4 minutes

The State of StartupStage: Q1 2024 Stakeholder Update

Picture of Luke Versweyveld
Luke Versweyveld
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In many ways, 2023 was a fresh start for us.

Back when we were Startup Founder Daily, companies who were interested in being featured would send us their materials. Once a week, I would sit down and review their decks and details and pick my favorite companies.

I knew there was a better way to get the community involved and inject a little virality into what we were doing. In early 2023, I built a rudimentary MVP of a voting platform, allowing our audience to help us pick which companies got featured across our channels.

I was blown away by the response. The MVP was a simple “update live item” Zapier to Webflow automation. It looked terrible and we couldn’t screen for duplicate or fake emails. Still, we received so many votes the first few weeks that I had to upgrade my Zapier account 3 times.

Considering the idea sufficiently validated, I hired a dev shop to build the platform as it currently exists today. We officially ran our first voting cohort in July. 

Here’s a recap of the last 5 months:

By the Numbers

  • 250+ company profiles created πŸš€

  • 45 featured startups crowned πŸ‘‘

  • 50,000+ impressions for our featured companies πŸ‘€

  • 2,000+ newsletter subscribers πŸ“§

  • 2,200+ votes cast πŸ”Ό

I think I’m most proud of taking a brand new domain to 400+ backlinks, and 270+ organic keywords in such a short period of time.

What Went Right

What I love about StartupStage is that we win when you win. The measure of our success is how much traffic, impressions, and conversions we send to your company. The platform is only as valuable as the value we provide. We are excited to be growing across virtually every metric, week over week.

One area we are devoting a lot of time and energy to is SEO. The articles we write for each featured company undergo extensive keyword research to ensure we send traffic your way long after you are featured. When someone searches for your company, we want your company profile to appear on the front SERP page. We are excited to share that, after 5 months, company profiles are beginning to do exactly that.

What Didn’t Work

We made the difficult decision to sunset the Backseat Startup Podcast. Our guests got a kick out of it and our host, Andrew, crushed it. Still, we ultimately decided that it didn’t move the needle enough for us to justify the time and resources spent on it.

StartupStage is still a side project for me, and it is bootstrapped out of my pocket. This means we need to stay as lean and efficient as possible, focusing on the 20% of activities that account for 80% of momentum.

Note: We’re looking to partner with an existing podcast to plug into our website widget. If you’re looking for more eyes and ears on your show, let’s chat. Send me an email at Luke @ StartupStage.app

What’s Next

We’re excited to announce the launch of our flagship product: StartupStage Premium Profiles.

You can now upgrade your company profile to unlock a whole host of features, including:

  • White label to match your brand colors

  • Customizable SEO setting

  • Advanced analytics reports

  • Customizable CTA buttons

  • Enhanced visibility in our Startup Directory

We know you’re sick of subscriptions, so we made this a one-time $25 fee. As much as we would love to brag about our MRR stats, we think this better suits our users.

Our main initiative over the next quarter is an education campaign. We need to spread the word about who we are, what we do, and how we can benefit founders. If you got any value from us in 2023, we hope you’ll help us spread the word.

Over the next 5 years we aim to become a critical moment in the life cycle of every startup. Our goal is to grow StartupStage to the point where being featured by us fundamentally changes the trajectory of your company, resulting in customers, partnerships, investments and attention.

We’re so thankful to the startup community for making 2023 so special. We want to build a platform that uplifts and supports you all as you build the next generation of impactful companies. Excited for everything to come in 2024. πŸ₯‚



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