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There was other stuff I was going to write about today, but I felt like I had to clue you guys into this story first. Why? Maybe it's just the natural skeptic in me, but I can't see a gravy train like this lasting indefinitely.

Many of us have ideas for a side hustle that has the potential to bring in some nice ancillary income, but we never do anything about it because we're too busy or we don't have the funds to commit to it, or we're just plain old Wantrepreneurs (don't be that guy). Well, thanks to StartGarden, you no longer have an excuse. If your idea is solid enough, they'll give you $5,000 this week just to test it.

All you do is submit your idea on their website, and every week they pick one idea to fund for $5,000 with no strings attached (allegedly - there goes the skeptic in me again). In addition to the $5,000 a week the founders give away, they give away another $5,000 a week on an idea the community thinks is worth it.

So that's two opportunities a week to pick up five grand to test out your idea (or blow the whole wad on coke and strippers - they don't seem to care).

When you get the $5k check you are committed to a couple of things 1) that you’ll do something interesting within a 60-90 period and 2) that you’ll show up after that 60-90 days and publicly present what it is you’ve done. That’s it. There is no equity at stake at this level and no commitment to pay that five grand back if you’re not funded at a higher level.

I remember at the very first public event Start Garden hosted, CEO and founder – Rick DeVos said “You could spent the entire $5,000 on a pallet of Doritos and a PlayStation if you wanted… but obviously you’ll burn every bridge you’re trying to build”.

If the name Rick DeVos rings a vague bell to you, it's probably because his grandfather was one of the co-founders of Amway, Richard DeVos. Rick is 29 years old and apparently wants to revolutionize early-early-early-stage investing.

I'm hoping one of you guys submits something, because I'd love to know if this is for real. $5,000 might not sound like a lot, but I've started successful companies for less. You can do a lot these days with five grand - especially at the idea stage. Here's a video explaining their process:

Plus, if you show up a couple months later with something worthwhile, there's a decent chance you'll get some follow-on funding from StartGarden without having to pimp yourself out to the VC community.

Let me know what you guys think about this, and again, I would really love it if a couple of you submitted something and reported back on the process.

Comments (8)

  • BTbanker's picture

    Hmm, then once you realize 5k wasn't enough, you've already signed some dotted lines, and they've already stolen your idea.

    How many millions could I get for a paper clip co?

  • ivoteforthatguy's picture

    5K is not a lot at all. they can go a whole year funding losers but one winner covers them all and more.

  • In reply to ivoteforthatguy
    NorthSider's picture

    ivoteforthatguy:
    5K is not a lot at all. they can go a whole year funding losers but one winner covers them all and more.

    Great, then once you have $260k (52 x 5) in the bank, you should quit whatever you're doing and start handing out $5k until you're rich.

    "For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

  • TO_banker's picture

    With the amount of submissions I imagine they'll get, picking out the BEST one every week gives StartGarden a pretty good shot at picking a few winners over the course of a year. Seems like a win-win approach to me, assuming it really is no-strings-attached.

  • In reply to NorthSider
    ivoteforthatguy's picture

    NorthSider:
    ivoteforthatguy:
    5K is not a lot at all. they can go a whole year funding losers but one winner covers them all and more.

    Great, then once you have $260k (52 x 5) in the bank, you should quit whatever you're doing and start handing out $5k until you're rich.

    Look up: nonlinearity of the utility of money.

  • Hooked on LEAPS's picture

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