Investing · Commitments

Investing in early-stage startup in which one of two founders is committed only 75% of the time

Adam Crabtree Founder, Strollbar

July 26th, 2016

What are the chances investors will invest in a seed-stage startup in which one of the two founders (not the CEO) is only available about 75% of the time? What if the only thing keeping the co-founder from full-time commitment is enrollment in a part-time MBA program? I realize there could be many viewpoints on this. Investors? Tried and tested entrepreneurs? What are your thoughts and experiences?

Leena MBA Content & Publication Manager at NetApp

July 26th, 2016

In my experience, most investors only take a startup seriously once all principals (and they want more than one, and typically less than four) are 100% committed. A startup running on all cylinders means all people are extremely serious, have put serious skin in the game, and if they are kept very busy -- the startup's gotten good traction.

Partners not fully invested with their time shows a startup that isn't "hot" and/or bringing in those impressive numbers of eyeballs and early adopters/customers. If the startup was doing well, the guy in school would have to quit to give this burgeoning thing his full attention so it wouldn't fail.

More money is the goal of an MBA - of all degrees - and if he's still in school that means his startup isn't keeping him busy enough.

Adam Crabtree Founder, Strollbar

July 29th, 2016

Many thanks for your response, Leena. Good to know. 

Steve Nieker

August 3rd, 2016

Leena is 100% right. If you still want to pursue investment, a "friends and family" seed round is your option.