The Founder Roundup
AI in a box, community polling app, & stealth mode startups
Welcome back to the Founder Roundup! Another month is in the books. May is going to be exciting for SFD, with our web app scheduled to launch. Can’t wait to share more with you all in the coming weeks!
“If you have an idea that you think can work, or are passionate about something that you know can help people, but aren’t so sure where to begin - just jump in. Chase your dreams and figure it out along the way. Don’t just come up with a startup idea for the sake of it, or just for money. It’s important to identify a problem before your start building a solution. Keep building, keep shipping, keep failing, and keep trying - that’s how you make it. You either find a way, or make one.”
On the latest episode of the Backseat Startup Podcast, I had Keith Wilson, Founder of Klearcoat Labs, on the show. A Reddit user declared their intention to move away from the traditional equity model and instead compensate their employees with profit sharing. Keith and I gave our thoughts.
Note: Coincidentally, both featured startups this week have requested anonymity as they have not publicly announced their association with the companies.
As Artificial Intelligence becomes more integrated into our daily routines and technology advances at a rapid pace, there is a growing need for services that can assist non-technical founders. AI and Machine Learning models offer numerous benefits to humans, with all industries recognizing their potential to transform the way they conduct business and generate ideas.
However, for those without a technical background or the means to hire a developer, the possibilities of AI can seem limited. This is where AI Starter comes in - to provide affordable assistance to early-stage budgets and non-technical founders.
What is AI Starter?
AI Starter is a generative AI SaaS that enables founders to quickly deploy an MVP and save on development costs. It mimics human tasks, freeing up founders' time to focus on startup building rather than learning how to design neural networks and machine learning algorithms.
AI Starter's aim is to create a no-code platform, like Bubble, that produces MVPs with a user-friendly interface for those with minimal expertise in building AI models. As Artificial Intelligence is becoming more ingrained into our daily lives and the technology is rapidly evolving each day, the need for services that support non technical founders is growing in lockstep.
“I know the barriers to entry for aspiring founders who have brilliant ideas. Without a SaaS like AI Starter, they may never begin their journey due to lack of experience and high costs.”
Already receiving acquisition offers
The founder of AI Starter implemented a pre-launch contest to create buzz and increase awareness of their platform. The contest, which rewarded the highest referrer on the waitlist with a discount during the pre-launch sale, resulted in $3,800 of revenue and placing AI Starter at #2 on Product Hunt. This contest also revealed a new customer segment of university students who signed up for AI Starter's beta, validating the market need for their service.
The founder aims to eliminate barriers for early stage founders and university students without technical backgrounds, citing the high cost of junior developers as a major obstacle. Two acquisition offers have been received, indicating potential for AI Starter's growth. The founder declined an offer of 2.5 bitcoin and is still considering the second offer.
Head over to their website to learn more, or read the full article below 👇️
A polling app for decision-making
FitPick is a community polling app that provides users with honest answers, impartial perspectives, and innovative ideas. Users can upload two pictures, and the community votes for their favorite.
This app caters to a diverse range of interests, from fashion to interior design. FitPick offers a safe and unbiased space for users to seek help and feedback from an enthusiastic audience, unlike their friends who may just tell you what you want to hear!
An in-app example of community polling
A quick path to 150 users
FitPick started off with a limited number of users who were mostly friends and family. However, through word of mouth advertising, the app has gained over 150 users– organically!
The app is available for free on the Apple App Store, with plans to monetize down the road. One monetization path could be for FitPick to leverage the community aspect of the app to offer brands insights into consumer trends. For instance, designers can showcase their work on the platform to gauge the popularity of different styles.
FitPick also plans to introduce a subscription model that targets small businesses and provides them with detailed analytics to understand their target audience. The app will continue to evolve based on user feedback, with new features such as a face blur tool and AI-powered fashion discovery. Soon, users will be able to search for specific styles and browse relevant posts.
You can download the app here.
From our friends at Resolute Future: Welcome to the Entrepreneur Ecosystem - where founders can connect with mentors, and resources designed to help you build and scale your business. With access to software, professional services, finance, marketing & development resources, our ecosystem is the perfect place to connect with like-minded individuals and turn your ideas into a reality.
Launching a startup but don’t know where to start? My startup law practice, Cuvée Counsel, can take on 1-2 more clients. If you need help forming your company or crafting your legal strategy, let’s talk!
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