How does one create a startup without any seed funds and developers/coders?


Ok there is a startup idea in place; Not a big thing!
Even the plan is 99% on paper; Considerably not bad!
Two fellows have shown faith in the plans and agreed to partner ; good considering team is what matters in first place!

What lacks currently is a developer
within the team and/or funds to hire
one or more.
We are not ready to quit this idea or dump it in our closet. We have a basic revenue model working for it.

What can get us going now?
How do we find that developer/coder or a little funding to hire?

(F&F for seed fund is not really going to work as the idea is not too common or simple)

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asked Feb 18 '10 at 16:47
56 points
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5 Answers


Assuming your idea is technology-play, then, few options:

  1. Learn to code. Now.
  2. Find technical co-founder. Shake your friends / colleagues tree and see which one is convinced to join you. Otherwise, start network with people. Attend meet-up or join local tech communities. Search see if there are any in your cities.
  3. Outsource the development through services like Elance. It is not that expensive if you live in developed countries. The downside is you have to put up with all the communication/cultural hurdles.
answered Feb 18 '10 at 23:21
Hendro Wijaya
1,408 points
  • elance is perhaps the worst place to go for technical help. Learning how to code is also incredibly naive. It can be done, but rarely successful. – Tim J 14 years ago
  • Sure. But, giving up is worse. My point is: start working. If you can't code, learn now. If you can find a cofounder, get a cofounder. If you can't, try Elance or ODesk. I have met far too many dreamers and not enough doers. To counter your point, Kevin Rose of used eLance to get started. :) – Hendro Wijaya 14 years ago
  • I would not call giving up that negative. Giving up means having resources for another project. I also dont open a restuarant if I can not cook and dont have the money to hire a cook. Noone would call that naive. – Net Tecture 13 years ago


Find a developer that you can take on as a partner, and be ready to give him a substantial percentage.

answered Feb 18 '10 at 23:14
Gabriel Magana
3,103 points
  • This is exactly what I have done. I had an idea, asked my former colleagues for references based on an idea I had, which I never disclosed to anyone in detail, and finally found a software developer. I met with him, we both signed an NDA, and we are both working now on the website, which is precursor to the actaul SAAS I plan on providing. No funds have exchanged hands, and he has agreed to pay in the form of a % of revenue from the product. I make the inital investments, i.e. Domain name, hosting, graphic design, etc., and I am now looking in to a small business funding resources. – Kerry 14 years ago
  • P.S. I hope the previous poster is not suggesting to learn how to code software (website coding, ok, but software?...not a feasible option for you. The product would be obsolete by the time a finished, and polished, product could be created! – Kerry 14 years ago


First, check your network to see if there's a developer there who might be interested in joining you. You mention that you already have 2 partners, yet no programming skills between the three of you. You haven't mentioned what each of you is bringing to the table already, so you may not have a good founder balance as it is.

If you're going to pay the technical founder with equity, since funds are scarce, you need to be aware that they may demand a fairly high percentage of the company, since without them, you have nothing. At the same time, you need to retain enough of the company to ensure that you are capable of raising funds later, should that prove necessary.

Last, if you're going to hire someone, either put the project up for bidding on a site such as eLance, or be prepared to pay the going rate for the work you need. Take a guess at how many hours you think it will take to build, multiply by 3 (it's amazing how far off non-technical people estimate technical work to take, and 3 is assuming you're okay at it), and then multiply that by $50. If you don't have those kinds of funds, you'll have a hard time getting quality work for pay.

answered Feb 19 '10 at 00:51
4,692 points


Find a 4th who can code. Equity would be based on the level of commitment.

If you want someone to put in 40-80 hrs/week and ask them to forego all other income, they will want a lot of equity (others have noted this in their answers). You may be able to do a combination of minimal pay to help with the bills along with equity without giving up half the company.

Depending on the aptitude and interest in learning to code, you could do it yourself, but ask yourselves the question why haven't you learned to code yet? You have access to a computer, the Net with lots of tutorials, free development tools, hosting, etc.

answered Feb 19 '10 at 01:40
Jeff O
6,169 points


There are no other way besides start learning how to code and propose for funding after your application becomes something usable.

EDIT I was once met someone that offer me to start a startup and told me to do the coding, but I backed out straight away. Idea without implementation is nothing. Rather than do the coding for someone else that only have an idea, it is more beneficial if I do it myself. ;) You have no other choice but to learn to code because many programmers has these kind of mindset these days. Now get down to it.

answered Feb 18 '10 at 22:04
1,342 points
  • What about getting a partner who can code? They only need one to get started and I'm not convinced the person would have to do this full-time (As in, they could keep their day job.). – Jeff O 14 years ago

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