For any non-technical entrepreneur, there’s a high probability that you’ve had a great idea that has fallen flat because you didn’t know where to get started.
Chances are that when you had that great idea, you immediately thought to yourself “where am I going to find someone to build this” or “how am I going to get funding.”
Then you come to that AHA moment: “I need to find a technical co-founder.”
By finding a technical co-founder you’re solving two problems at once: Getting someone to build out your idea and not needing to find initial investors to get your idea off the ground.
What’s the problem with this way of thinking?
Well for one, it’s not that easy. Second, there’s a lot that you will need to accomplish before someone is going to be willing to invest in you monetarily or as a partner in your company.
Here are 3 things that you need to do before you start looking for that technical co-founder:
- Create an MVP: For those of you not familiar with the MVP concept, this means creating a minimum viable product. Essentially the idea is to validate your idea by creating a simple version of your product with 1–3 core features to see if your product can gain traction. Then based on the feedback you get from your users, you iterate until you have a product that your target audience is happy with. Some great examples of MVPs that people have created with non-technical skills are: A crowdsourced spreadsheet as an MVP or the example that Eric Ries uses in his book The Lean Startup about how he grew the company INVU. I’ve also seen people do quick validations of their ideas on sites like Quora and Reddit by asking the community if they’d be interested in a company like (your idea) and seeing the response and feedback that they receive.
- Show traction: As the non-technical founder, you should be responsible for showing traction for your idea. This can be done by driving the sales or awareness for your idea. For someone to want to work on your idea, you need to be able to show tangible growth. Some examples of tangible growth might be getting an e-mail list of people that are interested in what you’re building, getting the initial users of your product, getting letters of intent from companies who are interested in your idea or getting actual paying clients.
- Have a revenue model in place: This might seem like a no-brainer but before someone is going to be willing to work with you on your idea, they’re going to want to see that there’s a solid way to make money with it. The best way to prove to someone that your idea is worthy of their time is to show them that there are actual sales, or that there is sales potential.
Once you have all three of these steps completed, then you can begin your hunt for a technical co-founder. The most important part in your search is to make sure you find someone who shares your vision and values for how to grow the company.
Here are some resources to help you with your search:
Join CoFoundersLab — A community of 40,000 entrepreneurs looking for co-founders.
Join Founder2Be– Find a Co-founder for your Startup
Join FounderDating– FounderDating is a network of talented entrepreneurs helping one another start and grow companies.
Attend a start-up weekend event– Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.
Hire a firm like ThinkApps– ThinkApps is changing the way companies think about hiring tech talent. ThinkApps can act as a companies’ technical co-founder by taking your idea all the way to launch.
Attend meetups– There are tons of meetups for entrepreneurs all over the country- find ones that are focused on startups and entrepreneurship.
Some that Bay Area meetups that stand out are: