With venture investing still down, and the VC industry likely to shrink even further, what’s a cash-strapped startup to do? The soon-to-be-married couple behind stealth-mode web company Aboomba decided to take a fresh approach: Ask their wedding guests for funding.
Drue Kataoka, an artist who co-writes the Valley Zen blog, and Svetlozar Kazanjiev are getting married on August 29, and like any couple, they’ve created a registry listing their requests for wedding gifts. But rather than including the same boring old household appliances, they have a “Startup Wedding Registry,” allowing guests to help get the couple’s startup off the ground. The registry includes items like “Feed an Engineer for a Day ($273.97),” “Upgrade from First-Aid Kit to real health insurance for a week ($134.00),” and “Amazon EC2 Cloud web hosting for a week ($134.40).”
Okay, so this doesn’t take the place of real investors. Indeed, one of the other items is “Feed a hungry VC lunch.” But it’s a fun way to get support from friends and family, and to funnel their goodwill (and money) towards something the couple will find genuinely useful. Frankly, when my own friends start getting married, I’ll be much more excited about supporting their business than I will about buying them a toaster. On the other hand, I have to wonder whether running a company together will do much for the longevity of the marriage.