8 Steps to launching a tech startup

First of all, what is a startup? In simple terms, it describes any small tech-related company that has the potential to become something big. It can be an app such as Snapchat. It can be a combination of an app and a platform (website) such a Pinterest, and it can belong to any industry: health, fashion, food, entertainment, social good, etc.

tech startup mobile app

If you have an idea for a tech startup, I will be discussing how to launch one in a few steps. Make sure to stay tuned for this 8-part series:

  1. Planning
  2. Leveraging Contacts
  3. Team Formation
  4. Business Strategy
  5. Execution
  6. PR & Marketing
  7. Pitching & Funding
  8. Exit Strategy

Part 1: Planning your tech startup

So you’re a woman and you have a great idea. But maybe, like many other women, you lack the necessary support system or don’t know how to execute your idea and turn it into a viable business. And sister, if you are a woman of color, it’s even worse. Who are we kidding?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

It’s 2016, and although we live in a world where 54 percent of college students are women, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors are still overwhelmingly male dominated.

It’s not really surprising. I mean, how often are little girls really encouraged to go into business, math, and science?

But this disappointing trend is on the mend! Thanks to the efforts of Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn Organization, Nely Galan’s Adelante Movement and Angelica Perez-Litwin’s Latinas Think Big Innovation Summits more and more women seem to have embraced the entrepreneurial surge across the country.

You might be interested:
Latina entrepreneur Nely Galán SELF-MADE an inspiring story of empowerment and self-reliance

Ok, Monica. Get to the point. How the heck do I launch my own tech startup?

Planning, Planning, Planning.

First of all, what is a startup? In simple terms, it describes any small tech-related company that has the potential to become something big. It can be an app such as Snapchat. It can be a combination of an app and a platform (website) such a Pinterest, and it can belong to any industry: health, fashion, food, entertainment, social good, etc.

Women in tech startups mobile apps

Remember Facebook’s story? Who would have thought that a simple idea in a college dorm room could lay waste to MySpace and Friendster and become the social media giant that it is today? Other sites you’re currently using such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube began as “just an idea” and became a tech startup. It took a lot of trial and error and a LOT of planning.

It may sound tedious, but this was perhaps the phase I enjoyed the most when I developed ClipYap. If you haven’t read about my upcoming app, you can do so here.

I was excited, but I was also very secretive and mistakenly thought that if I shared my idea with a lot of people, someone might steal it.

Wrong.

In fact, let me really tell you what a dork I was and how I learned about the beauty of careful planning.

I started developing my idea backwards. Instead of methodically following the steps that I will be focusing on in this blog series, (Planning, Leveraging Contacts, Team, Business Strategy, Execution, PR & Marketing and Pitching & Funding) I went straight into execution. What a novice! Better yet, #dummy! I started building the darn thing without doing the necessary research. I spent money and lost it because I didn’t plan well.

Planning involves asking the right questions and diving into research, whether online or “in the field.”

Consider these questions:

  • Does your idea already exist?
  • What makes your idea unique?
  • Who are your competitors – and what’s worked for them?
  • Who are your users? (Millennials? Women 18-34? Gay men?)
  • What will your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) be? (A fancy term for the first feature your users will see in your startup.)
  • How will you measure your MVP’s success? (Metrics: Number of users in the first 6 months or first year? Raising $500K in the first 6 months from angel seed investors?
  • How will your idea be profitable? (Hey, a business is supposed to make money, right?)

These questions are incredibly important because they will allow you to look ahead and from a critical thinking standpoint. Do research! Get on Google and research how many startups out there are similar to yours.

After all, why would you want to launch another social media site similar to Facebook or another disappearing app like Snapchat? Who the heck wants to reinvent the wheel?

My friends, innovation is key, but saving money is cooler and planning helps you do just that!

Till next time!

For tech & money tips, follow Mónica Taher’s blog at: www.monicataher.com

 

 

Monica Taher

About Monica Taher

Mónica Taher is a serial tech entrepreneur and an Accelerate with Google Academy alumnae. She is a Partner at Getty Images Latin America (GILA) and the CEO & Founder of ClipYap, a soon-to-be launched app. Mónica is also an active member of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Latin American Task Force and is the LA City Director for Lesbians Who Tech.
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