is it wise to build an early team if you don't have funding?

Andreea Bunica
16 replies
I've been a bit in between, wondering if it's wise to even try to build a team. First, I am building a hardware startup- I am a generalist, I feel like without a tech person in my team, no investor will take us seriously. But on the other hand, I have no idea how to find people that are willing to work on equity only in order for us to even be able to get to the part where we fundraise. Advice?


Klaas Foppen
Well you can build a team without starting straight away right? Why not get a team together and see if they are interested (the first pitch you have to give is to the founding/first members) Once they give you a go you can start searching for funding
Andreea Bunica
@klaaz0r I might go and stalk some people I know are good in the area I need on LinkedIn and be an absolute creep seeing if they'd want to collaborate in the event of getting funding.
Baptiste N
I recommend to look for love money (funds from friends and family) first. You can then look for freelances (Upwork, Fiver, Angelist, LinkedIn, ...). After hiring your first freelance, you make sure you're a good fit together. Once you're convinced, you propose equity + a fixed salary if this freelance is willing to work full-time AND is motivated/driven by the project.
Andreea Bunica
@baptiste_ncls thanks for the advice! I've basically posted an equity only job on AngelList but no one replied as expected. I'm not in a position where I can get love money necessarily, but I am planning on open-sourcing the first prototype and sharing it to the maker community, so I thought maybe I could find some people to collaborate for the sake of open-source, but except for reddit subthreads and slack channels, I am a bit out of ideas where to find these guys too.
Baptiste N
@andreea_bunica a pleasure. I'd also recommend to look at other "engaged" community such as Product Hunt and Indie Hackers. Good luck with that!
Katya Veremeichik
I think it's more than wise to have a professional enthusiastic team before you even start looking for funding. Working for perspective rather tan money is something that only co-foundship can allow. So if you feel like you're not enough qualified to cover certain parts of your project, it's best to find someone with an expertise and share profits on mutually beneficial conditions if (or rather when) they happen. Pitch your idea to some professionals and see what you can come up with!
Andreea Bunica
@katyaveremeichik thank you! I've been getting the same instinct, especially given that I don't want to just give away a lot of equity to an investor and roll with it. I kind of want to have things sorted pre-money. So I'll try finding and contacting more professionals!
Ali Rajool
Absolutely you need a tech based co founder to be successful in both your business and fundraising. But keep the team size as small as you can. You may find him/her on startup events.