App development · MVP Development

How much does it cost to build an MVP?

Ioannis MSc IT professional

February 23rd, 2017

I have been developing an IoT app that specializes in remote control. This has been going on for a few years and I’ve saved some funds, but no where near the 35-50k that I’ve read can be required to build a strong MVP. From your experiences, how much does it cost to build a good MVP without sacrificing quality? What are some ways to save money? I’d really like to save a bit of money and use it towards tweaking my MVP down the road.

Dat Nguyen Blockchain technology, growth hacker, & co-founder at

Last updated on March 17th, 2017

A best way is to find a technical person (eg CTO) who shares the same vision and agrees to work with you in exchange for equity of the company.

Your IoT app needs both frontend and backend, and the types of programming languages, frameworks, or technology that can be used depend on your user and business requirements. So it's really hard to know the cost to develop an MVP without knowing the requirements.

Market is moving very fast.You need to get your idea out there, so you can test your product market fit and get user feedback. Most startups do need external fundings to go beyond MVP phase anyway. Maybe you can attract some investors if you can prove to them that your idea is vital with your MVP.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Yuriy Savytskyy Full Stack Developer, Software Architect, always open for new opportunities

February 23rd, 2017

If you are developing during few years it is not MVP , you might be building product already. My opinion is that MVP should take up to 6 month in most cases and then have to be tested. In other cases it don't make sense. The purpose of MVP is to build something fast, test idea, test it with early stage customers, gather feedback and work on the next version ,repeat ,...... till your product v 1.0 is ready to go alive.

What are some ways to save money?

Ideal variant is to build team locally. Share equity and/or mix of equity and salary.

You can try to outsource development part. It may save you 20-30%. There are number of good articles how to choose outsource company. My advice - don't select the cheapest one - at the end of the day it will cost you much more then you will pay locally.

Brian DeVore CEO and Co-Founder; Healthcare Consultant

February 23rd, 2017

A solid MVP from solid developers can run from $3500 and up. Too many folks forget the M in MVP and try to overbuild. I suggest solving a single problem first w MVP..then test..test...test. If you cannot get traction, you can amend the MVP or pivot. I"m not a big fan of wasting someone elses money on a non-viable MVP even there there may lots of cash flowing around. I suggest bootstrapping the MVP and getting some market adoption, then you can consider outside capital. My 2c.

Mark Kogan Honing your vision. Bringing your concepts to life.

February 23rd, 2017

Hi Ioannis,

This is a great question and a situation we have had ample experience with.

We have found that having an equity interest in our engagements allows us to offset the cash costs and reduce them down to $10-$20k, depending on the size and scope of the project. This hybrid cash/equity approach has allowed us to establish long-term working relationships with several entrepreneurs, some of which are still ongoing today.

To make your MVP successful, it is important to evaluate all the core features you need by engaging in a thorough discovery process and not being hesitant to postpone the buildout of non-essential features. Once you have finalized your scope and have moved on to the implementation phase, be sure to perform ongoing manual QA as well as including ample unit test coverage across your tech stack (i.e. from back-end models and business logic to middleware all the way up to client-facing UI components). It is best to avoid putting off QA until the very end of the implementation phase.

Please feel free to message us directly on CoFoundersLab and learn more about us at Best of luck with your IoT application - sounds like a very cool concept that we hope you will be able to bring to life quickly!



Radek Krawiec Looking for marketing/sales cofounder

March 17th, 2017

Depends very much on the technology. For some technologies (e.g. Web portals) there are prototyping tools that will let you create a scaffold of your solution quite fast. For other (e.g. Mobile, SaaS apps), creating such a wireframe would require a bit more work.

If you're looking to develop an MVP for a cloud software, you might take a look at (disclaimer: I'm a CEO there) which gives you the possibility to built an app fast from preconfigured components. It's free for small apps, even if they're commercial, and at the basic level no coding skills are required.

Steve Procter ... Venture Technologist Tech Entrepreneur seeks sales & referral partners for

March 17th, 2017

Ioannis, it is a good question. but one that nobody can answer without sitting down with you, reading your entire specifications and plans and asking 100 questions. I think you should head over to the Network pages. Find yourself a co-founder who is technical. Someone you like and who shares your dream. They will help you work out what the questions are to ask in the first place.

Sadly the people here who answered your brief question with actual monetary amounts ... well I just don't get it. I mean, what does it even mean to just make this statement "A solid MVP from solid developers can run from $3500 and up"? Really!? So is £3500 the official Planet Earth minimum charge for developing a piece of software. How is just plucking a random number out of the air in any way helpful.

Jacob Judah innovative iOS developer

March 21st, 2017

so many noobs and non technical people on here its driving me nuts!

DO NOT spend that amount on a MVP when you can easily build the entire application for it!

Please message me I can really help you out with the development side.

alternatively email me @

Satwikeshwar Reddy Top Tier App Developer, AWS Specialist.

March 17th, 2017

I realise its been about a month since you've asked this question.

Short answer - depends on the details in the specs. I cannot comment on the 35-50k. I don't know the dev time for the estimate nor your specs.

Like the rest of the developers have pointed out MVP is just that- a stage above a POC, many a times budgeted to be able to walk away should you bear losses.

You can start with the core of the core of your project and build out. Good architecture, well written and well tested product is going to end up cheaper down the road.

Best way to save money..

good set of requirements & planning.

a good developer - i.e one who can fully leverage existing cloud and third party services to build a structure for your requirements - again well written and well tested.

And you can find good developers in a price that works for you. Though it is true you will come across some really worthless ones while doing so.


Steve Owens Startup Expert

February 23rd, 2017

Could be as low as $5K and up - way up, depending on your exact requirements. Lots of companies, including ours, will be happy to work with you to produce a ROM (Rough Order of Magnitude).

Don't spend your own money. Raise money. There is lots of money looking for talent. If you can not convince one of these guys to invest, then you should not either. Putting your own money in will distort our whole way of thinking and decision making - and not for the better.

kraig Into ICOs, fintech and saas

February 24th, 2017

The same as a car.

since you've saved some funds,why don't you partner with some other people to pay for your technical cofounder, pay 1/5 each and have them one day a week? Plenty of startups do it for HR/lawyer other functions. Why not technical? Just make sure you have a suitable arrangement for if someone gets funded,who gets first call On hiring them in, do they find your replacement etc.