Technical co-founder · Founder equity

5 for 1: Is there wisdom in taking in a group as technical cofounders?

Chicke Fitzgerald

May 2nd, 2016

I have an opportunity to work with a team of 5 executives that have stellar reputations in a wide range of IT fields - security, systems administration, big data, architecture, development and specifically in the travel industry, which is where I have spent more than 3 decades.  

They would collectively be my tech co-founders and would cover all of the roles that you would normally find in a much larger organization.  They are also investing developers into the project to take our current MVP to the next level.  I have already designed that product roadmap, but we will jointly be reviewing and refining it.    My only hesitation is that they are across the country from me, 3 time zones away.  In a perfect world, I would be doing this deal locally with people that I could sit across the table from frequently.  All of this is being done in exchange for milestone based equity with the entity that they jointly own, versus doing the deal with the individuals.  

I am flying to meet with them to see what the chemistry is like.  Mike Moyer, I'll be giving them each copies of Slicing Pie, as I think that is the most logical equity roadmap I've seen.  I have already granted equity to my board of advisors and the chairman of my board, so there is a valuation (price per unit) already established and I'm willing to extend that same price per unit on this deal.

Our MVP product is already in the marketplace, generating revenue (nearly cash flow positive without taking a salary), but I've taken this as far as I can on my own.  I am ready to scale this business and to get some large B2B enterprise clients for our "one click search for hotels near venues and events" widget.  We are a utility that "trip-enables" events, venues, companies, photos and videos and generates incremental revenues for our client base.  We also give 10% of our revenues back to their charity of choice - saving the world, one trip at a time.  

Any questions or insights that you would like to share?  What questions should I be asking?