Starting your own startup
Setting your own startup seems like a hard thing to do. You have to clarify your idea, validate it somehow, check if any user is even interested in your solution, search for co-founders, possible partners, think about resources, funding, customer segments, real added value, business model and most important – how to make money with it. Here you can find some resources to start your startup, all free and available to anyone in the world, as well as dedicated to Luxembourg. What to read, where search for courses, news, tips, success stories, useful tools…
- Read this talk from Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, considered as the best accelerator in the world. They helped startups like Airbnb, Reedit, Dropbox or Weebly. The basics of startup according to Paul are: ‘You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.’
- Take the online startup course. Plenty of materials are available online for free, the key is to choose the right resource. Our recommended course is Stanford University course, available here. You can also take a look at the short free course from Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool.
- Create Business Model Canvas for your project. It is a fast and efficient tool for claryfing the idea and rethinking main areas of your business. You can download it here. You can find how to use the BMC in order to facilitate your project here. Also you can create your BMC online, altough we strongly advise to use the printed version and stick-ons, as we usually do during workshops.
- Use Value Proposition Canvas to explore further what value you want to offer to your customers and how to deliver it, according to their mindset and possible expectations.
- Persona is a concept that helps you understand the goals, desires and limitations of your customer. In order to use this tool the fictional character is created to represent the user – user with whole range of personal traits.
- You can take the free Lean Startup course from Steve Blank. The course will teach you how to rapidly develop and test ideas by constantly getting the feedback on your project with real-life potential customers.
- If you’re already preparing your pitch, take a look at this Pitching Deck by Guy Kawasaki, where you’ll find comprehensive advices on what 10 slides do you need and why not more.
- Design a MVP / prototype, low or high fidelity
- Check The Family website which is a collective helping entrepreneurs in fun, active way. On their website you’ll find numerous valuable resources to learn how to build ambitouos startup in Europe.
- Follow Seth Godin, Steve Blank, Guy Kawasaki, Derek Sivers and other startup practitioners.
- Read magazines such as Paper Jam, Silicon Luxembourg.
- Less seriously – watch Silicon Valley, a comedy series from HBO about the struggle of silicon valley engineer trying to build his own company called Pied Piper. It’s a joke, but a joke with a bit of harsh truth.
- If it’s not enough for you and you’re still hungry for startup knowledge, take a look at Y Combinator resources.
When you are in Luxembourg, you have wide opportunities for workshops, mentoring, networking, acceleration and various programs for startups. Here are some organisations and opportunities worth to take a look at:
the national agency for the promotion of innovation and research, and its Fit4Start programme are also working to promote company creation and support startups in Luxembourg. The introduction of the new simplified form of limited liability company (SARL-S) has gone a long way in facilitating and encouraging new startups.
this institution has two main aims: to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit at national level and to simplify the administrative procedures associated with this type of initiatives. You can meet us there every first Tuesday of the month, as well as other coaches & mentors able to answer you questions.
The Luxembourg House of Fintech supports startups in the area of financial services, with the aim of developing the country’s fintech community.
5. House of Start-Ups
a project spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce, is due to be set up on the beginning of 2018 and will host between 150 and 200 innovative startups in a variety of industry sectors, more info soon.
7. The Office
Luxembourg Business Angel Network, operates as a platform for introducing and matching private investors and initiators of entrepreneurial projects during the seed phase. It is run by seasoned entrepreneurs and business angels who actively contribute to the development of the network.
The technology oriented business incubator’s goal is to promote and support the creation and development of innovative and technology-oriented companies in Luxembourg. Technoport provides either individual entrepreneurs or foreign innovative businesses with access to resources that they typically lack in terms of business support services and infrastructure.
10. PW Incub
11. Lux future lab
In the heart of Luxemburg Lux future lab is a physical space to support the development of skills and entrepreneurial projects in an interactive and dynamic environment.
‘Succeed in establishing your innovative company in Luxembourg’ – guide for startups in Luxembourg provided by Luxinnovation, an organisation that contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment. It includes legal advices, covers management, funding, innovation and numerous other issues that can help you set a startup in Lux.
Tools to use
If you wonder how to let people know about your idea, search for your potential customers, create your website or simply graphics, here are some of our favourite online tools useful for startups, small businesses and NGO’s, just like ours 🙂
We hope you heard about this tool, If not – it’s the right time to get to know it. Whether you want to create simple graphics for you facebook page, a banner for website or a book cover – Canva got you covered. It’s super intuitive and free features are enough to start with.
2. Hubspot CRM
It’s an easy and simple CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) for small and medium-sized businesses. This tool tracks every interaction with customers, all leads and helps you be organised. Also, you can find a smart knowledge base, mostly in sales/marketing fields.
You want to schedule a meeting with your potential customers or participants in your experiment? Nothing easier than using Doodle, that simplifies the process of scheduling meetings with as many as you want time slots.
This drag-and-drop tool for creating visually satisfying e-mails to your audience. You can maintain your mailing lists there, analyse your campaign’s performance and use nice templates provided by Mailchimp, all free to extent of 2000 subscribers.
Do you want to create beautiful feedback forms? Typeform is the easiest way, with ready-to-use templates and drag-and-drop interface. Getting feedback doesn’t have to be hard and boring, as well as analysing, all possible in this online tool.
Trello is designed for teamwork. You can see what your colleagues already did, tick off the tasks and contribute to the unfinished ones.