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I invented a WebMail which is more secured and advanced than existing ones. Now to start a web business with my project I do not have enough money. Now I am searching for financial support. Is there any organization that would help me in starting a company?

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migrated from programmers.stackexchange.com May 3 '11 at 14:51

This question came from our site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

Ask around on ycombinator.com –  Developer Art May 3 '11 at 14:43
I'm interested in your idea and would like to know more about it. I hope you follow your question migration on answers.onStartups. How is it more secure and which existing system have you considered? Please contact me. –  chmike May 4 '11 at 15:09

4 Answers 4

There is no particular organization to help you. They are in business to help themselves and are highly unlikely to be of help to you since they get approached by 1000s of entrepreneur and their accept rate is likely below 1%.

Here are some ideas for early funding. NONE are a walk in the park.

- Friends and Family 
- Savings
- Pitch angels 
- Have the startup make money
- Starve
- Have a Part Time or Full Time Job and work during free time
- Have co-founders become roommates to make rent cheaper
- Cut costs in the business
- Pitch to accelerator programs
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All of the folks in Genadinik's very good list are going to have one critical question for you:

How do you make money?

In fact, the answer to the question of how you will make money will greatly inform your search for start-up funds for your webmail business.

Once the folks that you are talking to understand how you are going to make money, then they will be able to assess the risk and potential return that their investment in your business will provide.

Without a great deal of information about you new webmail platform, your challenge will be that there are several relatively large companies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft for example) that all provide fairly robust webmail solutions for free -- as a way of attracting people to their core business.

The webmail market is considered mature. As such the cost of launching a new viable business to compete are significantly higher then entering a different sector or sub-market. Since the major players in the market are able to provide their solution to the end user for free, the options for turning a profit on the launch into the market will appear to any prospective investor as pretty small.

For this reason programmers that have developed solutions to address the short comings of the current webmail solutions have chosen to focus on selling their "core value proposition" as an add-on or an extension-- rather than try to earn full scale conversions.

Many of these add-ons and extensions of free and premium versions. Their business model focuses on converting free users to a more robust solution which they charge for. This market is much more open and the cost of entry fairly low. (No cost for ongoing servers and hosting for example). It will also be much easier to make the pitch to a potential investor in your idea that there exists a chance of success.

The first step of marketing the full webmail solution to customers or investors would be demonstrating the core value proposition as distinct from the major platforms in the market anyway. So why not focus on simply developing and marketing that?

Now, that you have a business model that can reasonably make money, and you can assess costs for getting that solution to market you will have a much easier time making the case to potential investors -- whether they be "angels", friends, family -- or people that share access to your personal checkbook.

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If you have an idea / product your building then have a look at these crowdFunding sites:

These sites allow you to post your idea, set an amount you need to bootstrap with and a timeframe to raise the money. If you get enough pledges from people to reach your "go/no go threshold" you get paid the total of the pledges (so you can get more if people really like it).

Each site has a focus and their own tweak on the rules.

This is a good starting point for you to kick start the idea. Then once you get over this initial hurdle you can use the poeple who pledged as you test market and often your next round of serious investors.

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Not sure if you insist to build and run the venture yourself but if this is not of importance to you then I would recommend to file a provisional patent which cost $110 at the US Patent Office and maybe $500 for a patent lawyer to help you. Then I would prepare a pitching doc describing the whole idea and pitch it to the big players like Google, Yahoo etc.. You can also approach Venture capital firms and groups. Having a patent is always a great value for a start-up in the eyes of the Venture capital people. Hope this helps you to see alternatives.

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not sure why you got the vote down exactly. Your answer isn't how I would go about it (the patents etc are usually a long, hard and expensive road) ... unless your a patent lawyer, then it could be seen as an ad for yourself. Anyway ignore the down vote and keep going. –  Robin Vessey May 4 '11 at 6:37

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