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.

Syracuse University students have a "vision" for their venture and work with the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars.

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.

Cloud Storage

Amazon Drive back up photos, files, documents, and other company files

Boxstore, organize and manage company and personal content

Dropboxonline file storage and sharing

Flickrupload, store, and share photos

Google Drivestore and share files

OneDrivestore and share files

Communications and Conferencing

ezTalkvideo, audio and IM chat for teams

FreeConferenceCallfree HD audio/video/screen conferencing and sharing with up to 1000 participants

Google Hangoutsonline meetings and conferencing with Google accounts

GoToMeetingonline meetings and web conferencing for teams

Grammarlyproofreading and plagiarism checker

HunterChrome extension to find email addresses from a webpage

Join.mescreen sharing, online meetings, team collaboration

RocketReachFind a persons contact information from their name

Skypefull-featured online meetings software

TeamViewerremote computer access software

UberConferenceweb conferencing and online meetings

WebEx (Cisco)enterprise video conferencing and online meetings/webinars

Wherebyfree, high-quality video conferencing

Zoomonline meetings software

CoSchedule, a WordPress add-on to help organize all marketing in one place and help with collaboration

Design

Affinitya creative suite for graphic design, photo editing, publishing

Beautiful.aian AI-powered pitch deck designer

Canvaa 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 Designera full-featured vector design tool

Inkscapean online replacement for Illustrator.

Pexelsfree 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

Pixabayfree stock photos

Pixlr Editorfree online Photoshop clone.

SketchFull-spectrum design toolkit.

Unsplashfree stock photos

Vectr2D vector creator.

Websites and E-Commerce

Drupal Commerce, e-commerce for Drupal CMS

Shopifye-commerce website builder.

Smylelyticswebsite performance monitoring

Square Online Storee-commerce website builder leveraging Square payments

Squarespacea code-free website builder for startup websites

Webflowa code-free HTML/CSS generator to build great websites

Wix, a code-free website builder for startup sites

WooCommerceWordPress plugin for e-commerce

WordPressopen-source website CMS software.

Efficiency

Bitlya 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 Timera tool to stage work in time increments to work more effectively, for longer

Thingiverse3d models for 3d printing

TinyURLURL shortener

Forms and Data

Google Data Studioa 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

Surveymonkeyonline survey tool

Typeforman interactive form building tool, without code.

Management and Operations

Acuityan online appointment scheduling tool

AirTablea flexible company/personal management platform, similar to Excel, but more extensible

Asanaa project management tool

Boomerang for Gmaila way to schedule sending email reminders as an extension for Gmail

Calendlya way to set up a central place to book meetings

Evernotea 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

Fundablea platform to help founders raise capital from investors, customers, and friends

Gusta 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

Gustoa payroll, HR, and benefits automation platform

Notiona platform  for early-stage venture management

Slacka centralized team communication platform

Trelloan 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

Bensoundroyalty-free music

Brandmarka machine learning-based logo creator

Buffersocial media scheduling tool

Feedlynews and content aggregator around specific topics and influencers

Hootsuitean easy social media management tool

Hubspota marketing, sales, and CRM management software platform that is especially good for startups that are scaling

Mailchimpan easy to use email marketing platform.

Mediumblog/publication website

Namelixa 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

Tepfua marketing agency platform for startups and companies

Tube Buddya management and optimization tool  for YouTube creators

Funding

AngelLista search platform for potential investors, early hires and team members

F6Sa tool to find and apply to accelerators (including Techstars), along with other startup resources

FounderSuitea 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

AWS Activate

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!


Learn more about the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars global network at blackstonelaunchpad.org.