Serial Entrepreneur, Google mentor, & Journalist. Author of "Get Awesome on Airbnb" Start Up Nation veteran. Advocate for women in tech. My work has been featured in PBS, Forbes and Bloomberg.
In my experience, it is best to wait as long as possible before dividing up equity. At the end of the day, "value" is usually going to be defined by how hard people work and how much they contribute. The more indispensable a person is, the more equity I would give them.
I would suggest looking into 500 Startups or other accelerators that target developing markets. They will help you get up to speed and make invaluable introductions.
After going through the right accelerator a lot of doors will be open to you and then you can expand your network in Silicon valley itself.
"The internet of things" is a very hot investment space. It is a good idea because it is a revolution of hardware, so that means that the technological developments will have real world applications and a lasting consumer base.
Social networks, apps and games can all be fleeting but once people make investments in infrastructure they are usually long term.
Having cheap in the domain name is generally not a good idea- especially because rebranding means changing domains if the strategy doesn't work. That said, marketing yourself as the "cheapest" service is fine. Go low end with the design and the price.
The best way to judge is to A/B test a landing page and put some money behind some Facebook and Google advertising and see which gives you better conversion rates.
Perhaps you might want to offer to come to a class and speak about entrepreneurship, programming and startups. Find a way to give first, and then at the end let them play with/use your app.
You can't go wrong if you are offering more than you are asking for.
Also, research has shown that you can get 80% of the information that you need from User testing with just 5 users. You might be able to get a lot more done with less people than you suspect.
Depending on Canadian law, you will most likely need to close your business and establish a Non-profit. They will need to be two separate entities if you want to do tax deductible donations.
Are you worried about protecting your IP? Your customers? I would need to know a little bit more about what you are trying to do in order to give you a more in depth answer.
I believe that you shouldn't be looking for the "average" amount for a round of funding, but rather- what you need to get the product done and get traction.
Going right to series A without a client or traction is going to be really hard.
Starting with a smaller seed round is a safer bet and then you can segway that into a larger round a few months later.
I have worked on branding for a variety of companies. I love helping artists share their work with the world.
Contacting sellers on Esty is a great idea IF your designs add value to their products. A good way to find out is to create and show them some samples of how your design would look on their product.
If you want to hear some more ideas, or ask more questions- please set up a time to speak.
Coming up with the right keywords is an art and a science. I have employed a few different tactics to identify key words and it is possible to limit those to the words in specific locations.
Looking for trending topics in Sydney would help you to narrow down the keywords for a lifestyle blog.
I would be happy to discuss how to find the best key words if you would like to schedule a call for follow up questions.
I have founded two startups in the US. I am an American citizen but living abroad and I know other people who have set up US based companies even if they are not citizens. I know some companies that can help with all of the paperwork that needs to be filed.
If you would like to discuss how this is done, and if it is a good idea for your company, please feel free to contact me and schedule a call.