Matching makers, creators, founders with complementary skillsets to help each other on their projects.
Thinking about the future of coStarting and how I could enable myself to devote more time to building it, I thought about trying to find sponsors to support the current cohort and coStarting as a whole.
Sponsors, but who and why?
I started reaching out to a few individuals and companies I have in my network from the recent years. I went high, with Amazon, and a contact which helped us in my previous startup to secure credits on AWS. I also went low, and just reached out to friends and colleagues who I know are themselves fans of the individual movements I try to incorporate. One such individual was my friend Rodrigo, who after a short conversation suggested to:
What if you send a tweet to levels and ask him for sponsorship
He was of course referring to Pieter Levels, @levelsio from Nomadlist. At first I thought that idea was crazy. But then again, Pieter lives by all the principles I try to promote and support through coStarting. So maybe, just maybe, I could get his attention, he likes the idea, and we start a conversation.
So I tweeted:
Considering opening up to value aligned partners to sponsor our first #costarting cohort where we take #buildinpublic to new heights.— Sven Hermann (@iamsvenh) January 11, 2021
You like openness & collaboration and identify with the methodology and the framework we are building? Then get in touch. https://t.co/ueqHlaNtVl
I added a few more individuals who continue to be a great inspiration on my journey such as Cortland from Indie Hackers, or Sahil from Gumroad as well as a few companies we already use for the current cohort like ghost and carrd.
Its a long shot. But I would be thrilled if they would respond at all and give feedback on the project. Wait and see... Wait and see...
Advice? Yes, please!
While browsing through twitter after begging succesfull makers for their hard earned dollars to sponsor my new endeavor, I saw a tweet from Ryan Hoover, @rrhoover from Product Hunt
It seems like many Twitter friends are raising their first fund.— Ryan Hoover (@rrhoover) January 10, 2021
If you want input on your deck or general feedback, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m no expert fundraiser but have raised two <$10m funds (which is very different from raising $50m+).
And even though I am nowhere near ready for an investment into coStarting, I took the call to action by heart and reached out, for advice. I have been thinking about the road ahead, and how coStarting could be monetized going forward. But have a read in the email I sent to Ryan yourself:
You can't see the link I included, but it went to the first cohort livestream where I introduced the concept here.
8h later I was sitting on the couch when the oh so sweet endorphin educing notification bell on my phone went off. We all know most of the time that feeling getch quenched almost immediately after picking up the phone just to see another spam email or LinkedIn outreach of the 1037th remote development company, pitching their services. Not this time though.
The bell indicated a reply from Ryan. NICE.
interesting concept - Ryan Hoover
I focus on my favorite part here. The email was longer and had some more feedback to coStarting. He also questioned if there is a need for outside financing for the coStarting program at all. In its current form, I agree that we can bootstrap the concept further and run cohorts while trying to find sponsors that enable the program to grow. However, I replied with a more comprehensive overview of my vision for coStarting and the potential platform(s) I see that may be able to support the methodology and stablish the framework.
These platforms are in the future at this time though, and we need to learn much more from the community, the cohort members, and like minded individuals who would be kind enough to give us feedback.
With this in mind, I ended my email by asking Ryan if he'd be willing to keep giving us his advice, and be included on the coStarting update newsletter / blog where I intend to document the progression of the cohort, the methodology and framework development and more.
I am a big fan of Ghost as a blogging platform. Especially due to the Newsletter and Membership functionalities which are already built in. I remember finding out about ghost by looking through the code of @levelsio website since I liked his simple design. Shortly after that I started using Ghost myself, and simply love it. I host it myself through Docker, and it could not be more convenient.
In the second response from Ryan, he gave me permission to add him to the list. A word of advice here, always ask people if they want to be included in your updates. Our of common curtesy and to be respectful of their bandwidth. Usually if you seek advice and feedback from them, that means these individuals are very busy themselves and we need to respect that. Luckily, Ryan is a cool and very approachable guy, which makes me super excited to have him be the first 'subscriber' on my blog besides myself. :)
To conclude this post I want to touch on something I have received many times as advice over the years. You need to build relationships with the people who can help you and your business. It is rarely ever successful to reach out to someone, be that a VC, Angle, or otherwise, with the direct approach of looking for funding.
These people don't know you, and as we all know, in early stage startups, the team is the most important factor. If thats a team of one "aka, you', then you need to make sure people know you and what you are doing, ask them for advice and feedback and keep them engaged with your endeavor.
This is a core concept why I am developing coStarting. This relationship building should happen by design, and not as an afterthought. Even though I am doing it one a one to one basis right now myself by reaching out to people like Ryan, I envision this to be a part of the framework and potential platforms in the future. Building relationships and community should be a part of your roadmap, and hopefully it can be made easier by having guidelines on how to do it from the coStarting framework.
With this, I thank all my readers and subscribers for their support. Please reach out with any feedback. Never hold back, and give it to us straight. I firmly believe all feedback is good feedback. :)
PS: you can read all the past and future posts about coStarting here