Ideas alone will not make a successful app. App success is all about execution. A great idea can be a complete failure, and a seemingly bad or simple idea can make it to the top charts. Just look at some of the top apps right now. Many of those apps sound silly in theory – flying birds knocking out green alien pigs? This is exactly why it can be hard to find outside funding for app development. Without a rock solid business plan and/or prior development experience to reference, finding people to fund an idea alone isn’t going to be easy.
But the good news is that the concept of “app funding” is gaining more and more speed so options are popping up everywhere. However, not just any app can be funded. There are particular types of apps that are more likely to get funded and would actually benefit from funding. Is your idea one of them?
Types of Apps That Benefit From Funding
- apps for social networking or communities
- big budget games
- unique, original app ideas backed by great incentives for investors (remember most ideas are not as original or unique as you think. You need to give people more than just a “unique idea.”)
Now that you’ve decided, “yes, my app is perfect for funding,” you have a couple different options in how to get your funding. A popular method entrepreneurs with a great idea have been using are crowd funding campaigns. These are a great way to gain attention and anyone – not just investors with big budgets – can fund your app idea, which opens up your campaign to a large market of potential investors.
Not only do you have a better chance to get funding, you’ll be presenting your app concept to hundreds of people, which will provide important initial feedback on your idea. No one biting on your proposal? You may need to rethink your app’s business plan. Something is obviously not working since people aren’t interested in funding your app. (Note: Again, don’t worry about compromising your app by putting its idea public. Apps are all about execution.)
Now on to the fun part – getting money for your app!
Here are four funding platforms building the most buzz:
1. Kickstarter & Indiegogo
They’re not app-specific, but there have been app funding campaigns on these platforms. The trick here is that it can’t just be for any app or any idea – it has to be something unique and original. Something users will be itching to get their hands on or you won’t have any takers. They don’t care about your personal revenue goals – how will this app(s) benefit them?
This is an app-specific funding platform, however this is not for pre-funding of an idea. Instead, funders “buy” your app and you get paid once your app is published. This can be a good strategy to make an immediate return for your development money. You can read more about the distribution model here.
Another app-specific funding platform. Developers “can raise funds, find beta testers, build an audience, advertise their needs and wants, and create an overall “Stori”, allowing friends, family, and consumers to be part of the team that brings an app to market.” This is an all-or-nothing platform so you have to hit your goal to get the funding. The good news is that you can get funding prior to launch, which is what I’ve found most developers are looking for from funding.
Disclosure: I’ve never used any of the services above. These are just the most popular platforms I’ve seen being used for app funding.
App funding or partnering with an investor can be a great way to fund an ambitious or unique project, but I caution using these platforms because you’re scared of investing your own money rather than as a strategic business advantage. So be honest with yourself – why are you looking for funding?
You need to think of apps as an investment. And as with most investments, what you put in is what you get back. If you’re holding off on getting into the app game until you find funding because you’re scared of spending your own money on something you’re not sure will work, then trust me when I say you may never pull the trigger on this or on future opportunities. To be an entrepreneur is to be a risk taker – a strategic risk taker, of course. One who does their homework, creates a plan, and then continually follows through despite obstacles and setbacks (which are inevitable). It may be cliche, but I strongly believe that if there’s a will, there’s a way – or in AE appreneur terms – it’s all about the hustle!