Disruptive technology · Startup Funding

We have a disruptive MVP with paying customers. What is the best way to attract a business partner?

Dean H Invented & developed disruptive 3D technology in high-growing sectors; PhD, senior engineer

April 13th, 2020

I am a tech founder. We have built a MVP on a disruptive invention. Serving high-growth sectors, the MVP has been highly rated by users, and attracted paying customers.

To get to the next level, I am thinking of a business partner who can share our vision, and also raise fund.

At the initial phase, how to best attract a high-caliber partner, only on commission of the fund he is able to raise, or a combination of commission and equity?

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

April 22nd, 2020

That's not typically what a partnership is.

You're asking this "partner" to assume almost all of the risk, so the amount of commission they will expect to receive for doing all the work is the vast majority of what you might charge for your product.

When I hear "we need more sales," which is the foundation of what you're asking about here, it's rarely a sales problem. It is a process problem. You don't have a sales process or your sales process is not repeatable.

Keep in mind that any outsourced (partner) sales effort is always going to perform less well than your internal process. So if you're struggling to win sales today, you'll struggle even harder with a sales partner.

Raising funds? Not going to happen until you have refined and perfected your internal sales process. Concentrate your efforts on your process issues. That will diffuse your desire to find a partner, and it will solve the "need more money" problem at the same time.


May 18th, 2020

I’d have to ask what function would you want this ‘partner’ fulfilling AFTER fund-raise? That’s where you need to look (farther down the road). Do you need a sales manager, an IT guy, someone in financials/bookkeeping …?

It almost sounds as if you really don’t need a partner, as much as a good employee … one who one day, may turn into a shareholder.

Investors want to see a TEAM. Whether that team is made up of multiple founders, partners or employees … the quality of the team is what truly matters.

I don’t think you can bring on anyone (or hire them) to pitch you and your company on your behalf to raise funds. That would be a big red flag. On the other hand, if you’re really needing a ‘high-caliber’ partner (one where you’re willing to offer upper 6 or 7-figure income (base, comm, stock et al), then your MVP must be doing really well … where perhaps you can pull someone from your client/potential client list, as they already have the most shared vision to you. They’re already in your space. Those people are always looking for opportunities, and you two would complement each other very well.

Remember, once the fund-raise is over … you need talented people in you space, to get to work! What would you do w/ a person who’s talent after the raise, no longer serves your needs … and you gave them stock … further hindering future raises?