I think I have the drive and determination (been building out this same idea for 2.5 years now), the discipline, and sometimes even the smarts. And for an old dog, I'm always open to learning new tricks. But after 47 years, I haven't built up much of an entrepreneurial resume. And zero experience building an app, let alone a business (aside from a few Startup Weekends). How can I convince investors to invest in me?
Edit 2/26/17: Greatly appreciate the answers! The more brutally honest, the better! Not sure if the best way to respond to the answers is by editing my question or answering my answer. So will edit my question until told otherwise (or I run out of characters)!
"What are you asking investors to invest in? Is your business ready for funding?"
Unfortunately, that's part of the catch-22 I'm in. I've gone as far as my skills would allow, which is designing and market testing the prototype I created. I'm not a developer and have struggled to get developers on board until there's funding. I've spent all I can afford outsourcing development of 50% of the MVP and can't afford to pay any more at this time.
The market testing has gone better than expected with the prototype design (53% of 18-21 year old testers saying that would definitely use it. And yes, I understand this data is semi-meaningless until they actually become users). But the MVP has not been fully developed yet to put it on the app stores to test in the real world. So there are no current paying customers, traction, or ROI, aside from about 30 beta testers on standby I've accumulated through market testing.
"As you have been building your idea have you built a team?"
I currently have a (seemingly) solid developer who is willing to work for equity/pay, 50/50. But it's the latter 50 that I'm struggling with, and why I need funding.
"A few easy reads like "Zero to One", "The Orange Revolution" and "The Lean Startup" offer diverse opinions."
Read 2 of those (along with "The Hard Thing About Hard Things," "The Art of Startup Fundraising," "The Launch Pad - Inside Y Combinator," "Think And Grow Rich," and a few related others). Will look into the Orange one. Thanks!
Here are a few thoughts to get you started:
Focus on demonstrating your leadership skills. Also -- execution. I would article how you executed and delivered at your former positions.
Nik, I see several things in your profile that would make for an exciting and interest-generating resume. I've been writing resumes as part of my living since 1977. I normally charge $50 to critique one, but I will give you a quick review at no charge. I've sent you my email via private message--please send as Word or PDF attachment with subject line: You Promised A Review on CoFounderLab.
And yes, obviously, I'm hoping that my review will prompt you to hire me for a proper resume--but I will put zero pressure on you. You'll either contact me to set that up or you won't, and no hard feelings either way. I charge $195 for up to two hours of consulting, $100/hour if it goes longer (I keep my resume prices very affordable so that the teachers, nurses, etc. in my community don't see price as a barrier).
Also, a resume may not be the right document to get you in front of people. I can help with others as well. Writing marketing documents is what I do.
I would do 3 things ( I've done all 3 ).
In my experience, people always over-think the MVP. This may be the #1 launch killer. I've never heard of an under-featured MVP.
Try starting as a mobile responsive website - rather than an iPhone/Android app.
( lots of very simple frameworks to leverage and get the core features )
But...your headline says, "Few words, many talents!" I used to run a technical recruiting firm. I spent a lot of time with engineers going over their resumes, pulling out examples of what they needed for a position and seeing whether or not they really had the required skills. In many cases they did but did understand it.
So, go back to your resume and look at it with a clear understanding of what makes an entrepreneur. People are looking for:
Anyone can call themselves and entrepreneur--and many do--but these are things that make up entrepreneurship. Let people know about these and you won't have to call yourself an entrepreneur; others will do it for you.
I think you are in a good company. Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many others have been founded by people coming straight from university, and investors know that. So all you need to do is convince them that you are the right person, not that you have the right experience
It's not about the resume. A resume can only tell someone what you have done (or someone else asked you to do), not what you can do. When they say invest in people, what they mean is attitude. Is the founder in it for themselves or do they put the team first? How responsible is the founder to act as custodian of an investor's money? Is there a researched plan or is the founder winging it? How does the founder spend their time and do they recognize their weaknesses? What does the founder do to address weaknesses and take criticism? This is what investing in people is about, much more than work history.