If you’re one of the 50 million aspiring entrepreneurs in the U.S., or the more than 400 million worldwide, you may have recently heard about NEURS. Based out of Palo Alto, CA, this startup claims to have built a one-stop online network that provides entrepreneurs with the advisory, educational, and financial resources they need to launch businesses and to help them grow.
This all sounds great, but what’s the real deal with NEURS? Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
Quick Facts About NEURS
Founded by Frank Codina and Denis Cauvier, NEURS is a pre-release startup that claims to be “the premier online meeting point for entrepreneurs,” which it claims to accomplish by providing solutions to three basic questions that all new businesses face:
- Concepts – Which business should you start?
- Connections – Which important connections do you need to help you get started?
- Capital – How do you obtain the money to begin your business?
According to the NEURS introductory video, entrepreneurs can use the website in just three steps:
- Fill out a short questionnaire, and business ideas tailored to your core values, interests, and skill will be sent to your email. If necessary, you can also search the entire site.
- NEURS University provides quality online courses that cover topics ranging from contracts to marketing, and much more. Also includes online educational webinars hosted by “approved providers.”
- Post specific requests through the NEURS connections platform, which will be seen by others who can help you start your business, including lenders and investors.
On top of this, NEURS claims that their services are not just for entrepreneurs. Instead, they can also be highly beneficial for providers such as franchisors, direct selling organization recruiters, business coaches, web designers, and more. Providers will be able to create profiles, connect with other entrepreneurs, create webinars and invite other users, upload slides and documents, and more.
NEURS Pricing & Affiliate Program
While NEURS is in the pre-launch phase and doesn’t provide any pricing information on their website, we found out that entrepreneurs and providers will have to pay $97 per month (or $997 per year) in order to access their services. Afterward, you’ll be assigned a certain amount of credits, which will be used any time you post a message, host a webinar, etc. If you run out of credits, you’ll be required to purchase more.
Outside of paid memberships, NEURS also offers an “invitation only” affiliate marketing program. Instead of spending money on traditional marketing avenues, NEURS claims that they’re incentivizing referrals by paying their affiliates for direct customers, as well as up to 30 “generations” of indirect customers. As a result, the company claims that many affiliate will make “thousands of dollars over the next few weeks,” and that some will even rake in 6-figures.
In order to sign up for the affiliate program, you’ll first need to register your email address, at which point you’ll be redirected to another video that provides more information about the company, their products and services, as well as their rewards program. You’ll also be enrolled in regular email updates, and will also gain the ability to send out invitations for other affiliates to enroll under you.
With this in mind, there are two types of affiliate accounts:
- Basic Affiliate – Pays for direct referrals only.
- Upgraded Partner Affiliate – Allows you to earn “bonuses” on up to 30 generations of indirect customers. Also provides bonuses for direct memberships you refer, as well as access to a monthly bonus pool.
What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About NEURS?
NEURS is a pre-launch startup, therefore the company is not listed with the Better Business Bureau, and there are very few online reviews. However, those that do exist tend to be primarily negative, which is something we’ll cover in greater detail in the following section.
What’s the Bottom Line About NEURS?
While the basic idea behind NEURS appears to be worthwhile, their pre-release strategy raises some big concerns. Here’s why:
Based on our experience with a wide variety of products and services, companies with long, drawn out videos that include a lot of hype and very little information are often best avoided. In the instance of NEURS, you’ll spend the better part of half an hour watching their introductory videos, and will walk away with only a little more information than you began with.
With this in mind, much of the marketing hype on the NEURS website talks about how much money you could earn, and how much the company is like Yahoo, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. However, these are all free services, whereas NEURS appears to charge entrepreneurs, providers, and even affiliates. On top of this, these fees are implemented in a credit-based system, which seems inefficient, and is something more often associated with dating websites and the like.
Next, unlike other direct marketing/MLM companies such as Amway and Herbalife, NEURS does not have an actual product in place at this time. In other words, the company is simply building hype about their product, without actually having a live product in place to begin with, and without providing in-depth information about the product itself. This has led some to speculate that the funds received through entrepreneur, provider, and Partner affiliates actually just goes to pay other affiliates, and little (if any) will be circulated back in to the website itself. If true, this would mean that NEURS is dangerously close to a pyramid scheme.
Finally, when it comes down to their business model, the fact of the matter is that many of the services provided by NEURS can be obtained elsewhere online for free. With this in mind, what will separate NEURS from the competition? What extra will users receive for nearly $1,000 per year? At this point we’re just not sure, but it doesn’t appear to be groundbreaking.
So what’s the bottom line about NEURS? By all appearances, the company seems to be a standard MLM program, only masquerading as an entrepreneurial website. At first glance, our recommendation would be to explore other, more well-established affiliate programs first.