Aug 04,2021 Aug 04,2021
StartupGuru - Startup Incubator for Non-Technical Founders

STARTUPS START HERE

August '21 applications are open

We incubate & invest in
non-technical founders

StartupGuru is an industry leading, unique and fully remote incubation program focused exclusively on non-technical founders. With our program, you will be able to take your idea to product, launch, first users and funding in 16 weeks. Guaranteed

JOIN 500+ STARTUPS & COUNTING

OUR STARTUPS HAVE BEEN FEATURED IN

  • Fortune
  • Forbes
  • Entrepreneur
  • The Guardian
  • Financial Times
  • TechCrunch
  • Daily Mail
$3.7 million in startup funding (Seed/Pre Series A), 34 deals, 18 months
Over $1 billion in lifetime valuation of portfolio companies

From MVP to POC to Seed Money!

I first reached out to StartupGuru for our startup. The team was great in their guidance on all our challenges we had in a very pro manner. After four months of development, we had a working MVP that we used as a POC to raise our first round of seed money.

David M.

David M.
Co-Founder

StartupGuru truly stands by their work

StartupGuru provides excellent value, tremendous expertise, and truly stands by their work. They have treated me like family, bending over backward to help me launch the exact app I envision, all with my limited tech knowledge. They are responsive and creative, and act as though they are part of my company. We wouldn’t have got our startup launched and funded without StartupGuru.

Robert S.

Robert S.
Founder & CEO

Product-Market-Fit in record time.

They provided spectacular guidance that attracted more users, helping our startup to get our product-market-fit in a record time we didn’t think was possible. The workflow was effective, and the team went the extra mile to provide expert tips.

Monday K.

Monday K.
Founder

Soft launch and early users in 16 weeks!

StartupGuru enabled us to do a soft launch and get users within 16 weeks. We received incredible feedback from external stakeholders, as evident in the massive downloads and sign-ups. The amazing results we produced will help secure the ongoing funding round.

Danny M.

Danny M.
Founder & CEO

Proud to be in their list of enabled and thriving startups

Contacting StartupGuru early and working with them to crystalize your project from conception to execution is an absolute must. I am proud to be included in their list of enabled and thriving startups. A special thanks to the entire team who never quit because a concept is hard to implement.

Thoriso M.

Thoriso M.
Founder

Global gurus assembled under one roof for a single mission
to help you succeed

Learn from the masters themselves! StartupGuru is all about practical, actionable and to-the-point know-how and you can’t learn this just by reading some articles, books or watching videos from someone who has never experienced starting a products company or investing.

Last thing you want to get into, as a budding entrepreneur, is to learn how to startup from someone who is selling you a book or a course on starting up and that’s the only startup experience s/he has! Duh! o-)

We have brought in industry leaders who have either started successful companies themselves, raised funding or are investors who are actively involved into startup investments across different sectors and regions.

These industry veterans have built companies with million dollar plus revenues, have raised millions in funding or are actively investing into startups.

Learn the nuances of starting up quickly in 2021 with MSP product launch, traction and early funding from the ecosystem players themselves. StartupGuru arranges regular guest sessions from these gurus as part of this program.

$108K

Average Seed Funding

$3.7 Million

Recent Fundraising

500+

Startups Supported

10X

Faster Time-to-Market

WE’RE NOT FOR EVERYONE

StartupGuru is for you if…

You don’t know where to start

You have a great startup idea, and you hear a lot of noise around but lack proper guidance on where and how to start.

You’re ready to commit and focus

We may not be the right choice for you if you are thinking that we will do all the heavy lifting for you. We will have our proven guidance, but you will lead from the front.

You want experts on board

You know that building your startup on your own is hard. You understand that you want an expert team on board who come in with years of enterprising, entrepreneurship and fundraising experience.

Kunal Pandya

A LETTER FROM OUR CHIEF GURU KUNAL PANDYA

As a non-technical founder, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars and wait for months before you have your product, traction and funding!

1.No tech skills means you have to give up massive equity to technical cofounders you hardly know.

2.Or hire some developers, tech team or outsource to an agency to build your app – but you will have to raise money to be able to support such an engagement.

3.Investors will not entertain you and will usually say they want to see your app built with traction first.

No funding without traction > No traction without an app > No app without a tech team > No tech team without funding!

Do you see a ‘chicken and egg’ problem here?

This is a loop and you don’t want to end up being caught into it.

But - What if I tell you there is a shorter and better way to start up! All you need is to validate your proof of concept and get product-market-fit. And you don’t need any external tech team or funding to get to this stage first.

We have been working with startups since the last 16 years and have helped, nurtured and built some great companies from the ground up, a vast majority of them are founded by non-technical founders.

We have witnessed the success of some great companies we got associated with and the key skills these founders have had is not tech but their ability in surrounding themselves with the best mentors and gurus early on. The best founders have proven their prowess and superiority in emotional intelligence combined with their industry knowledge over technical entrepreneurs.

This is the reason why some of the best startups in the last two decades such as Airbnb, Uber, OYO Rooms, Bytedance (TikTok), WeWork are all founded by non-technical founders.

And this is where StartupGuru enters the game. StartupGuru is designed to enable non-technical founders bring their idea from the ground up and turn it into reality.

We have brought in the best of the industry, product engineers, designers, developers, marketers, channel partners, domain experts and funding experts – all the stakeholders that you will need, under one roof and with a single mission – to help you succeed!

HOW IT WORKS

Our Unique 4 Stage Program will take you from idea to launch & funded GUARANTEED

For the last 16 years we've been helping entrepreneurs go from ideas to launch and getting funded. We've perfected our process and system through boots on the ground work, with the help of global investors and experts.

1CO-INVEST

We're fully in by co-investing with you.

Building a startup the right way isn't cheap, and you'll need experts to help you along the way. We give you our expertise and put our money on the line for ambitious non-technical founders who join StartupGuru.

The Wrong Way

Starting a startup isn't free, especially if you do it the right way. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. With the traditional approach, at a minimum you'll have to pay for -

- Legal (incorporation, structure to ensure you're fundable, documents like LOIs etc.

- Accounting (financial projections, pro formas)

- App Development

- Branding & Design

- And more…

The Wrong Result

Most entrepreneurs have to dig deep into their pockets to come up with the money necessary to do all this.

On top of that, you'd have to become an expert in hiring people you've never hired before.

Before you know it, you've likely spent tens of thousands of your own money with little to show.

The Guru Way

We're startup enablers, which means we co-invest with you. Your $5K investment to join the program, mixed with our $15K investment in the form of services, pays for our team to help you with all the legal, accounting, product development, marketing, and any other needs your startup has to get off the ground.

In return, we take a minority 5% equity in your startup to ensure our objective is aligned and we become partners in your success, more than anything else.

The Guru Result

Because we co-invest with you, we're 100% tied to your success long term, as our $15K investment and 5% equity doesn't get recouped until you raised at least $100K+ in funding through our program from outside investors.

But, hey we don’t liquidate our 5% yet – we stay invested with your startup up to your Series A and this ensures you have our continued support available even after this program ends, until you raise your first millions!

2MSP

MVPs are old fashioned. Our team will build your MSP.

Gone are the days of using an MVP to go to market. Consumers today are spoiled, and investors with them. They expect something great, easy to use and understand. Our team will work with you to build your MSP (Minimum Sellable Product) within 4 weeks so you can go to market quickly.

The Wrong Way

Back in 2010, building an MVP (minimum viable product) became very popular after startups like Facebook, Uber, and AirBNB became famous for using it to get traction.

But this approach isn’t relevant anymore in 2021. Most founders focus on MVPs that have a bunch of features that are just ‘viable’, hoping users will see the potential of what their app could EVENTUALLY be… but consumers in 2021 have become smarter and lazy at the same time. This creates a unique challenge when you go about building a working MVP without knowing if it will have any takers.

Your target audience doesn’t want a bunch of ‘viable’ features. Ask this to yourself, when was the last time you kept using an app just because of its potential? (Probably never)

The Wrong Result

We've seen non-technical founders spend tens of thousands and months of time building and iterating on an MVP only to see all that time go to waste and investment getting written off.

Investors also won't fund a startup with an MVP if users won't use it (which they probably won't; remember, consumers are spoiled, and that means investors are too).

The Guru Way

MSPs. Minimum Sellable Products. Building in the singular feature or small set of features that work incredibly well to solve a major problem for your market.

Every app has a major selling point. For Twitter, it was the Tweet. For AirBNB it was the listing and booking feature. For Facebook it was the public social feed (Wall). For TikTok (erstwhile Musical.ly), it was the short selfie video creator with background music/audio embed. All the other bells and whistles those startups built in were secondary to the initial selling point they built.

The Guru Result

By focusing on building an MSP instead of an MVP, it allows founders to be hyper focused on making a feature or set of features that work great every time and users love… WITHOUT all the massive development time & effort.

During this phase our products team helps you define your MSP, and then our developers help you build it within 4 weeks, all as part of our initial program cost, so you will not have to pay anybody else anything extra for this part.

You’re left with a working product your users will love and solves their ONE key problem so well that it sells by itself!

35/50/500

Traction > Think Big. Start Small. Do It Fast.

When founders launch they do it traditionally with very little room for error, with any slip up totally derailing their launch or killing their runway. Our approach maximizes easy to implement marketing strategies and targets hyper specific growth targets to attract your ideal investors.

The Wrong Way

There are a million marketing strategies founders could implement, which traditionally has caused analysis paralysis. Content marketing, ads, social media marketing, search engine optimization and the list keeps growing. With so much to focus on, a founder doesn't really know which method will be the most cost efficient and will drive results.

Marketing/GTM experts naturally will emphasize on what they are selling and this further creates a decision trauma.

This left founders trying a million things, desperately searching for people to use their app.

Additionally, founders also aren’t sure what benchmarks to hit to even know what 'success' looked like. Do they need $5K in revenue to impress an investor, or $50K? 1K users or 100K? 20% MoM growth or 15%?

The Wrong Result

Founders are left praying, wishing, and hoping that they are implementing the right marketing strategies to grow their startup, as well as doing their best to gain some semblance of success, even though they really didn't know what 'success' was measured by.

This led founders to go weeks, months, or years going after user growth, lost in a sea of 'shiny new tactics' because there was no end goal in sight.

The Guru Way

We decided to take a 'top-down' approach to defining what success looks like for a startup's initial launch numbers.

We went and spoke with hundreds of investors to determine what numbers a startup needed to hit to gain their attention and their funding.

This led to the 5/50/500 model; exact numbers a startup can aim toward and achieve quickly (typically within just a few weeks) that would allow them to go into investor meetings with confidence knowing they hit the numbers an early stage investor needed to consider funding them.

The Guru Result

Our founders are able to utilize 3 data-drive marketing strategies with the help of our growth team, along with specific goals for user growth.

Instead of going into the Launch phase not knowing what success looks like, they have exact numbers and specific tactics they can aim for, with the confidence to know that as soon as they hit those numbers that investors will be clamoring for their attention, instead of the other way around.

4FUNDING

Raise funding on your own terms.

Once we've helped you get traction (launch and get users), you'll need funding to scale up quickly and efficiently. Our funding team will help you raise $100K+ to do just that.

The Wrong Way

Raising funding is hard, and most founders aren't able to do it. Traditionally founders would rely on unrealistic advice like…

- Raising seed money from FFF (friends, family or fools)

- Sign up for all the shiny and costly pitch competition

- Most competitions are overly competitive (even AirBNB lost tons of pitches)

- Participate in startup events all across the globe to network and connect with strangers you wouldn’t like otherwise

- Get a loan or line of credit

- Banks don't lend to new businesses. Period.

The Wrong Result

This unrealistic approach doesn't work anymore. That's why only less than 2% of all startups raise funding, and the ones who do it takes over 12 months to get it! 12 months is a lifetime for most startups in their incumbent stage – how do you know you will even survive until that time!? By then most startups die in their infancy.

The Guru Way

At it's core, raising funding is just a sales and marketing process. The only difference between it and selling a $10/month subscription or a $1K product is that you're trying to sell someone on giving you a $25K+ check. That's it.

BUT most entrepreneurs don't know how to do high ticket sales. Prospecting, targeting, cold email and LinkedIn outreach. Touch points, what to say, how to say it, how to negotiate, how to structure an offer, etc. is something most founders don’t have a clue about.

That's what we do for the founders we work with. Once you start treating your fundraising stage like a sales and marketing issue, it all comes down to a numbers game.

And we being a player on both sides of the table (founders as well as being investors ourselves in over a dozen companies), we know how these cards are played.

The Guru Result

Our founders are able to consistently book investor meetings utilizing the outbound sales and marketing techniques we teach and help them implement. Then raising funding becomes a numbers game.

This combined with some select investor meetings from our network guarantees you achieve your fundraising goal in the shortest time possible at this stage.

- 100 targeted investors

- 20 responses

- 5 meetings booked

- 2 term sheets

- $50K in funding

Need to raise more? Just rinse and repeat.

THE OUTCOME

This all results in your built, launched & funded startup.

A proven, validated startup

We help ensure you're expanding your effort, energy, and resources into an idea that has the highest chance of success in your market by using data driven principles.

A built, sellable product

Our design and development team work with you to define, design, and build the first product for your startup that users will be happy to sign up and/or pay for.

Your first users & customers

Our marketing team guides you through creating marketing channels that get you your first users quickly with easy to use tactics the best startups across the world have used to launch.

$100K+ in pre-seed funding

Our startups know exactly where and how to secure funding, and get the help of our funding team to get follow-on funding from investors with a goal of a $100K+ pre-seed round.

STARTUPS START HERE

Our program is designed for YOU

16 weeks part-time, remote

A vast majority of our founders are working full time jobs, and we've structured our program to fit their needs. Complete it in just 3-5 hours each week.

One-on-one support

This isn't some group accelerator or incubator where you're just a logo or number. You'll actively work alongside our team to get things done with step-by-step actionable program and guidance.

Active community

Our entrepreneurs help and support each other in our active Slack community, weekly (virtual) meetups, and group pitch events.

Demo Day & Investor Networking

Specially designed demo day with targeted investors for startups in our program. We have investors lined up to work with the startups who go through our program because they know what we do works.

$ $100,000+ in startup savings

Our founders also get over $100K+ in discounts from our amazing partners

Brex
Brex
80K POINTS
Hubspot
Hubspot
90% DISCOUNT
Zendesk
Zendesk
6 MONTHS FREE
Vouch
Vouch
25% OFF
Dialpad
Dialpad
10 FREE LINES
Ripling
Ripling
6 MONTHS FREE
Google Cloud
Google Cloud
$5000 CREDITS
Apollo
3 MONTHS FREE

We’ve networked with
global ecosystem players for YOU

  • TiE Angels
  • Band of Angels
  • New York Angels
  • EBAN
  • Silicon Valley Forum
  • US Angel Investors
  • Business Sweden
  • Business Finland
  • Golden Seeds
  • Angels Den
  • Cambridge Angels
  • FiBAN
  • Irish Angels
  • Mumbai Angels

Ambitious non-technical founder?
Apply and talk to one of our Venture Advisors.

Start Your Application