How to earn VC/Angel Investor financial and technical talent support?


4

More specifically, has any of you managed to convince both financial support, and getting additional technical talent to support the expansion of a startup concept/prototype? If so, where and how did you manage to achieve this?

Recruiting Venture Capital Angel Technical

asked Apr 18 '11 at 08:50
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Stanigator
133 points
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2 Answers


2

Over the years we have sat on both sides of the fence and had a lot of different offers ... all of them have been custom development for a specific niche market.

Easier question (for me to answer): How to get good technical staff...

  • Offer a cool challenging job that they get to prove themselves.
  • Have a great work environment with people they can bounce ideas off and talk things through with.
  • Allow them leeway to play. They stay interested and it usually results in better long term results as their playing is your adhoc R & D.
  • Spend the time with them to layout the 1-2 year "dream time" and then break it down into 1-2 month objectives. These days I go down to the 1/2 week objective with juniors and the 1 month objective / direction with seniors.
  • Ask for and expect their contribution to the product ongoing (same with ALL staff, clients and prospects) there is nothing like seeing your idea in a product to get developers, support, sales engaged in the product and customers evangelizing you.

If they are more junior staff then have a good lead and mentore that will give them enough leash to try but feel comfortable that they can reel them back in without significant project impact (I have 5 guys who can recover something fast which really helps).

Convincing people to invest: Well there are a few play book answers but really its much like engaging the developer above. This is a journey, at the end of it if we get it right the rewards are going to be lots of money but along the way ...

  • To start with we will need 2 developers, then take on the sales, then the web guy and as sales start to grow we will need the support to keep everyone happy.
  • At the 12 month point we think we will need 3-4 developers, 1 Sales, 1 website/Graphic designer, 1 support / customer care.
  • THEN you convert it to more of a key milestones discussion. EG. Sales we expect to have 1 conversion per week. Support should increase at 1 person per 30 clients. Developers we should stay static at 4 until we start to branch out into the "addons" for the product.

All of this will result in a $ figure range you need for 6 months, 12 months and 2 years. You have minimum threshold you need to get to make it viable in the first place ... if they want to commit to $X then you will need another 4 investors ... if you reach the threshold then they are in.

That is the basic pitch / plan they want to know, and they will ask questions around their own specific areas of interest.
The other main thing you have to answer in their heads is: Why you? Why your team? what is your background.

The best podcast to get a real understanding of what is required is this week in startups. I would start with some of the earlier shows which were a little more adhoc.

answered Apr 18 '11 at 09:53
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Robin Vessey
8,394 points

0

There are plenty of sites now that make it easy for you to find someone. I recently was in the same boat, and I found an investor that also knew a lot about how to get in touch with technical talent as well to put our idea through to fruition.

answered Apr 22 '11 at 06:16
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Slandau
203 points

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