Free Startup Tools
Use our handy list of free startup tools to help get you started and manage your business.
Techstars Entrepreneur's Toolkit
A great source of information for startups is the free Techstars Entrepreneur's Toolkit, an online educational resource to help learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and accelerate your success. The Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit is a “Learn by Doing” resource filled with foundational content from the prestigious Techstars global accelerator programs aimed at helping entrepreneurs everywhere create a better world.
Free Online Tools
The LaunchPad team at Syracuse University Libraries has also crowdsourced this handy list of free tools and platforms that could be helpful for student startups. Many of these are completely free, while others have a flexible freemium model, or a scale up fee structure when you hit higher volume usage, at which point you will also have funding and revenue to move beyond free services. We’d love to hear about the tools you're using, too! Send us an e-mail, LaunchPad@syr.edu, and we will continue to add to this list.
Accounting and Finance
Adminsoft, free, ad-supported accounting software
Money Manager Ex, open-source, full-featured financial software
SlickPie, small business/startup accounting software
Wave, financial/accounting/payment/invoicing software
Zipbooks, accounting and online invoicing
Expensify, expense reporting with mobile tracking and receipt scanning
Valuation, free business valuation reports based on revenue, costs, cash, market success, and other factors.
Communications and Conferencing
ezTalk, video, audio and IM chat for teams
FreeConferenceCall, free HD audio/video/screen conferencing and sharing with up to 1000 participants
Google Hangouts, online meetings and conferencing with Google accounts
GoToMeeting, online meetings and web conferencing for teams
Grammarly, proofreading and plagiarism checker
Hunter: Chrome extension to find email addresses from a webpage
Join.me, screen sharing, online meetings, team collaboration
RocketReach, Find a persons contact information from their name
Skype, full-featured online meetings software
TeamViewer, remote computer access software
UberConference, web conferencing and online meetings
WebEx (Cisco), enterprise video conferencing and online meetings/webinars
Whereby, free, high-quality video conferencing
Zoom, online meetings software
CoSchedule, a WordPress add-on to help organize all marketing in one place and help with collaboration
Affinity, a creative suite for graphic design, photo editing, publishing
Beautiful.ai, an AI-powered pitch deck designer
Canva, a simple-to-use design tool for easy slide, logo, social post (and more) creation
FlatIcon, a source for icons for pitch decks, websites, etc.
Gravit Designer, a full-featured vector design tool
Inkscape, an online replacement for Illustrator.
InVision, digital product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences.
Pexels, free stock photos
Piktochart, an easy way to create high impact infographics for free, with templates and easy to use tools to communication information in a visual way
Pilcro, a tool to store all of your brand assets in a shared online space
Pixabay, free stock photos
Pixlr Editor, free online Photoshop clone.
Sketch, Full-spectrum design toolkit.
Unsplash, free stock photos
Vectr, 2D vector creator.
Websites and E-Commerce
Drupal Commerce, e-commerce for Drupal CMS
Shopify, e-commerce website builder.
Smylelytics, website performance monitoring
Square Online Store, e-commerce website builder leveraging Square payments
Squarespace, a code-free website builder for startup websites
Webflow, a code-free HTML/CSS generator to build great websites
Wix, a code-free website builder for startup sites
WooCommerce, WordPress plugin for e-commerce
WordPress, open-source website CMS software.
Bitly, a link shortener that can also create custom URLs
Envoy, an open-source edge and service proxy, designed for cloud-native applications
Google Trends, trend search with interest level graphs
Pomodoro Timer, a tool to stage work in time increments to work more effectively, for longer
Thingiverse, 3d models for 3d printing
TinyURL, URL shortener
Forms and Data
Google Data Studio, a dashboard and report creator for data
Google Forms, a way to quickly create forms for surveys, events, and more.
Qualtrics, a tool for surveys, research and customer discovery that can capture customer, product, and brand insights
Surveymonkey, online survey tool
Typeform, an interactive form building tool, without code.
Management and Operations
Acuity, an online appointment scheduling tool
AirTable, a flexible company/personal management platform, similar to Excel, but more extensible
Asana, a project management tool
Boomerang for Gmail, a way to schedule sending email reminders as an extension for Gmail
Calendly, a way to set up a central place to book meetings
Evernote, a note-management app that comes with a Chrome extension to quickly save web content to notes
ExhibitDay, a platform to help plan and manage trade shows, pop up events and exhibits to boost engagement and sales
Fundable, a platform to help founders raise capital from investors, customers, and friends
Gust, a suite of tools that can help ventures incorporate (as a Delaware C-Corp), and get access to legal documents as reference points for speaking with professional counsel
Gusto, a payroll, HR, and benefits automation platform
Notion, a platform for early-stage venture management
Slack, a centralized team communication platform
Trello, an easy to use visual management tool to track tasks, that is good for small teams and early-stage startups
Zapier, a way to quickly connect apps and allow them to work together to automate tasks
Digital, Marketing and Social Media
Bensound, royalty-free music
Brandmark, a machine learning-based logo creator
Buffer, social media scheduling tool
Feedly, news and content aggregator around specific topics and influencers
Hootsuite, an easy social media management tool
Hubspot, a marketing, sales, and CRM management software platform that is especially good for startups that are scaling
Mailchimp, an easy to use email marketing platform.
Medium, blog/publication website
Namelix, a machine learning-based company name creator
SEMRush, a SEO tool for auditing and optimizing social media and digital content
Springboard Enterprises, a connection platform for female founders
Tepfu, a marketing agency platform for startups and companies
Tube Buddy, a management and optimization tool for YouTube creators
AngelList, a search platform for potential investors, early hires and team members
F6S, a tool to find and apply to accelerators (including Techstars), along with other startup resources
FounderSuite, a CRM for raising investment capital
Fundera, a one-stop marketplace to connect with the right business loan for your needs – like the kayak.com for business loans
Kickstarter, a way to crowd source your funding without giving away equity
SBA.gov, truly the one-stop for writing business plans, creating financial projections, finding advice on how to finance your business, and straightforward business information to start and grow a business
The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars has partnered with the AWS Activate program to provide LaunchPad startups with the resources they need to quickly get started on AWS, including credits that can be used towards AWS products, services, training, and support. As a member of the Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse community, you are eligible for the following AWS benefits: $5,000 in AWS Credits valid for one year; two months of AWS Business Support; and 80 credits for Self-Paced Labs.
To apply for these benefits, you need to be an active member of the LaunchPad at Syracuse University. Once approved by the LaunchPad and submitted to AWS, credits will be deposited into your account within two weeks of your application. AWS credits can be used to host servers, provide integrative services to make sure that software operates more efficiently, and produce comprehensive data analytics.
Connect with us to learn more. If you are an active member, we will help you with the application process. If you are not yet a member of the LaunchPad, stop in and join us!