I have been working on this startup for almost two years, I have been to Techday in NY, great feedback with everyone and everything I have been putting out there, through networking, Meetups, etc.
Have even been accepted by a NY State program to pay me while I am building this company - which is hard to get into. I am glad they see the vision and what I have done this far to show my company.
I am now at the point where I need an MVP built, I have been quoted at 36k to build it. I am also starting a crowdfunding that is on hold due to financing all of it to be built. I am maxed on all credit cards and spending myself, but know when I get to this next level, this business will catapult into many areas of being a success. I have businesses and consumers asking when this can be available...I have no answer, because of financing to next level.
Here are my concerns on what to do next...
Do I find a co finder to do the MVP and support financially and if so, how much do I offer in percentage of the company?
I am unable to get any further loans or financing because of being maxed, do I just give up?
It is a minor amount to most to catapult this company, but keeping me from going further and I do not want to give up.
I need the MVP to get investors, and to show best for Crowdfunding...
What do I do next??
Thank you in advance for any feedback - Gina
It's always good to look out for a technical cofounder to help you and you can do that as an ongoing activity. You should also start your MVP using app builder tools that don't require any coding. There's lots of them on the market so just search them out and try them.
Emotionally, you have done a ton so going back is not an option. Close that escape hatch unless you have a compelling alternative. Being "all in" financially is how many of us knew we had no way out, so making it work was the only option. As the cliche goes, failure is not an option at that point.
The good news is the NYS support will give you some personal runway. I am very impressed that you have this award and have other interest without an MVP. Without knowledge of your company I have no idea if $36 K is reasonable or not, or if it can be successfully crowdfunded. If you have a DTC or a product company, it is possible. If it is a B2B or enterprise solution, it will be difficult. However, $36 K is actually not that much and can be Angel or Friends & Family funded fairly easy.
You need a Co-Founder for a couple of reasons, one you articulated - one that can be part of the financial support - but you also need a partner to go through this with you. If you have one that can build the MVP for less, you get intrinsic value.
As far as equity, you need to have a partner that will stay with you when things get really bad (that part has not begun yet), one that will have the incentive to put their credit cards up as well, and mostly to be the counterbalance you will need going forward. Many of us have been "offered" roles with low to zero cash comp, some who can accept that, then had low to high single digit equity offers on some insane vesting and performance matrix that validated the founder was really looking for cheap employees, not partners on a mission. The question you have to do is ask yourself if owning 100% of a great idea that is dead because of the reasons you articulate is more valuable than 65% of a viable entity with a fighting chance to be successful.
Again, i am impressed with your progress without an MVP. It must be a compelling product or service, and finding the right partner will leverage every moment of sleep you have lost into a possible victory.
The beginning stages of a startup are usually about answering questions.
What queations do you hope your MVP will answer?
More than one company has been bootstrapped by securing funding through advanced/pre-launch sales.
“I have businesses and consumers asking when this can be available…”
Can you translate their inquires about availability into orders or deposits? In other words, is there revenue obviously attached to the product/service you want to build? If there is, take advanced orders, assuming that your product development roadmap is months—not years. (This is effectively what crowdfunding platforms created for DTC inventors).
Another route is to investigate corporate incubation/accelerator options. Can you connect your product/service with an ecosystem that includes a potential funding source? For example, CISCO has long funded startups fiddling around in the network & telecom industries.
Securing the participation of a technical co-founder is a crapshoot, especially if you don’t know much about tech and therefore cannot have a meaningful conversation with her/him about matter tech, such as the “best” development route to take. You really need to find someone who can help vet technical co-founder candidates if this is the route you choose.
You shouldn't give up and find some partners, PM me
any description about product, or what sort of technical help u r seeking
Many great answers here, and I really appreciate everyone of them. thank you for the feedback. Gina
What kind of cofounder are you looking for? Technical? Brand, sales and Marketing?