Free Startup Tools
Use our handy list of free startup tools to help get you started and manage your business.
Techstars Entrepreneur's ToolkitA 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 ToolsThe 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 FinanceAdminsoft, free, ad-supported accounting softwareMoney Manager Ex, open-source, full-featured financial softwareSlickPie, small business/startup accounting softwareWave, financial/accounting/payment/invoicing softwareZipbooks, accounting and online invoicingExpensify, expense reporting with mobile tracking and receipt scanningValuation, free business valuation reports based on revenue, costs, cash, market success, and other factors.
Cloud StorageAmazon Drive, back up photos, files, documents, and other company filesBox, store, organize and manage company and personal contentDropbox, online file storage and sharingFlickr, upload, store, and share photosGoogle Drive, store and share filesOneDrive, store and share files
Communications and ConferencingezTalk, video, audio and IM chat for teamsFreeConferenceCall, free HD audio/video/screen conferencing and sharing with up to 1000 participantsGoogle Hangouts, online meetings and conferencing with Google accountsGoToMeeting, online meetings and web conferencing for teamsGrammarly, proofreading and plagiarism checkerHunter: Chrome extension to find email addresses from a webpageJoin.me, screen sharing, online meetings, team collaborationRocketReach, Find a persons contact information from their nameSkype, full-featured online meetings softwareTeamViewer, remote computer access softwareUberConference, web conferencing and online meetingsWebEx (Cisco), enterprise video conferencing and online meetings/webinarsWhereby, free, high-quality video conferencingZoom, online meetings softwareCoSchedule, a WordPress add-on to help organize all marketing in one place and help with collaboration
DesignAffinity, a creative suite for graphic design, photo editing, publishingBeautiful.ai, an AI-powered pitch deck designerCanva, a simple-to-use design tool for easy slide, logo, social post (and more) creationFlatIcon, a source for icons for pitch decks, websites, etc.Gravit Designer, a full-featured vector design toolInkscape, an online replacement for Illustrator.InVision, digital product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences.Pexels, free stock photosPiktochart, an easy way to create high impact infographics for free, with templates and easy to use tools to communication information in a visual wayPilcro, a tool to store all of your brand assets in a shared online spacePixabay, free stock photosPixlr Editor, free online Photoshop clone.Sketch, Full-spectrum design toolkit.Unsplash, free stock photosVectr, 2D vector creator.
Websites and E-CommerceDrupal Commerce, e-commerce for Drupal CMSShopify, e-commerce website builder.Smylelytics, website performance monitoringSquare Online Store, e-commerce website builder leveraging Square paymentsSquarespace, a code-free website builder for startup websitesWebflow, a code-free HTML/CSS generator to build great websitesWix, a code-free website builder for startup sitesWooCommerce, Wordpress plugin for e-commerceWordpress, open-source website CMS software.
EfficiencyBitly, a link shortener that can also create custom URLsEnvoy, an open-source edge and service proxy, designed for cloud-native applicationsGoogle Trends, trend search with interest level graphsPomodoro Timer, a tool to stage work in time increments to work more effectively, for longerThingiverse, 3d models for 3d printingTinyURL, URL shortener
Forms and DataGoogle Data Studio, a dashboard and report creator for dataGoogle 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 insightsSurveymonkey, online survey toolTypeform, an interactive form building tool, without code.
Management and OperationsAcuity, an online appointment scheduling toolAirTable, a flexible company/personal management platform, similar to Excel, but more extensibleAsana, a project management toolBoomerang for Gmail, a way to schedule sending email reminders as an extension for GmailCalendly, a way to set up a central place to book meetingsEvernote, a note-management app that comes with a Chrome extension to quickly save web content to notesExhibitDay, a platform to help plan and manage trade shows, pop up events and exhibits to boost engagement and salesFundable, a platform to help founders raise capital from investors, customers, and friendsGust, 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 counselGusto, a payroll, HR, and benefits automation platformNotion, a platform for early-stage venture managementSlack, a centralized team communication platformTrello, an easy to use visual management tool to track tasks, that is good for small teams and early-stage startupsZapier, a way to quickly connect apps and allow them to work together to automate tasks
Digital, Marketing and Social MediaBensound, royalty-free musicBrandmark, a machine learning-based logo creatorBuffer, social media scheduling toolFeedly, news and content aggregator around specific topics and influencersHootsuite, an easy social media management toolHubspot, a marketing, sales, and CRM management software platform that is especially good for startups that are scalingMailchimp, an easy to use email marketing platform.Medium, blog/publication websiteNamelix, a machine learning-based company name creatorSEMRush, a SEO tool for auditing and optimizing social media and digital contentSpringboard Enterprises, a connection platform for female foundersTepfu, a marketing agency platform for startups and companiesTube Buddy, a management and optimization tool for YouTube creators
FundingAngelList, a search platform for potential investors, early hires and team membersF6S, a tool to find and apply to accelerators (including Techstars), along with other startup resourcesFounderSuite, a CRM for raising investment capitalFundera, a one-stop marketplace to connect with the right business loan for your needs – like the kayak.com for business loansKickstarter, a way to crowd source your funding without giving away equitySBA.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
AWS ActivateThe 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!
Learn more about the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars global network at blackstonelaunchpad.org.