Going away to school and my new StartUp


I'm on my last year of University and about to go to Sweden for 5 months as a part of an exchange program.

Unfortunately, my one-man startup is in a critical stage. My startup has about 40 paying customers, and it's in a niche market. Unfortunately, my competitor is more established and is aware of my existence. In fact, he already copied few of my ideas.

Moreover, my competitor has more features which I will not be able to develop once I go abroad. My absence will put my competitor 12 months ahead of me.

Lastly, my startup is in crucial need of marketing.

I don't want my startup to die again because of school. I used to run a Woot.com copy in Canada when daily-deal concept was almost non-existent. I had to shut it down because I was too distracted from the school life.

I doubt I can hire anyone because I'm still operating in the red.

Could I please get any advice on how to deal with this?

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asked Aug 12 '11 at 16:27
173 points

1 Answer


That is a very interesting question.

Why are you assuming you'll be unable to run it from Sweeden?
I believe you've already explored this, but is it really impossible to run it from abroad?
What if you would only to "half-run it" for 5 months?

Instead of hiring someone, why not get partner that would be able to continue the business for the time you're abroad? You stated you required some marketing, maybe a marketing person can make a positive difference. As for keeping up with your competitor, you can outsource the development of some new features while your're abroad.

In a situation where it is really impossible to run it anymore, I would consider to exit with a sale.
Is your established competitor a possible buyer, or your 40 paying customers are not an interesting number for them?
Can you find other possible buyers?

answered Aug 12 '11 at 18:19
Fernando Martins
798 points
  • Thanks Fernando. I can probably manage to half-run it for 5 months. About getting a marketing partner, how do you go about finding one? I don't want to give up equity at this point so an fixed-fee consultant might be a better idea. – Nick 13 years ago
  • You're welceome Nick. I'm glad to help :) I believe finding a partner is is extremely hard, no matter if it's a programmer, a marketing or any other domain. If you can support a a fixed-fee consultant, then I guess that's may be the best way to go while you "half-manage" it. Keep in mind that this "half-manage" may actually require a lot more discipline, since one may be tempted to relax too much... – Fernando Martins 13 years ago

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