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How and where to find a technical cofounder or a CTO for your startup

If you are a non-technical person with an idea for an app, you’re probably looking for a technical co-founder to help you build the app.

Finding a technical co-founder or a CTO is a very common problem.

That's why I have a saying: You don't find a technical cofounder or CTO, you earn one.

In this video, I will share how to earn a technical co-founder and it’s not what you might think.

Here is the thing…a good technical person who wants to take a risk and work in a startup is probably already busy doing a startup with their own idea.

So you have to convince other great technical people why they should take a risk on you and your idea by showing to them that you are not just an idea person…but that you can actually get stuff done…. that you'll be able to deliver as the business person.
 
These other great technical people who are not already working on their own ideas, don’t have a problem earning a living in today’s environment. In fact, there is a shortage of great developers and companies are willing to pay top dollar to hire great talent.

So developers have plenty of choices and 2 out of 10 startups fail in their first year, so there is a LOT of risk involved.

One way to get the potential technical cofounder to say ‘YES’ to YOU is by showing them that you have taken some of the risk out of their time and opportunity costs investment.

Here are some things you can do to mitigate the tech person’s risk and earn a technical co-founder or CTO:

  1. Validate the idea & build the prototype.  
    This will demonstrate that there is a need and a demand for your product….that your idea is not “just an idea”.
  2.  Build a community and a following.  
    This will further demonstrate the need for your idea and also show you have the marketing skills necessary to sell the product….again, that you’re not just an idea person.
  3. Invest some of your own money to build the MVP.
    This will demonstrate that you believe in the potential of the idea, have skin in the game, and find a way to bring your idea to life no matter what.

Having these 3 things will shift the conversation from “I Need You” to “Here is a Great Opportunity”

You’ll be able to say, look what I’ve been able to achieve without you…Imagine what we can do together!
 
So you’re doing two things in parallel:
While validating your idea, building the prototype, gaining traction for your idea and overall de-risking the opportunity for a Technical Co-founder or CTO, you’ll be building your network of tech contacts so you can actively look for that Technical co-founder or CTO.

And hopefully by the time you meet them, you will have enough traction that the opportunity will be a no brainer for the potential tech cofounder or CTO to say “YES”.

Tips on how to build your tech network so you have a better chance of finding a tech cofounder or CTO.

Yes, you can post a job on job boards and reach out to your personal network for recommendations, but from my experience, the best way to build your tech network is by getting involved in the tech community.  This means attending tech events that developers attend.
 
I know it can be intimidating to be a non-techy in a group of “nerds” but all you have to do is be there, listen, learn, and start to meet people and build genuine relationships.


So don’t look and sound “needy”.

Don’t pitch for them to join your company as soon as you meet them.   That’s like asking a girl you just met to marry you.  

You need to get to know the people in the community and over time see if there is an opportunity to work together.  And it may not necessarily be them…it could be their friend…you never know.
 
And if you want to know how to evaluate if someone would make a great CTO or tech co-founder,
watch the video on the 6 qualities that you should be looking for in a CTO or tech co-founder.  I’ll include a link to it in the description.