Finding funding will always be a crucial issue for startups. Gust is working to make the process a little more manageable, however. The site offers both entrepreneurs and investors the opportunity to fill out profiles and connect. Since 2011, over 1,000 startups have been funded through Gust.
Anyone can buy a domain name and offer to help startups connect with investors. What sets Gust apart is the people behind the platform.
David Rose, the Founder of Gust
The founder of Gust is no stranger to angel investing. After founding numerous businesses, Rose created a technology incubator, founded a venture capital firm and made quite a few investments of his own. To put it mildly, Rose has moved around millions of dollars, both in landing venture capital and making his own investments.
Rose spoke at TED in 2007, breaking down how to land venture capital. The talk is well worth fifteen minutes of your time.
Gust is a platform built by people who have been in the trenches, on both sides of the equation. It’s not meant to magically fund startups that wouldn’t otherwise get money; it’s meant to streamline the process for ideas that are viable to begin with.
From a Startup Founder’s Point of View
When you create an account on Gust as an entrepreneur, you’ve got the opportunity to build both a public site and a private site. The public site is a basic profile that serves to introduce people to your company as they browse on Gust. It’s a landing page and needs to be interesting. Your private site, however, is Gust’s secret sauce. Investors need to request access to this site and you can decide exactly who gets to look at it.
The private site needs to include everything that’s going to win over an investor, from your financials to your pitch. You’ll almost certainly need to do a little more than post your information online to land some capital, but Gust’s streamlined approach means that investors can quickly vet you. That means that you can get rejections faster, but it also means that investors can cast wider nets that will hopefully pull you in.
Gust provides you with some basic analytics on how many people have viewed each of your sites, which will let you tweak your efforts to build more interest.
Looking Through Investors
You can also browse investors, finding opportunities for your startup that you might not run across otherwise. By default, Gust presents you with local investors — which can provide you with a head start on less well-known (and equally less-swamped) opportunities to find funding for your project.
You can also look over a profile of each investor, seeing what they normally invest in and special considerations. Because Gust includes government programs, accelerators and other programs beyond what we may generally think of as investors, that sort of information can help you decide quickly if an opportunity is worth pursuing.
All in all, spending a few minutes on Gust can be a good use of time for any startup founder looking for funding.