When collaborating with a dedicated development team, most companies make a surprising discovery – there are quite a number of specialists working on the project. And while the focal area of developers is nuff said, such job titles as PMs,…
How to Find a Technical Co-Founder That’s Right for You
Great products usually start with a simple idea. So far, thousands of startups are emerging from strong belief, hard work, and brilliant ideas. Nevertheless, when creating any product, it’s also essential to consider the technical aspect of your solution. In the case of a tech startup development, this is one of the crucial components that can lead to the product’s success or complete failure.
You surely know the success stories of Steve Jobs, Seth Godin, and James S. Bell. They came up with innovative tech solutions with no technical expertise or degree. However, the technical co-founders’ powerful support helped them turn all the ideas into reality. Overall, the right technical partner can benefit your project in different ways:
- Better insights into the project’s technical specifics
- Improved development progress and more efficient workflow
- Enhanced communication between different departments
In this article, our best development experts at Devox Software will share key insights on how to find a technical cofounder for your project to maximize the project’s ROI and reach all the desired objectives. As a part of our discussion, our team explains the basic skills of a professional CTO or technical co-founder, the best places to look for a technical co-founder, and the key advantages of hiring this expert for your startup.
Roles & Responsibilities of a Technical Co-Founder
Recently, we’ve discussed the advantages of outsourcing IT services from the CTO perspective, so here we’ll focus on the fundamental roles and responsibilities of a Technical Co-Founder. It will help you better understand the skills and competencies your candidate should have and their value for your business in particular.
So, regardless of the type of your startup project, the most notable day-to-day responsibilities of a tech lead will cover:
- Designing and building software (in most cases, creating a prototype or MVP)
- Selecting the proper tech stack
- Choosing the development toolkit
- Designing and configuring the infrastructure
- Checking and optimizing the app infrastructure
- Conducting the QA
- Ensuring the IP security
- Searching for new tech solutions and approaches to implement
- Developing efficient and effective resource use strategy
- Attracting talented developers to maximize the workflow and enhance the outcomes
What should an ideal candidate for this position have? There is no one-size-fits-all recipe, yet, it’s vital to keep in mind the following skills:
- Proven experience with launching startups within a similar niche
- Deep awareness of the industry’s tech trends
- Strong leadership skills and ability to work in a team
- Team management experience
- Strategic mindset
- Flexibility and ability to pivot
- Significant expertise in project management
Whether looking for a tech co-founder or CTO, you should consider these qualities to find the best expert for your project. Now, before we start learning the specifics of finding a technical co founder, let’s look at the differences between this role and the role of Chief Technical Officer in a bit more detail.
Technical Co-Founder vs Chief Technical Officer: Major Differences
At the early stages of a startup development lifecycle, the roles of the technical co-founder and CTO are similar. Both experts are responsible for a project’s technical strategy, helping entrepreneurs build the technologies and successfully implement those into the product. Additionally, each role requires a deep understanding of and commitment to the business to help it achieve short-term and long-term objectives.
However, as the project scales, the difference between the technical co-founder and CTO becomes more and more notable. Tech co-founders commit significant time, effort, and knowledge to create the technical background of a particular product yet actively participate in the development process. For instance, some of the work done by tech co-founders can be setting up a website or creating the app’s front and back end.
What about a CTO? Of course, they have a deep understanding of particular technologies. However, they also share the founder’s vision for the startup. They look at the tech advancements in terms of their business value. Typically, a CTO is responsible for the technology operating as intended and evolving in lockstep with a startup. The ownership of CTOs is often not equal to that of the co-founders. They’re less likely to hold board seats and do not always have experience directly cooperating with the founders in the past.
When Is a Technical Co-Founder Needed?
Once you’re considering involving a technical expert in your startup, one of the most common questions is how to identify the best time for hiring the tech partner and which options will better fit your business needs.
To replenish the expertise in the tech aspect, entrepreneurs have several options to involve: tech co-founder or CTO, which we’ve analyzed earlier. However, one more option can become a winning solution for your startup at any stage of its development – a software development company.
Based on the expertise of Devox Software in CTO services, the advantages of hiring an expertized team of tech developers can fully cover all the basic and most of the advanced needs of the startup projects. For instance, it allows you to set clear goals for a project and track its progress, estimate the expenses, and get the product delivered in the shortest time possible.
What is more, at Devox Software, you can pick up the most optimal type of CTO service based on the current project needs and budget:
- Full-time CTO
- Part-time CTO
- Interim CTO
- One-time CTO
Now, let’s review some of the most common cases when you need to search for technical expert support.
You Don’t Possess Enough Tech Expertise
Creating an innovative idea is only half the job done. However, to implement it into reality, you need to evaluate how to solve the problem from the technical aspect. The easiest and most effective solution is to be a tech-savvy person or hire an expert. And that’s where a technical co-founder comes into play.
Most billion-worth unicorn startups have more than one co-founder, which is no wonder: whatever software project you’re considering, involving a person with a deep understanding of tech solutions and approaches is essential.
To make the most of your collaboration, make sure to find a CTO or tech co-founder with a specific business background who will share the responsibility of launching a successful business startup from scratch.
You Need Professional Assistance
To launch a solid and competitive product, your technical partner should not only be in charge of the tech-related work. Ideally, the co-founders should collaborate closely as a team and supplement each other in different fields, such as marketing, sales, and many more.
Therefore, to successfully launch any startup, ensure you and your partner can point out what value both of you can bring to the project. Also, it’s critical for all the co-founders to not only introduce the idea but continually look at how to perfect it.
You Want to Support a Particular Idea
Not everyone is ready to put the time and effort into ideas that don’t inspire them. This becomes exceptionally visible in the initial stages when your product is very limited in budgeting and requires a lot of hard work before the first results are visible.
Unfortunately, this becomes a pitfall for many entrepreneurs looking for a dedicated tech co-founder who usually acts like an investor and is only sometimes ready to share the risks. However, there’s still a great alternative of hiring a CTO or a software development company with a CTO as a service option. These partners will be more like employees and help you find the best technical strategy for the desired project.
You’re Ready for Legal Aspects
When a startup or company has co-founders, it results in more paperwork, various equity issues, and legal-related risks on both sides. So, before working with a tech co-founder, ensure you’re ready to comply with all the low aspects of the contracts and stakes. Moreover, you need most of the stakes to have the main voice in the company. Thus, the more co-founders are in, the more attentive you should be toward their involvement.
Alternatively, you can always opt for a CTO (or outsource such services from a reputable vendor) who can provide decent technical support at lower risks and less paperwork.
How to Find a Technical CoFounder That Is Right for You?
So far, we’ve discussed when you should start looking for a technical candidate and what you should prepare for once you’ve decided to hire one. Now, we’ll talk about picking the best expert for your startup.
Consider Your Technologies and Goals
First, it’s essential to consider the specifics of your startup, covering its major goals and requirements. Leveraging this information will help you better introduce the project to the desired candidate and explain the advantages of your project and potential gains that might be interesting for your potential co-founder.
For instance, you can “hook” your expert with the project’s idea, give a basic understanding of the outcomes or provide some inspiration with the problem your product will solve. Below we’ve listed the basic questions that can help you successfully introduce the project to the tech specialist.
These answers will help you showcase the lucrative opportunities your startup can provide and address most of the uncertainties your potential technical co-founder might have.
Create a List of Traits for Your Ideal Co-Founder
The final success of any company (especially if it begins as a startup) or project always depends on great people. That is why, to engage the professional that will ideally fit your business and its needs, we also recommend considering the key qualities your ideal candidate should possess.
For example, to set up the correct technical direction for your project, a tech co-founder should have specific expertise in your domain and hands-on experience building similar projects to scale. This way, you will ensure the person can serve your product vision today and enhance its scalability further.
Decide on the Terms of Cooperation & Salary
Another essential aspect to plan is the terms of cooperation with the tech co-founders. Usually, this covers the entry investments (if there are any), legal aspects, and share of stakes. This will help you filter out the candidates who are interested in getting into the project in particular conditions, thus, getting the list of relevant candidates for the role of tech co-founder.
As for the salary rates, hiring a tech-savvy expert or CTO for a startup can be expensive. According to the most recent salary statistics, the median pay for a CTO in the US is $298,338 per year, which can be lower for startup projects.
One of the most efficient models to compensate the co-founders is based on setting up the milestones and KPIs rather than time, which in turn can enhance the efficiency and timing of the work done. Additionally, some entrepreneurs consider employing software vendors delivering the professional CTO as a service option at the most reasonable rates.
Access the Potential Candidates
Having found a few prospective candidates that can fit all your expectations and needs, it’s imperative to make the right decision. Here are some great insights which can help you with getting the top tech expert:
- Check their previous projects. Typically, tech specialists have a portfolio of previous work that can showcase their expertise level and the niches with which they’ve had some experience. Additionally, you can check out the reviews of past clients to get an external opinion about the cooperation.
- Value passions and relevant skills. When choosing the technical co-founder, prioritize the skills that can come in handy for your startup first. For example, your ideal candidate might only sometimes know six coding skills or have experience working with Google or Meta, but instead can have deep expertise in the advanced technical and business-related aspects.
- Discover personal values and get to know them better. Most startups consist of a small team of co-founders. That’s why it’s important to ensure you can work with the candidate at a particular pace. Additionally, setting up a small test task is good to check their reliability.
- Point out the expectations. When launching a particular startup, always discuss the expectations regarding different aspects, including the working conditions, business model, shared responsibilities, and other related aspects that in your opinion should be aligned with your technical co-founder. This will help you avoid most misunderstandings and set up an efficient workflow from the first days of cooperation.
Therefore, your ideal candidates should be proactive and business-oriented, have specific expertise in launching projects within the relevant niche, and have the technical and leadership skills to code themselves and manage a development team. To set up a smooth workflow from day one, set up a trustworthy relationship with the selected tech experts and put a lot of effort into outlining clear expectations from the outset.
5 Best Places to Find a Tech Co-Founder
Once you’ve learned how to find a technical cofounder, it’s the right time to explore where you can look for a tech-savvy expert for your startup project. Below you’ll discover the top picks from Devox Software experts, sure to help you search for your ideal candidate.
Tech Meetups and Conferences
It’s no secret that one of the proven ways to find the most relevant tech expert is to visit tech meetups and hackathons within a similar business field. This allows you to broaden the network of like-minded people and increases the chances of getting connected on a personal level. We won’t go into much detail on how important that is for setting up smooth and efficient cooperation, as well as its outcomes.
Social Media Networks
Another great option for searching for tech-savvy partners to join your startup is leveraging the power of social networking, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. It allows you to save plenty of time for the initial interview, access a broader range of tech experts, and choose the one who shares your vision.
Some startup owners also admit that they have found their partners in coworking spaces, which is no wonder. Such environments have already evolved into powerful channels for meeting like-minded people willing to get into new business opportunities. Additionally, visiting the coworking spaces opens up an excellent chance to make new connections which might come in handy for you as an entrepreneur.
Related Events & Online Platforms
Like networking, online platforms can be a great alternative to finding your expert for the startup’s technical support. The only difference here is that you can choose the events which are closely relevant to your industry focus, thus, targeting the technical co-founders with similar interests.
Moreover, it’s possible to reach out to new talents, tech enthusiasts, and young specialists who have more passion and loyalty yet find your project interesting to join. Some examples of where to look for such experts are university events, career days, topic-related online platforms (Slack chatbots), and so on.
Finally, you can always search for professional technical co-founders on popular or niche-specific freelance platforms. The major advantage here is that you can browse the portfolio of your candidates, learn more about their technical expertise and find out the feedback of past clients as well.
Some decent platforms to start with are Upstack, Guru, Upwork, Gun.io, Toptal, and Altar.io.
Hire Your Best Tech Experts at Devox Software
To succeed in a tech-based startup within any niche, choosing the right CTO for your project is of the essence. A chief technology officer will analyze the major takeaways of the software product and, leveraging the advanced technologies and solutions, can help you to get the highest profits, gain a competitive advantage and accelerate your business development.
At Devox Software, our team knows how important it is to pick up the top-notch CTO expert that ideally matches your target business goals and needs. With years of experience in software development, our major goal is to help you set up the most efficient project workflow with the right experts.
If you’re searching for your ideal candidate, give us a call. As a leading outstaffing agency, we will provide you with the best-expertise employees with deep expertise in the required niche.