Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception by many app entrepreneurs that a good idea alone is enough to get investors to empty their wallets. The hard truth is that without being validated by actual users, ideas aren’t enough. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you might not have the funds needed to turn your app idea into a clickable product prototype. So where can you turn to get that much needed early cash flow?

In app development, between idea and prototype, there’s an incredibly important area called roadmapping. It’s the proof that if properly executed, your idea will be a success, and it can easily be enough to catch the eye of a venture capitalist.

Friends, Family, And Personal Finance

Even this blueprint to execution involves having capital in place, though. Some choose to bootstrap the start-up cost, meaning they raise money through their existing jobs or by digging into their own savings or other investments. They set aside a fund and drop money in where they can. Others will turn to friends and family (at least the ones you can convince). Even a close family member, however, will still want to see a decent business plan – an overall vision. They might be more forgiving, but they are still taking a potentially substantial risk on you.

Bartering With Banks

More common is that Product Owners will look to small business loans. Bringing the right business plan to a lender can get you that that little bit of app financing you need to really get the ball rolling. You’ll still need to have done a bit of homework, though. Banks aren’t in the business of losing money, so you’ll need to have done your due diligence and prove your idea is sustainable.

App Development Angels

You can always hope for angel funding, an individual willing to take a financial risk on a concept alone, but even they usually want more than just the promise to deliver a fantastic product. For this you need the best networking skills, and you need to be putting yourself out there, trying to sell your idea like it’s going to make billions.

This bit of scrounging will lead to what you ultimately need, and that is the prototype, the most powerful tool for raising funds. When a venture capitalist or other investor has that tangible app in their hands, you don’t need words, you already have your pitch, and when you work with Rootstrap that’s what you get at the end of our engagement.


CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.