App development · Building Teams

Developers: What do you look for in a non-technical partner or co-founder?

Alexis Rhyner Fintech Social Entrepreneur On a Mission

January 17th, 2017

I do not have a technical background. My genius lays in languages (I'm fluent in 3 and learning 2 more), relationships and connecting with people, global movements and trends, and experience with social incubators and NGOs. I am in the second semester of my MSc in Development and International Relations.

My app seeks to make funding accessible to the educated, skilled and entrepreneurial refugees (SMES) in Europe initially, then expand globally. No one is going to become a millionaire, but this concept has the potential to strengthen economies, alleviate the refugee crisis and fuel regional hubs.

What advice would you give me for finding the right partner(s)? What can I do in this stage to make sure I find someone who is both philanthropic and willing to work with a non-techie?

Nicolas Form

January 18th, 2017

I agree with Bob. Most of the time, whatever your idea is, you can make it "by hand" before automating it with an app or a web platform. Try first to do that and then show the numbers around, people will go from "Nice idea!" to "Hey, it could actually work... I want to be part of that!".

This goes especially well for tech people because must of us do this job because they don't want to do things "by hand". Seeing something great, but long and painful to do, will inevitably drove tech people to feel the need to automate it.

Many times a simple website is enough to make things "by hand" and there is numerous tools to create simple websites for non-techies: Wordpress, Wix,...

Steve Owens Startup Expert

January 17th, 2017

Idea to 10x+ exit experience.

Julien Vicente

January 18th, 2017

I'd say do the most you can do yourself. Show yourself (and the world) that you're capable of getting things done.

You don't have tech skills? But maybe you can design your project, convince potential clients to give you a "hey, if you build this I'm in", bring people around the table, make presentations etc.

Tech people (like many other profiles) are talented and have MANY opportunities. If you can do a pitch where the attendees conclude saying to themselves: "Ouah, amazing project, amazing leader", you've made 99% of the way. Just repeat it until you find somebody ready to make the jump.

Bob Snyder

January 18th, 2017

The hardest part of your venture will be finding funding sources for educated, skilled and entrepreneurial refugees (SMES) If you can get a few of these deals funded "by hand" you will have the credibility/connections it takes to get the venture off the ground from the business side.


January 18th, 2017


just do it and get it done...

its just its basic literacy in our world.

having gone through it last year (and been taken advantage and been over billed thousands - for basic things) you can't get around having basic technical knowledge at the very least, teach your self how to build a webpage (HTML) 20-30/hrs - and how to build a software "spec doc" try and get a template from ANSI or ASTM... the technical skill of coding and how to build software isn't rocket science.. these clowns are a are a "dime a dozen" on the internet (don't let some of these jokera over bill you or take advantage because you have vision & passion)...

when / if your ready for a partner - basic dating rules apply - there all scum and crazy until they prove other wise.

its amazing you have a vision (most dont) good luck...