How to Find a Technical Co-Founder, CTO or Technical Partner

November 4, 2020

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How to Find a Technical Co-Founder, CTO or Technical Partner

So you have an amazing idea, whether that be a physical product or an app idea. Your next step is to break ground on development: physically developing a product or developing your product via software development. As a startup founder you can either build your product, in which case you need to stop reading this and go get after it! Or you can find a technical co-founder, CTO or Technical Partner to build, or facilitate building your software or physical product. Technical founders are so much beyond a skilled product or software developer, you're essentially married to them to some extent.

Finding a partner to handle the technical side of your business that fits perfectly with your mission, has the product/software development chops and you actually get along with for the long-term can be a daunting task. A daunting task may it be, an extremely vital one to the survival of your company. A technical co-founder has a variety of benefits opposed to hiring a product or software development agency for a one-time transactional prototyping phase. We have outlined a few benefits and what you should look for when searching for a technical co-founder below:

  1. MVP Stage - A technical co-founder can help you get from lightbulb idea in your head, to a minimum viable product (MVP). To do any sort of testing to validate your physical or software product, you need to build an MVP which is a basic iteration of your idea to utilize mainly for customer feedback and testing purposes.
  2. Thinking Long-term - It is important to find a technical co-founder that has the endurance to stick it out for the long-term success of your company. Great ideas, no matter how brilliant, are not built over night. Having a technical co-founder that is willing to put forward countless hours to build something greater than them is important to find.
  3. Communication Skills on Point - Communication is so important, just like in any relationship, especially when dealing with the push and pull of a startup. When you and your co-founder get in a rhythm, your physical or tech startup will progress at a much more efficient rate.
  4. Complementary Strengths - A technical co-founder needs to possess strengths that compliment yours. If you're not the most organized person, they need to be very meticulous and organized. If you're a big-picture thinker, they need to be very analytical and grounded.

Look at Past Projects

One sure-fire way to tell if a technical co-founder might be a good fit for you and your company is to check their past projects. This gives direct insight on the work and successes they have achieved. If you have a FinTech idea, and you find a software developer that has FinTech startup experience, there is a much higher success rate.

Make Yourself Appealing as a Non-Technical Co-Founder

When finding a technical co-founder, creating excitement and clearly showing what value you bring to the table is of the upmost importance. Imagine you have 10+ years of software development experience and one of your high school buddies approaches you with an idea. But, they're not organized, they haven't tested the market, they haven't backed the idea up with any data and they're just simply presenting themselves as unexperienced. Would you jump on the opportunity to spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours to help build and launch their product or idea? Not likely.

KNOW YOUR STUFF! It is so important to validate your idea to the best of your ability. Utilize free tools like Google Forms, reach out to your friends and family or extended network, do your research on the particular industry you're diving into. By providing everything, or close to everything, besides building the physical or software product you have will have a much more fluid experience when searching for a technical co-founder.

Where to Look For a Technical Co-Founder

There is no exact answer to finding your "pot of gold" under the startup rainbow, however there are common resources which non-technical founders have discovered technical co-founders in the past.

- Facebook Startup or Tech Startup Groups

- Friends from College or High School

- Local Accelerator or Incubator

- Local Tech Meet-Ups

- Sites like Reddit (Dev Communities), CoFoundersLab, Product Hunt or Indie Hackers

Whether You Should Offer Equity or Money

This is ultimately up to you, but offering equity or money when approaching a technical co-founder needs to be a well thought out decision. Before diving into a long-term contract and giving away half of your company, we strongly recommend doing a small paid project with your potential technical co-founder first. This allows you to vet the software or product developer in a much more in-depth way, and get tangible insight to how they work and operate. After assessing what technical work needs to be done to develop an MVP or sellable product, then the conversation of equity might be more suited.

Hiperion Wants to be Your Technical Co-Founder

Hiperion is a very small company, so if and when partnering with us you're essentially getting the deal of a solo technical co-founder, with the resources and abilities of an entire product and software development agency. We offer a flexible payment model including: royalty, equity, cash or a combination. We're extremely passionate about assisting startup founders in the creation, growth, launch and sales of their product or idea. Beyond the initial prototype, we want to be in it for the long run!

To get more information about Hiperion becoming a technical co-founder for your startup, visit https://calendly.com/hiperion to book a free 30-min consultation with our CEO Jace Thomas.