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Startup Toolkit & Resources

Find great resources and tools for startups! This resource includes information about where to find logo design, how to develop a business plan, how to network, how to conduct market research and many more!

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
How to Win Friends & Influence People
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)

Business Model Canvas  Strategyzer is a platform and provides services for businesses to clearly understand their customers, create better products, and grow.

What is a Business Model? – A brief description of a business model

Contents of a Business Model – The basics of what to include in a business model

Lean Canvas – A simple business model blueprint tool to lay down the framework for a business

Business Model Test – An 8-point test to see if a business model is viable

Resources on starting a business in DC

Business Plans Tools on writing business plans

Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide – Links to essential information needed for each section of a business plan

Writing a Business Plan – Guidelines from a venture capital firm on how to write an effective business plan

Learn about the funding process and how to raise money.

How to Fund a Startup – Information on many of the opportunities startups have for funding

Angel Investors – An introduction to angel investors

Venture Capital 101 – Everything you need to know about venture capital



List of Angel and Venture Capitalists in D.C.

Angel Co list of Investors in D.C.


Don’t let legal troubles slow down the growth of your startup. Here’s some help in navigating a complex legal landscape.

Small Business Law – Many business law topics including incorporation, taxes, intellectual property and more

Choosing a Business Structure – Information needed to choose the right business entity

Patents – A patent search and information regarding patents

Startup Law Information – Many answers on common questions about laws when starting up

Non-Disclosure Agreement – A link to a sample template of a NDA

Avoiding the Landmines – Learn to jump through the right legal hoops and avoid common pitfalls




Here are some links to discover shared workspaces and find your own community of local entrepreneurs.

WeWork – WeWork transforms buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces. Get the space, community, and services you need to make a life, not just a living.

1776 – A 1776 membership means you’re joining a truly global community ready to help you tackle the world’s most important challenges. It’s more than just an office or a network.  It’s a commitment to come alongside you and use the power of the community and its connections to help you scale your ideas into tomorrow’s world changing companies.

Canvas Co/work – Washington, DC’s largest co-working community; designed for creatives, freelancers, independents and start-ups to be an inspiring environment in which to work and collaborate.

Cove – Your neighborhood productive space — get things done.

Learn how to hire and retain the best talent.

Best Practices – Hire the best for your startup

Hiring Your First Employee – Making the first outsider an insider

3 Key Questions Before Hiring – Three things to know before hiring your first employee

Are you a Deaf graphic designer? Contact us to be listed here!

Fiverr – Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for services

99 Designs – 99designs is the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace. They connect more than one million talented freelance designers with creative people, genius entrepreneurs, savvy businesses… anyone who needs great work

Get help in spreading the word about your startup. Click the links below to learn how to build a marketing campaign that will drive sales and company growth.

Marketing Fundamentals

Marketing 101 – Learn the basics of marketing from the SBA

The Lean Mean Marketing Machine – Increase the profitability and brand recognition of your startup

The Fundamentals of Marketing – Learn the fundamentals in this video tutorial by Steven R. Van Hook

Marketing for Pre-Launch Startups – Learn how to market your startup before launch day in 5 simple steps

Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Startup – Learn from KISSmetrics how to market your startup

Online Advertisin

Facebook Advertising – How to set up advertisements on Facebook

Google Advertising – How to set up advertisements using Google

Yahoo and Bing Advertising – How to set up advertisements using Bing or Yahoo

Market Research 

Research Basics – All the basic information to include when performing market research

Market Research Reports – Detailed market research reports with data on almost any industry

How to Create a Survey – Different methods of setting up a survey and avoiding bias

New Product Research – Everything that should be included in a new product’s market research

Website Statistics – Find statistics on the traffic of a specific website

Website Traffic – Track the number of people who have visited a specific website and their demographics

US Census – Find the demographics of people from regions across the nation

Google Insights – Find statistics on search terms on Google

Start growing your network today. Click the links below to find out how to make new connections and maintain existing ones.

LinkedIn Networking – Tips on improving your LinkedIn account to enhance networking

How To Network Effectively – A few very important tips on how to network more effectively

Network Like a Pro – A slideshow of steps showing how to network like a professional

Where are you now? Where are you going? How will you get there? Click the links below to find out how to answer these key questions.

Writing a Business Strategy – A quick guide on what to include in writing a business strategy

Startup Strategy – A number of ideas regarding strategy to think about when starting up

Business Growth – Strategies for allowing a small business to grow

Click the links below to learn how to deliver a hard-hitting pitch that will impress investors and leave your audience wanting to know more.

Investor Pitch – A detailed article explaining every point to include in your pitch to perfect it

Venture Capital Pitch – A slideshow outlining key points to include in a pitch to a venture capitalist

Pitching to Angel Investors – Tips for presenting your business concept to angels in order to receive an investment

How to Present to Investors – Advice from the perspective of a founder