity. Message me for more info)

33 Replies

Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
The post did not hold its original formatting I apologize about the rough read.
Kate Hiscox
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Kate Hiscox Entrepreneur • Advisor
Boss at Venzee
Hi Bret, What does the app do?
Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
Hey Kate!My girlfriend and I would always argue over where to eat and it always was the same "I don't care, you pick" so one day I decided to make the app. It isn't just a food randomizer, we filters for price, distance and things to avoid. On top of all that we also have an algorithm we implemented to make sure you don't keep "rolling" the same place and it can remember where you've already eaten so you don't keep getting "Italian" or "Mexican" food for each meal.You can check it out at FoodRoll.io we have screenshots up for people to check out. The other app we are focused on developing is FoodRollHealth which uses the same process of finding places to eat but uses a weight loss calculator and tracks your daily calories through rounding average calories for meals like breakfast and outputs local restaurants with a quantity of menu items within your range. We use nutritional data value collected through a number of sources like Nutritionix and are looking at LoseIt! for their weight loss calculator API.
Terri Friel
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Terri Friel Advisor
CEO Doctus and Member International Advisory Board of Cracow School of Business CUE at Cracow University of Economics
I think you mean Angel?
Clint Butler
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Clint Butler Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Strategist - SEO, Web Design, PPC Management, Conversion Optimization, and Social Media Management
Since you are looking for funding ideas, I would start a Kickstarter campaign.

That way you can gauge real interest while generating the needed capital.

I would also consider reducing your ad spend on all social sites and focus on Instagram and advertising inside of other mobile apps. I'm willing to be you'll see a higher download rate.
Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
Terri: Yes It was a typo, thanks for the catch lol

Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
Clint: We have a Indiegogo campaign we are working on for the FoodRollHealth. FoodRoll I wasn't sure would gain much traction as its more of a convenience thing and its already getting close to Beta. FoodRollHealth will help a LOT of people who have never known how to eat healthy or just don't have the time to be more health conscious.

As for the ads, because we are pre-beta we were trying to focus on brand recognition rather than downloads as we don't have the app up for downloading yet. We will be generating some posts on Instagram but the ads I figured would be for when we launch?
Clint Butler
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Clint Butler Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Strategist - SEO, Web Design, PPC Management, Conversion Optimization, and Social Media Management
I'd start now the ads if you are creating brand recognition, mobile app devs do it all the time, driving traffic to their apps website.

The goal is to get the conversation started on the website about the app, it's features etc.

Doing that will also allow you to see if you have a viable concept that people will actually use, and if they will, what other features you have not thought of yet.
Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
What does your app do? Sent from my iPhone
Mary Paige Forrester
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AS Project Manager at Cisco
Bret: As fof fundraising, perhaps you can adapt my published/self-funded incentive plan (Employee Recognition Team) ideas to your environment? Google Drive Shared Documents folder at link below. Plan includes on funded and then the self-funder version after that. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9Crm3SP_1EkTUd1a0xqcjJ4RFU&usp=sharing Contact Center: 101 Training (zip file - numerous modules) Contact Center Staffing Basics White Paper ICMI-based Team Building Exercise Employee Incentive Planning Guide (published multiple times) Contact Center Technology Comparison Win/Win Career Connections https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12000963 Contact Centers Operations and Technology Experts https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8194657 Mary Paige Forrester http://www.linkedin.com/in/marypaigeforrester Win/Win Career Connections https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12000963 Contact Centers Operations and Technology Experts https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8194657 Recognition for Outstanding Work in Program Management & Networking: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release-service/427410 mary-paige-forrester.branded.me http://topfemaleexecutives.com/2015/06/22/mary-paige-forrester/ Women of Distinction Magazine: Featured on page 54: http://go.epublish4me.com/ebook/ebook?id=10086776#/54 If you forward this email, please delete the forwarding history, which includes my email address! It is a courtesy to me and others who may not wish to have their email addresses sent all over the world! Erasing the history helps prevent Spammers from mining addresses and viruses from being propagated. Thanks.
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