Business Development · Business Management

How do attract a driving force for a start up, and roughly how many co founders do I need?

Diana Jones Teacher. Behavioral Analyst. Leader. Thinker. Cofounder of Autism Art. Cofounder of SmART StART.

Last updated on April 6th, 2019

Hi All!

I recently posted a question about market analysis with great replies, so I thought I'd post another. I welcome your response!

I have an idea, and I know my audience. Most market analysis I've done so far is ask friends/clients in the field as well as friends of friends. I've had the same basic feedback: If this were real, I'd use it now. And: how can this be done?

I think I've got a shot of really making a difference if the lives of my target populations, but I don't know how to REALLY get the ball moving. Does that make sense?

I simply see a need, have an idea to meet it, and know it would be gladly received!

I have had responses on Angel Network from 2 possible investors, however they do not wish to work together. The investor I'm leaning toward lives his life in the population I plan to target, and sees the value. I'd love to find a whole team of him! He suggested this cofounder platform, and wants to invest time - can build the idea I have in mind. What I need is to find people who can DRIVE the vision forward, and believe in the purpose of the product. I don't mind committing to the work, and digging deep. I WANT to. I just don't know how.


Also - how many "Co Founders" and "investors" are typical in a startup?


Any tips? Ideas?

I'm open to guidance and appreciate your time,

Diana

Louis Lim Founder, CEO Helios Eos

April 8th, 2019

This is just my opinion. What you just asked is very general.

My reply can be abrasive, I'll rip out the band-aid in this reply.


Based on an intuitive feel, I think you lack vision.

On an analytical point of view: by the questions of how many "Co-Founders" and "investors" you don't know where your milestone lies.


Here are some questions that might be helpful..


1. Elaboratively, who should be in your team to build your dream. What are the skillsets they need.

2. Investors, how much are you looking for who can bring you a value. Existing contacts they have etc. - they must have someone they know, otherwise why are they interested?

( 5,000 is an investment. So is 10,000. )

3. Partners in your eco system, which companies or who with an established or establishing companies can mutual benefit by your product/service.

4. Market analysis or not, what is the feedback on your initial product or MVP - Do you have a very small community that can throw feedbacks.

5. PR & Branding, which outlets are your go-to for exposure?


I really hope this helps you to start thinking.

Tony B All knowledge is self knowledge. Keep learning. Stay hungry.

April 7th, 2019

Diana,


There really is no "across the board" standard for start up teams regarding the number of cofounders or employees. You may not even need a cofounder and just need volunteers or to manage your own time a little better. Since you've left out many important details; I'm assuming you don't want to put it all out there in the ether just yet. I think we can all understand that, but just understand the replies here might be more speculation than anticipated due to the lack of details which can directly impact the answer you might be looking for. Your overall post covers so many topics and so many possibilities. Let's not answer them all in a single interaction and give others here a chance to weigh in and ask questions as well.


It sounds like you have at least one investor willing to put in the sweat equity which is a good start. Make sure you've drilled them enough to know how to hold them accountable for their contribution, especially since they will be looking for the reward at some point regardless. Have an exit strategy ready for them that is fair and mutually beneficial.


When looking for the capabilities and force out there to help drive your idea, start with the industry and the industry basics. For example, if it's technology related, look for a basic consultant that can outline those industry needs for you if you are not fully acquainted with the requirements. If it's social and community related or manufacturing, do the same. These industries vary so much regarding the minimum hard lines and requirements of getting the momentum you are looking for.


You've already got a good start by doing the 'ask' on this forum and many others. So let me ask a few questions that we all might be able to use to help you along a little more at the same time we can see about not giving away the secret sauce. :)


Can this idea be translated to a physical or digital product?


Is there any evidence in your initial research in/outside of friends and family that may indicate another group has already started exploring this idea? This can really be useful to getting to market faster if you can learn from their mistakes if available.


You can always PM myself or anyone else from our profile page here as well with details you'd rather not post just yet. Let us know. Cheers!


Tony B.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

April 9th, 2019

Like @Louis Lim, I think the way the question is asked reveals more about your preparedness to be an entrepreneur than it does about what resources you need. An entrepreneur isn't an idea (wo)man. An entrepreneur is the person who makes things go.


You're already skipping several exceptionally important steps looking for investors and someone to build your product. If you're not able to execute your idea yourself, you're not ready to start a business. This isn't about funding or technology. Those are assets any trained monkey can pursue. What makes an entrepreneur unique is their personal ability to dig deep and solve problems in a novel way, without a hand up.


You're not ready for investors if you haven't done your marketing strategy, tested your assumptions, and completed in-depth research of your industry. Starting with a product and then figuring out how to sell it is a sure path to failure. Your idea may be great to you, and the one person you mentioned who lives in your industry, but what about the hundreds and thousands of actual people who will open their wallets to buy your product? What do you know about them, first-hand, not anecdotally.


Don't get me wrong. I have launched four companies based on "I can do this better." Three of them actually made money. As far as ideas go though, I can literally stand in a room and give out $10 bills and get an infinite stream of business ideas. Nobody invests in an idea. They invest in plans.


Your marketing strategy defines your product, not the other way around. I laugh when someone tells me, "People will love my idea!" What I want to hear is "These specific people have said these specific things about my idea and here's how I'm going to deliver value." Will love is future looking and not based on reality. First-hand research is required before anyone is going to fork over a dollar.


Co-founders? You never NEED a co-founder. People choose co-founders because they find someone to challenge them and still be dedicated to the same cause. You will always need additional talent, that's a given. There are siz basic business skills every business must master, and no one person ever masters more than two. Being first to add skills doesn't make someone a co-founder. That just makes them an early employee. I'll say this though, if you do eventually choose to partner with someone for your business, make it only ONE person. The decision process gets more complicated and the likelihood that you'll be able to resolve differences diminishes the more voices you have to include in directing the business. When possible, always have one partner who has final say. True 50/50 partnerships are rare and challenging in their own right.


Again, the first person to do a job should not inherit a high-level title just because they're first. Define work to be done by tasks, not titles.