where can I find passionate developers to build a project to lead to a startup?


I've been looking all around the web, looking for places to find 1-2 passionate developers/artist that would be interested in working on a cool project/idea I have for a site to facilitate in building a startup.

Seems that no one is interested and most people are only willing to do the work for money. I don't have money to pay people, because I am just a college student. I really wish to find someone really passionate to help me with this for free. Anyone know where I can find such people? Maybe someone here would like to help me out, contact me.


asked Nov 22 '10 at 09:36
Equino X
111 points
  • it would help to know where are you located... – Alex 13 years ago
  • Would you work for free/no money on someone else's project? – Tim J 13 years ago

6 Answers


To find passionate developers you will need to be ridiculously utterly superbly passionate about your idea yourself. On top of that - you need to be able to pitch it to them in such a way that they subscribe to it and believe that you can execute on it. If you can't do that with developers, it might be near to impossible to do that with clients/investors/VCs.

Another thing is - if you want people to work for free/equity - what is that valuable something that you'll bring to the table? You need to highlight that very strongly and make sure that you have very good idea in regards to what weight you'll be pulling.

At any rate, if you're in NY, Boston, Seattle or Boulder areas - try to get into TechStars program. If you're around SF or have an amazing idea and fit the bill for Y! Combinator - try to get in their program. They could actually help you to find technical cofounders, but you gotta be really passionate and clear about your idea...

Another thing you can try is going to tech meetups. There are tons of them in major tech hubs(SF, NY, Boston, etc.)

And finally here are few useful links:

How do I find a technical co-founder? Non-hackers: how to find a co-founder

answered Nov 22 '10 at 10:43
262 points
  • I am not really into in finding a partner for a co-founder, more to a partner to code together to build a project – Equino X 13 years ago
  • So, what does this partner to code with, get at the end for his hard work of coding? – Igorek 13 years ago
  • @EquinoX - You won't pay them and you also don't want them as a founder/partner? That's ridiculous. Excuse my frankness, but come back and post later when you are serious. – Tim J 13 years ago
  • Yes. Otherwise understand that coders are smart, and you look for someone too dump to realize that he is being used. – Net Tecture 13 years ago
  • I don't mind making that partner as a co-founder, however it's intended to be a project at first.. then we see how it goes.. if it goes well.. then a possible startup would be the next step.. that's what I meant.. I don't mean dumping someone after all of their hard work.. besides I think what he gets of it is the learning experience of developing the project – Equino X 13 years ago


The problem with this kind of agreement is that if you only give your idea, you do not give enough value to the relationship. You have to be a brilliant seller, or accountant, or whatever.

The traditional scheme (i put the idea, you code) will never work because working for free is just not right.

answered Nov 24 '10 at 20:06
184 points


As a dev myself I try to evaluate what the non-tech cofounder is bringing to the table (value add) other than just the idea. Question is not where to find devs, its how to find devs but for that you will need to evaluate the value add you are going to do. Then, connect with local tech community - barcamp, startup weekend and meetups etc..

answered Nov 22 '10 at 15:46
Neo Syne
75 points


Devs have very little commercial skills, as a general rule. That's not being rude, they're good at tech, but you have to understand your limits. One of the basic skills of being commercially successful is being able to put yourself in the shoes of others, partners, employees, customers, etc. If you don't understand why what's you're saying, to be polite, isn't quite right, you need to find a business person willing to tutor you.

answered Nov 23 '10 at 00:08
David Benson
2,166 points


You have to meet in person and convey your passion in person. Very hard to do it online unless you have a list of 10,000 people and a relationship with that list. Then you will find a few people out of the 10,000 who could be interested (I have a friend who did it exactly that way)

answered Nov 25 '10 at 21:39
151 points


Most developers are passionate about what they do. These days have options in terms of where to put their time. A lot of them have their own projects on a side and often you just lease their skills for particular project. They are looking for a reasonable compensation for the time you take them away from their families and projects of their interests.

There are many places online where you can post your projects and get bids to do the work. Sometimes I outsource my smaller projects on Elance.com Best of luck!

answered Nov 23 '10 at 01:35
1,698 points

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