I'm about 70% done with a Windows based application that my market research anticipates about 250,000 users. I would like to partner with a serial software/web entrepreneur who can
Please advise on the right method to find this type of person. Thanks.
I'd suggest going face to face - check meetup.com for Startup and Entrepreneur groups - there's over 3,000 such meetup groups in the U.S. alone.
Finding the right partner given your criteria means finding someone (not a developer) who wants to find a startup to join.... like you. Picking a business partner is far too critical a decision not to make working face to face.
Are you sure what you need is a partner, and not an investor?
It sounds to me like you need a good CEO for your company, while you stay as the CTO. You can get a CEO partner by looking for the entrepreneur you described, you can find an investor, raise some capital, hire a CEO and pay yourself a salary along the way.
If you plan on raising funds in the future from a venture capital, you should know that they want a professional CEO running the show, so you might as well get one at this point.
You will need to give both the investor and the CEO some equity, but it will probably be less equity and at a lower risk to yourself.
I know I didn't answer the question you asked, and if you insist on finding a partner, I would suggest looking at your competition and trying to make a good offer to a high level executive that might be looking for the opportunity to become independent. I still think that when you find the ideal "partner" you should try to recruit that person as an employee once you land an investment. An investor can do all the things you listed you were looking for, including finding additional investors :)
Good luck with your business.
How strong are you at writing search queries? Imagine what a bio or interview with such a person might read like, concatenate what some of the statistically improbable phrases regarding them might be, Google for people about whom such things are said, look to see how many degrees of separation there are between them and you... maybe you can scare up the name of someone you can credibly approach through some channel or another. If not, as you network, describe in detail the kind of partner(s) you are seeking. Someone may recommend someone.
This is just another kick at the same can as the advice you've already gotten - network and look for people who will be open to hearing your pitch.
1st Congrats on getting to 70% - this last 30 is going to be tough, but I'm sure you'll do it! Looking at your post, the person you need might not exist in one person IMHO:
These qualities look best filled by a lawyer:
setup the company structureThese qualities look best filled by an experienced business development manager:
deal with limiting liability / writing
all those terms of service things ...
protect the interests of the company
blow my mind and potentially help theThese qualities look like those best filled by an experienced VC or Corporate Exec with the help of a PR firm:
software exceed anticipated # of users
build strategic partnerships
raise startup capital (if needed,
software already/almost developed)
present the company to investors andIf a person like this already exists, he or she already probably is heavily involved - though who knows you might find one floating between projects. In my limited experience, there are more people with one to two of these sets of skills, but rarely all three.
be able to negotiate the sale of the
company should the right opportunity
surprise me with business savvy
Best of luck again!
Note: The information provided above is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in the information provided. Accordingly, the information is provided with the understanding that I am not herein engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional.
Networking. Networking. Networking. These people are at events like BarCamp or TED. They're hanging out in coworking offices. They may be involved in a local business incubator. I see you're in Little Rock - it might be worth getting involved with the folks at www.hypercubicle.com. Get on Twitter and Linked In and local business publications websites & find out who the important people are in your area -- then find out where they hang out and go out and start meeting people.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many serial entrepreneurs aren't interested in starting a new business (they've already made their millions), but they do LOVE to help/advise. I would suggest getting a business-minded partner who has at least a little experience as a entrepreneur, and then build a group of uber experienced advisers to guide you through the tough stuff.
Look at organizations like the Accelerator Centre (http://www.acceleratorcentre.com/) that have Entrepreneur in Residence, or Executive in Residence Programs. Typically these entrepreneurs or execs are between startups, and are doing the in-residence gig as an interim thing while they look for a new opportunity.