Digital agency · Finding cofounders

Can I partner with a software development agency without any cash?

Albert Daci Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.

October 23rd, 2018

I am thinking about reaching out to potential software development agencies to see if there is any room for any partnership for a future startup, after partnering the plan would be to seek funding through crowdfunding platforms or seed investors, that in turn enables me to fund my partner for working with me?

I have had my fair share of people not working out with me due to lack of funding at this very moment.

Any suggestions, feedback? Would be greatly appreciated if this can work.

Will Little Managing Director at Prota Ventures

October 23rd, 2018

Hi Albert, I run an investor-operator group based out of Chicago and we invest design/engineering/marketing resources into early stage startups. Happy to chat.

David Rueter Empowering businesses to improve and get lean through technology and best practices.

October 23rd, 2018

Think of it this way: you haven't been able to talk someone into giving you money for your your idea yet. Time is arguably a more precious commodity than money. Do you think you can get someone to give you that precious time?

I guess it all comes down to who you ask. You might ask someone for money who has a lot to spare, and thinks that your idea is a worthy recipient. Same with software: you might find someone who has a lot of time to spare and things that your idea is a worthy recipient.

But successful development agencies by definition charge for their time...otherwise they would not be successful. They have hard costs...and need to pay those costs and generate profit somehow. Furthermore, they typically focus on how to build something...not on whether an idea is worthy of building something for. (i.e. generally a different mindset than that of an investor)

There may be some tech entrepreneurs around with some tools and capabilities suited for your venture...and your needs might be aligned with their capabilities and interests. (I am one such tech entrepreneur, and have occasionally found symbiotic partnerships that work out.) But speaking from experience, when this succeeds it is because of alignment and not because of some random great idea that has no relation to the capabilities and interests of the tech entrepreneur.

Justin Njoh Architect, Director & Founder :

October 23rd, 2018

Depends on your idea. There are software companies out there looking for non-technical partners to work with.

Johnathan Proffer Engineer, Innovator, Visionary, Entrepreneur

October 24th, 2018

Albert the reason I say no is because there's no guarantee of ROI in such a scenario. There was a "gold rush" in startups that burned through truckloads of skilled developers who joined on promise of equity that failed to materialize. So most developers have no interest in that kind of thing anymore, except for the newly-minted developers.

Agencies are a whole other ballpark - They're usually even less flexible than individual devs. Proto Ventures is an interesting concept, with LOTS of partners, and they've apparently developed a process for vetting first-stage startups. I'd bet they want a serious chunk of the companies they invest in, probably more than the typical investor would get in a company thats ready to launch. But I could be wrong. Hopefully I am. Their website is very vague and anything beyond enticing curiosity requires direct contact to reel in the clients :P

Asfandiyar Sultangali communication

October 25th, 2018

I think there are beginners, those who practice. Can be such find. It could be students who are smart! Or those who make such a project, the same students.

Jerry Feedler Senior Software Engineer

July 17th, 2019


As a former worker of an outsourcing company, I doubt that it's possible to find an agency or company that would invest their soft skills in your idea if you can't guarantee an ROI.

Nevertheless, you have several other options. First of all, try to look for a technical cofounder who would be as much interested in your idea, as you're. Another way is to search for a young developers who would develop a product for you to build their portfolio. But don't be afraid of turning to juniors! Quite often, they're more attentive, diligent and are more interested in creating an ideal product for you, as they're working hard on their reputation.

Albert Daci Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.

October 23rd, 2018

Can you share which ones if you know of any? Thanks.

Johnathan Proffer Engineer, Innovator, Visionary, Entrepreneur

October 23rd, 2018

hahahaha.. no. ideas are poor equity.

Rob Cockerill Creator wit a customer focused retail app idea!

October 23rd, 2018

Personal experience is no, I know a few software engineers in Silicon Valley through personal networks and everyone of them either has a side project of their own or isn't interested. Common question I got back was "what are you bringing to the table" the idea alone isn't that much of a collateral trade...

Personally I'm going back to school to do an MBA in a hope that I can bring that skillset to my ideas!

K. Robbins Head Moose at Moose WorldWide Digital

October 23rd, 2018

Probably not. I say this not to discourage you, but as the owner of a successful software development house who gets a rev-share offer every few months. Most of these offers are very well thought out from an engineering/functional perspective, but have no acquisition budget. The acquisition budget needs to be equal to the development budget to have any change of success.

Being successful we don't have a lot of bench time, and the time we do have is devoted to growing our own products. Why? Dev shops crave monthly recurring income, as dev work is variable and developer salaries are not.

I'll happily listen to your idea and give you honest advice about what I think the chances are for success. alan at