This the stage where the entrepreneur has an idea and is working on bringing it to life. At this stage, the amount of funds needed is usually small. Additionally, at the initial stage in the startup lifecycle, there are very limited and mostly informal channels available for raising funds.
Bootstrapping a startup means growing the business with little or no venture capital or outside investment. It means relying on your savings and revenue to operate and expand. This is the first recourse for most entrepreneurs as there is no pressure to pay back the funds or dilute control of your startup.
Friends & Family
This is also a commonly utilized channel of funding by entrepreneurs still in the early stages. The major benefit of this source of investment is that there is an inherent level of trust between the entrepreneurs and the investors
Business Plan/Pitching Events
This is the prize money/grants/financial benefits that are provided by institutes or organizations that conduct business plan competitions and challenges. Even though the quantum of money is not generally large, it is usually enough at the idea stage. What makes the difference at these events is having a good business plan.