How to find entrepreneurial help with a SaaS startup (for a techie)


First thanks for this great Q&A.

I'm probably coming to this from a different angle - but I'm a computer programmer at a university and have developed a niche staff application that has become immensely popular - mostly due to lack of vended options. The software is released under GPL and the higher ups here have decided they would not want to provide hosting solutions and so have OK'd me doing so myself. I've thought up a competitive pricing structure, as well as additional techie services, like data loading that I could also offer. I've also thought about going down to part time and could quit my job if this became feasible.

Beyond this I have no clue what to do. I probably need to find a business person that could enter into this. Does anyone have suggestions of how to find a business person (probably preferably local) who would be willing to go into business with an already existing product? I was kind of thinking of trying to find someone at the MBA program here at the university - but any other ideas would be great!

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asked Jul 29 '11 at 06:18
21 points

4 Answers


I would look for someone that has done a startup before, not necessarily a business person. If they so happen to be a business person too, that's fine. But a lot of what you think you need a business person for is going to be known by the techie people who have gone through the startup gauntlet.

Also, if you do find a successful entrepreneur that you would like to approach, consider asking for references so you can be reasonably sure you aren't inviting Hyde into your venture.

answered Jul 29 '11 at 07:36
234 points


Skip the MBA types - you want someone who knows how to run a SaaS app and/or can set up hosting and manage the services/servers/etc. Or just hook up with something like Amazon or Microsoft or Rackspace or others for hosting.

Good luck - it sounds like you have a good thing going.

Let us know how it goes.

Again, you don't need an MBA person - what you need is someone that will actually do work.

answered Aug 28 '11 at 11:25
Tim J
8,346 points


You need to find not an MBA, but same tech person who is good at SEO(search engine optimization) and internet marketing to attract more traffic to your website. This will increase sales and bring you more money to have ability to quit day job.

answered Aug 28 '11 at 13:51
Areshchanka Alexandr
49 points


Sounds like you are in a good position. It wouldn't hurt to search around campus some. If you know someone from the MBA school, I would take them to lunch and ask them, "hey, who's the most entrepreneurial person in your program?" or "who's the sharpest most energetic person in your program?"... something along those lines. You could also go to some professors at the MBA program and ask them the same questions.

I think if you are at a university right now, use the environment and opportunities and resources you have in front of you. Meet with your own teachers as well. And ask for introductions to others they know that may be interested or may have larger networks.

If you can pull in someone that has done a start up (as Michael mentions) that would be optimal, and teachers on campus may know someone like that. You also may want to consider developing something to show people the interest in your product (i.e. sales numbers, growth, customer testimonials, etc.) just something simple to show that their is a demand for your product. Good luck!

answered Jul 29 '11 at 10:48
314 points

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