You’ve got an idea for a startup and you want some real feedback on it. Not the type from your Auntie Martha who’s going to tell you it’s awesome no matter what (no offense to Auntie Martha of course). Where do you go to get this hard hitting, honest advice from serious business people? Here are 11 organisations and tools to help you brainstorm and get feedback on your fledgling startup.
Startup Grind hosts events for entrepreneurs in 20 cities wordwide (August 2012). The events focus on local veteran entrepreneurs sharing their experience with those just starting out. It aims to provide some of the advice and support that startups might find in an accelerator but in an inclusive rather than exclusive format.
Startup Weekend hosts events around the globe where startups are planned out and launched in a weekend – 54 hours. It’s part competition – a winner is chosen after final presentations; part accelerator – help and advice are offered from local advisors; and part networking/co-founder dating/team recruitment rolled into one. You can apply with an idea or you can join another team.
A tech hackathon where participants not only develop products but form startups at the same time. Competition winners receive seed investment for their new startup.
Three day events in which startups are formed and participants learn how to build their businesses using lean startup principles. Teams work on creating their minimum viable product and obtaining customer feedback during the course.
Community for people looking to found, join, or invest in a startup. The group is based out of Brussels and holds networking and discussion events. Although based in Europe membership is global.
3DS hosts weekend long startup events at universities worldwide. Events are focused specifically on tech startups. Teams are formed, protypes built and investor presentations prepared.
Provides reviews and feedback on startups. Startups submit their businesses to be featured on Startup Lift where they can ask for reviews on specific aspects of their service.
Provides a platform for startups to keep track of feedback, customer interviews, track experiments and plot out business models. There is a free version for individuals and a subscription service based on the number of projects, number of users and file storage requirements. Pricing start for the subscription version starts at $9/mo and goes up to $99/mo (August 2012).
The Founder Institute is a support and networking group for startups. They create local startup ecosystems through 35 chapters around the world which hold networking and ideation sessions. Some local chapters and events can be found on meetup.com.
Brainstorming and networking events hosted at the MIT Sloan School of Business. Activities include pitching ideas, problem solving and discussion of the issues startups face.
Startup Compass offers startups benchmarking information and data. It has collected data on 25 different key performance indicators from over 17,000 internet (August 2012) startups. New startups can use the service to understand their progress relative to their peers and Startup Compass hopes this will help lead to better informed business decisions. The service is free.