"In just 8 months without any funding we went from zero to a beautiful system, signed up a couple of early customers by attending local meetups and events, and prepared for a Big Day."
That is your first and foremost problem. You cannot go into a cave and develop your product with no significant marketing or at least a soft launch. You're going to end up building the wrong thing (or even worse, find out the idea was crap all along).
You need to launch an MVP ASAP. And a lot of times, that MVP is only just a landing page (with no other functionality)! If you don't get any signups or excitement, that is reason to pause.
That's not an MVP, that's a Dry Test. There's a difference.