This article was published on November 8, 2015

101 startup tools to make your idea a reality

101 startup tools to make your idea a reality
Jennifer Chin
Story by

Jennifer Chin

Jennifer Chin is a marketing coordinator at Spring. Jennifer Chin is a marketing coordinator at Spring.

If you want to start a startup there are a couple of things you need to have, at a minimum you need:

  1. A killer idea.
  2. The drive to “get sh*t done”.
  3. The right tools and resources to give you the best chance of success.

We might not be able to help you with the first two, but the third we have in spades. Here are Spring’s top 101 free tools to get you from idea to reality, vetted by our incubator students who’ve been exactly where you’re standing.


  • Slack – Communication done right, complete with a horde of addictive integrations.
  • – Video conferencing made super simple, no excuses.



  • Canva – A drag-and-drop graphic editor for marketers and non-designers.
  • Fiverr – You’d be surprised what you can get for $5.
  • Invision – Prototyping the way it should be.
  • Marketizator – Bag more sales using CRO.
  • – Complete media management from photos to design assets and beyond.
  • – Easily compress and optimize images.
  • Coolors – A limitless mix and match of beautiful colour schemes.
  • WithOomph – Create your next logo in five minutes.
  • Videvo – HD stock footage and motion graphics for every project.
  • Fancy Footage Club – More fancy HD footage to use in creative projects.
  • Pablo – Buffer’s ridiculously simple image editing platform for social media.



  • MixMax – Making email better, or at least more efficient, with tracking, automation and more.
  • Boomerang – Email not important right now? Tell it to check back in an hour.
  • MailChimp – Drag and drop newsletter design and easy analytics.
  • Revue – Send everyone a good-looking, weekly newsletter curated by you.
  • Sortd – Smart email management skin within Gmail.



  • Wave – Your one-stop shop for accounting, invoicing, personal finance and more.
  • Abukai – Quick and simple expense reporting.
  • Shoeboxed – Digital document management to manage expenses sans shoebox.
  • Payment Evolution – Payments and payroll all wrapped up in one pretty package.



  • Angel List – Connecting platform for investors, startups, and job seekers.
  • Fundica – Find the right funding fast.
  • Impact Money Finder – Comprehensive list of non-dilutive funding options (Canada).
  • Kickstarter – Crowdfunding for creative projects everywhere.
  • Frontfundr – Letting crowdfunders get a piece of the pie with Equity crowdfunding.
  • Indiegogo – The world’s largest global crowdfunding site no matter what you’re funding.
  • Generosity – Indiegogo’s fundraising spinoff for human goodness.
  • Gust – Get connected to the world’s largest network of investors.



  • Stock Up – Search engine for high quality stock photos from around the net.
  • Pexels – More beautiful stock photos.
  • Re:Splashed – HD images for every project.
  • The Noun Project – Icons for every occasion, from everywhere.
  • Freepik – Vector graphics for all.
  • Designer Mill – Kits, icons, fonts; you name it, they probably have it.
  • GraphicBurger – Premium quality design resources cooked up by the community.
  • Freebiesjedi – Curated collection of graphic resources from in and around the web.


Idea Validation



  • Picatic – Event marketing made easy and beautiful.
  • Typeform – Intuitive and good-looking surveys.
  • Optimizely – Easy A/B testing on Web and mobile.
  • Wistia – A video marketing platform that looks great.
  • Ad Calculator – How much should you actually spend on advertising?
  • Hive – Nicely organized link analytics and customizations.



  • Rapportive – Linkedin via Gmail on your sidebar.
  • Archively – Collaborative networking and people discovery with your team.
  • Founder Dating – Connect with cool people to grow or co-found your business.



  • 10-20-30 Deck Rules – Guy Kawasaki’s guide to a killer presentation.
  • Pitch Envy – The best inspiration for your next deck.
  • – Create a great looking pitch deck and get your idea across.
  • Slidebean – Self-designing slide decks.
  • Haiku Deck – Create super simple presentations that look great.



  • Anewstip – Find journalists by their tweets.
  • – A giant list of places your startup should be listed.
  • Hey Press – Search engine for relevant journalists you should talk to.
  • Help a Reporter Out – An opportunity to get press via journalists who actually want to chat.
  • Tiny Pitch – Turn your emails into professional PR pitches.
  • Mention – Scour the web for your startup and never miss out on PR.


Product Management

  • – Visually organize everything all in one place.
  • Ramen – Learn from customers and monitor their happiness levels.
  • Quip – Easily create and communicate across devices.
  • Tacoapp – Drag and drop organization from your all your apps on a single screen.
  • Asana – The “get sh*t done” app that keeps you on route and accountable.
  • Trello – Organization tool for keeping you on track and tracking where you’re going.



  • Zapier – Automate your workday and save time with tons of app integrations.
  • Coffeeivity – Ambient background noise to to bring your favourite coffee shop to work.
  • IFTTT – Full on automation, making your apps work for you.
  • CopyClip – Convenient clipboard right in your Mac toolbar.


Resource Site

  • Medium – A smart community for life lessons, tools, musings, and more.
  • Freebie.Supply – Even more free tools to help you get started.
  • Startup Stash – Curated resources and tools for every startup.
  • ProductHunt – The hitlist of the web for all things product.


Social Media

  • Hootsuite – Social media management for Twitter, Facebook, and more.
  • Buffer – Simplified social media scheduling and analytics.
  • Iconosquare – Everything you wanted to know about your instagram statistics.
  • Twitonomy – In-depth Twitter analytics.
  • Latergram – Instagram scheduler work-around so you don’t have to be in the moment.
  • Writerack – The easiest way to tweetstorm.
  • GetCrate – Curated social media post recommendations.
  • Tweetdeck – Customized Twitter dashboard and account management.


Storage (Cloud)

  • Dropbox – Cloud storage.
  • Google Drive – Cloud storage, along with the rest of the Google suite.
  • Box – Cloud storage.


Time Tracking

  • Toggl – Simple time tracking software to keep you on task.
  • Harvest – Time tracking for expenses and billing aka getting paid.



  • Google Analytics – The ins and outs of your website’s stats.
  • Mix Panel – Comprehensive mobile and web analytics that are still easy to read.
  • Bounce Bar – Eye-catching banners for your website.
  • SumoMe – The best website analytics apps all in one place.
  • Mouse Flow – Find out what’s hot, and what’s not using heatmaps.
  • Squarespace – Quick and easy website builder, not to mention pretty.
  • Unbounce – Completely customizable and trackable landing pages for every campaign.
  • Strikingly – Beautiful websites for mobile and web made simple.
  • Qwilr – Turn that proposal into a web page that’s also easy on the eyes.
  • Webflow – Design a fancy website with none of the messy code and all of the usability.


And that’s all 101 free tools! Hope you find them useful on your journey to becoming a founder and please let me know if there are any I’ve missed.

Want to learn more about navigating the journey from idea to startup maybe a little mentorship thrown in for good measure? Sign up for the Spring newsletter and get access to vetted startups resources, early access to programs, and everything else to get your startup up and running.

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