Startup Team Finder
March 21, 2014 6:56 AM   Subscribe

If you have been working in a garage for the last fifteen years to develop the code base and content base of a start up. And you have no track record in the field. What is the 'best' way to find other members of a start up team, given that you have spent all your money on development?

Approaching venture capital partners seems redundant without a team in place. Startup and crowdfunding sites seem suspect (but maybe they aren't). And your 'normal' colleagues have no expertise in the fields you need.

Also, you are, of course aware that obsession is creepy, and maybe your time as a garage hermit has deformed your character to such a degree that you cannot work with other people any more. Don't think so, but then we never do, do we?
posted by Iktik to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Haha, the 15 years of garage life will be great with investors.

In all seriousness, what specific skill are you seeking to bring on? Easier to give advice that way. If you're looking for sales skills, you will need to passionately talk to as many sales execs as possible, since they will qualify your solution hard before considering joining. Part of that success is how well you excite others who have not taken the 15 year journey with you.
posted by Kruger5 at 7:09 AM on March 21, 2014

Also, you are, of course aware that obsession is creepy

If you can find a startup group near you, they won't think so. Not sure where you are located, but if you're near a college or a city, there should be a startup group nearby. Here in NH we have an organization and a meetup in Manchester and a group associated with UNH.
posted by yerfatma at 7:27 AM on March 21, 2014

This is often a place to use Angel Investors to get a small/large amount of money to hire paid developers.

a classic process is:
Show a prototype -> get money (angel or VC), hire staff to build out.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 7:50 AM on March 21, 2014

Are there any business incubators in your area? That's pretty much what they're there for.
posted by tinkletown at 7:56 AM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lets run down the line:

Know what your product is. What does it do? What problem does it solve? How big a problem is it? Does it require adoption to be successful or does your product, shall we say, passively grow?

Know how much money you need. How much do you need to make ends meet (least important question)? How much money does it cost to produce your product? How much does it cost to distribute? What are monthly expenses? How much additional development do you need and how much does that cost? How quickly can your product be deployed, and how does expansion of your business work with support for existing installation?

Pace your growth. How much money do you need today? How much money will you need for the next 3 years if your growth targets are attained? or if your growth targets are slowed? or your cost runs 10% higher? or if deals take an additional 3 months to close? How many people do you need and when?

Make contacts. Do you know of any entrepreneurs clubs? Incubators? Accelerators? Who are your wealthy friends?

Know your role. Should you be the person out in front? Do you have a better pitch man? Do you know how to market your product? Do you know who to market your client to? Do you have contacts in a given industry that would purchase your product, or a known ideal customer base?

How much can you afford to give up? VCs and Incubators and Accelerators all want a big piece of pie for very little cash.

Plan your next steps. How does the product expand? Is this a manufactured product? Where should it be distributed? where else? How much exposure do you need to reach sales targets?
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:22 AM on March 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't really understand what your question is.

Are you looking for co-founders? If so, start networking by attending events that entrepreneurs go to. Are you looking for investors? If so, start networking by attending events that investors go to. Sometimes these two groups overlap events so you can kill two birds with one stone.

But, more importantly, you say you've been working on something for fifteen years? Do you have anything to show for it? That to me would be a very big red flag, both as a co-founder and as an investor.
posted by dfriedman at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2014

Depending on your location, will be a good source of networking events. Go to ones in related content spaces, programming areas, and talks by other company people in the same line of work.

Also -- perhaps relevant, perhaps not -- the website linked in your profile seems to be down.
posted by rhizome at 9:55 AM on March 21, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for all this, particularly the Meetup link. However, most of these solutions seem either to offer pretty standard solutions (find investors or co-founders). The problem here is, I think, is trust- as shown by some of the responses ;-).

If you are really doing something completely new, you need a Team to (hopefully) build that trust. My question was about best place to find good quality people who might want to be a part of something new and exciting.

Yes there is a prototype and yes there is a considerable produce base. But now I need a team, and the route of hiring is closed to me because I can't afford to hire at the moment.

Thanks for all the help
posted by Iktik at 5:13 AM on March 24, 2014

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