Welcome to The Early Days: A series that checks in with kickass Founders who share honest lessons, tips & tricks and a sneak peek into building their startup in public, from the ground up.
What happens when you blend curiosity with passion? A side hustle worth talking about. This is Luke Versweyveld's story of building Startup Founder Daily, a free startup marketing agency.
If you're a Founder, you're going to want to get to know Startup Founder Daily because it's dedicated to promoting and amplifying the voices of startup founders – for free.
🎬 Why did you start Startup Founder Daily?
I am a lawyer by trade and serve as in-house counsel at a biotechnology startup. Eventually, I would like to be on the investor side of the table.
In January 2022, I asked myself: “What can I do today to take steps towards that goal and make it more attainable?” It seemed like every investor was on Twitter, so I created an account giving shoutouts to founders. It was a fun way to meet new people and learn about what they were building.
This idea seemed to resonate with the community and we grew quickly. I realized this passion project could go far beyond a standalone Twitter account. So, I brought my brother-in-law, Henry, on board to help me expand to other platforms. With that, Startup Founder Daily was born: part media company, part startup agency.
We’re growing every day, but the mission remains the same: put a spotlight on great people building great companies. Media attention shouldn’t be reserved for companies raising $100m+ rounds of financing. Great startups should be shared. Period. We do it for free and we always will.
More information about who we are and what we do can be found here on our website.
🤔 Lessons learned
Great founders can come from anywhere and every walk of life. They don’t look a certain way, go to a certain school, or have a certain network. What unites them all is a passion for building. I speak with founders on a daily basis and the fire is palpable.
🛣 What drives you to keep going?
Every time a featured founder tells me how thankful they are for their promotions. I feel incredibly lucky that this experiment has evolved into something that is meaningful to founders.
Hearing “this made my day!” or “I got new customers because of the features!” is a very special feeling. 🥰
🎊 Your proudest moment in this journey?
I was recently at a startup summit and was introducing myself to a group of founders. One of them exclaimed “I follow Startup Founder Daily! You’re doing great work!” This was the first time it felt like SFD had transcended the Twittersphere. Knowing that our work is making a difference in the real world was extremely meaningful.
😯 Most interesting Founder/idea shared on SFD
This is a tough question; We get so many great applications. A company I am currently excited about is Gusher: a startup launching platform. Rather than raising money to accomplish a certain task, you host the position on their platform in exchange for equity. You select the best candidate, and when the task is complete, you launch your startup. All without the need for raising capital.
🎯 Goals in 1, 5, 10 years
Over the next year, I want Startup Founder Daily to grow across all platforms, providing a larger audience for our featured founders. The more people we put our founders in front of, the more powerful this platform becomes.
In 5 years, SFD will be a complete support system for our founders. I envision SFD as a micro-accelerator of sorts, connecting founders to customers, capital, resources, and strategic partners. We won’t stop at just sharing their stories.
In 10 years, being featured by Startup Founder Daily will be a complete game-changer for founders, leading to customers, partners, capital, and validation. I want the SFD stamp of approval to change the trajectory of their company.
🌱 Kernal x SFD
We are excited to share that you can now apply to be featured on Startup Founder Daily through Kernal! Founders can access the platform with our invite code, join the Startup Founder Daily Group, and submit your company! From there, we will select founders to be featured across our platforms.
We get so many great applications to be featured. Unfortunately, we can’t feature everyone. Now, even if you are not selected to be featured, you will have the opportunity to be seen by potential users and investors across the ecosystem. If you are submitting an idea on Kernal, I hope you consider sharing it within the Startup Founder Daily group page for consideration.
🛠 Favourite Tools
We can’t live without Notion. Whether it’s scheduling our social media posts, planning our long-form content, or collaborating on a project, our whole company runs through Notion.
💬 Favourite conversations on Kernal
My favorite conversations on Kernal are those that take place under the startup ideas. From the moment I joined the platform, I was blown away by how supportive and helpful the community was. Kernal is truly becoming the place to validate your startup idea. The opportunity to pressure test the idea against the market is an invaluable resource for founders.
📇 How can people keep up with you?
To read more about our featured founders, subscribe to the Founder Roundup Newsletter. To learn more about who we are and what we do, read the “About Us.”
If you want to get in touch with me personally, shoot me a DM on Twitter.
Closing Comments 💭
Luke's drive to become an investor led him directly to engage with startup founders to hear their stories and help them get the word out. What an amazing life hack! The best investors are typically the ones that are in the trenches with you, helping you get unstuck. Founder energy is palpable and contagious and most founders need someone who's willing to help them get noticed. I'm excited to see where Luke takes SFD as a win for Founders is a win for entrepreneurship 🚀
Do you have an idea that you're itching to share? Post here and watch your seeds grow into a forest. 🌲🌳🌲🌳
With nearly 10,000 members, 2,000 startup ideas and 200 MVPs, Kernal is an expanding community of founders, operators, and investors focused on validating and building pre-seed startup ideas. Post new ideas, browse startups with momentum, and get expert feedback to take the next steps of scaling your startup idea. This exclusive community is the most supportive place to be for builders at this stage in their journey. We welcome you to join here.