This is a very basic question. I have a startup website which has a business model. The website is basically a non-profit organization focused at a certain group of people and has a cause (not related to poor or underprivileged or religious group). I have developed it from scratch and it is working but I have not been able to generate any customers as of yet (1 year into prototype). This is because first I am employed and second I dont have partner who give me any impetus. I tried to use social networking but to little avail. I alone can not make everything work. My question here is related to finding investors for a website.
As a background, I have previously worked with an engineering startup and what they did was seeked investors first. This was because their project was really huge and probably could not be accomplished without funding. My question is
At this point what the project needs that I can not do myself is
How much am I looking at for an investment?
1.Is it ok to seek investors for a website project which is essentially a non-profitPer definition an investment is about profit.
What you are looking for is a sponsor - someone who pays you not as an investment but because of side benefits. For example brand exposure, goodwill ("pro bono" work). Trying to sell this as investment marks you as not knowing what you do - and gives you false pretense anyway.
This is an interesting distinction because basically every normal investment approac hi sone thing - off the table. No sane investor will invest in a non-profit.
Finding a sponsor really depends on what you do - and that is another thing. Brutally speaking - if this is a sensible non-profit, look for the obvious participants, like the Gates foundation. You will need legal non-profit status, though.
My suggestion to you is to find a partner. Go to networking events, you should have OpenCoffee , look for it on meetup.com. Tell others about your idea and tell them that you are looking for partner. Ask what they think about your idea. For time being don't invest into your project.
Look for someone with the right skills, such as with the background in sales.
It might be a good idea to form a limited company. I think would certainly need that to be able to seek investors.
If you are putting your money in, then only because this would encourage other investors. When you pitch your idea, then explain how much you are ready to invest yourself and how much you are looking from others to invest.
I recommend this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Think-Big-Act-Small-Performing/dp/1591840767