“No matter how great your product is, no one will buy it if they don’t know it exists”
These words are all too familiar to startup founders. In an increasingly noisy world, it is increasingly hard to get the word out about what you’re building. StartupStage exists to democratize PR for startups and help capture the most important resource for founders: attention.
Read on for a description of how the platform works, who it’s for, and why you should consider submitting your startup on StartupStage.
What is StartupStage?
StartupStage is a platform to showcase your startup and compete for features across their channels. Anyone can submit a company profile, and if approved, are added to the next available voting cohort.
Voting cohorts run for one week: from Mondays at 9:00AM CST to the following Monday at the same time. During each cohort, the community votes on their favorite startups. The top three companies, by vote, are selected for features across StartupStage’s blog, social media accounts, and weekly newsletter.
Companies can reapply for voting cohorts every 90 days. They are also encouraged to keep their profiles up-to-date. Company profiles are SEO-optimized and are intended as digital real estate, providing an evergreen source of traffic to company websites.
Below is a video walkthrough of the platform
Is StartupStage a Product Hunt Alternative?
Both Product Hunt and StartupStage surface the next big startups. However, there are a few key differences:
Startups vs. Products. StartupStage focuses on startups holistically, as opposed to individual products.
Beyond voting. Product Hunt is all about the voting platform and how you rank on your launch day. StartupStage uses their voting platform as a means to select the companies featured across their three primary channels: Blog, newsletter, and social media. StartupStage is more media-focused, providing a free marketing package to selected startups.
Bootstrapped with love. StartupStage is intentionally bootstrapped. Founder, Luke Versweyveld, thinks this provides a competitive advantage:
“We don’t have a big team to support. We don’t have investors looking over our shoulders. Keeping the project lean allows us to iterate quickly, avoid spamming you with ads, and build something truly special for the startup ecosystem.” – Luke Versweyveld
Who is StartupStage For?
StartupStage is sector, stage, and geographic location agnostic. The platform has hosted projects from solo indie hackers to YC-backed startups and everything in between. No matter where you are located or what stage your startup is in, StartupStage welcomes you on their platform.
Many users choose to time their launch to coincide with a new product, open beta testing, or some other announcement.
What’s In It For You?
Being featured as one of the top three startups in a voting cohort comes with several significant benefits. StartupStage works closely with the selected startups to write a full-length article that showcases their businesses.
This article is then shared on StartupStage's blog and promoted across their social media platforms. Additionally, the featured startups receive special highlights in StartupStage's weekly newsletter, further increasing their exposure and reach.
Not Another Startup Directory
It seems like a new startup directory crops up every day. There’s a good reason for this: startup founders will take any opportunity to get the word out about what they’re building. There can never be too many platforms that facilitate this attention, so long as they deliver.
StartupStage takes a different approach with their All-Time List.
The all-time list is a master directory of all startups listed on StartupStage, sorted by vote count. This list can be filtered down by stage, sector and geographic location.
The better you perform in your weekly voting cohort, the more prominent your placement in the all-time list. It is important to note, however, that companies can continue to accumulate votes after the conclusion of the cohort.
Companies can continue to share their profile with their audience to gain more votes and move higher in the directory. If the company decides to compete in a subsequent voting cohort, their vote count temporarily resets to zero to ensure fairness.
Below is a video explaining the All-Time List
The Future of StartupStage
Founder, Luke Versweyveld, envisions a day when launching on StartupStage is an integral step in every startup’s life cycle. Eventually, being featured by StartupStage will tangibly alter the trajectory of these featured companies, leading to recognition, customers, and capital.
There are lots of upcoming features and initiatives in the pipeline, and StartupStage is excited to grow alongside the startup ecosystem with their guidance and feedback.
StartupStage provides an incredible opportunity for startups to showcase their businesses and gain free marketing exposure. By creating a compelling company profile, participating in voting cohorts, and leveraging the benefits of being featured, you can maximize your startup's visibility and attract attention from potential customers and investors.