How much equity should I ask for?

I'm looking to get some idea of what I should be asking for in terms of equity as a co-founder and head of product/engineering on a B2B/B2C application in the gig economy space.

The current founder is CEO/COO, not technical at all, and not familiar with building/scaling tech products. The founder does have a strong background in scaling companies from a business development/operations/marketing perspective. There was previously a CTO that left because he wasn't feeling comfortable in the startup environment. There is one developer, a support/operations contractor, and a small team of advisors working currently. The company has ~$ 375K in funding from friends/family/personal and a small accelerator investment. The current runway is ~4 months. There are a number of VCs who have shown interest in a seed round but according to the founder the company needs a strong product co-founder who is technical and can build a product roadmap/strategy that would demonstrate the pathway for growing the user base both on the B2B and B2C side.

In terms of company state, there are two mid-size partnerships and a decent number of customers paying monthly fees. The product itself is in MVP state and needs to be built out and improved significantly to continue growing the user base and fit other partners needs. The core idea is solid, it just needs to be expanded and extended.

My role would be leading product and engineering efforts – hiring developers, building a product strategy, developing a roadmap, and leading integration efforts with partners identified by the founder. The founder's role is primarily business development, operations, and sales/marketing strategy. I would be part time working ~20 hours per week.

Any advice on what I should be asking for in terms of equity or how I should approach this conversation? I was asked to come back with numbers on what I'm looking for. There would be no cash pay at this time and I'm okay with that as I'd still hold my day job.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Proposal pitch: should I include the cons and be fully transparent?

This isn't exactly a startup, but rather a company-wide entrepreneur pitch competition to improve something in the company. I was a top 3 finalist, and I made sure I followed the rubric to a tee. I included both pros and cons, then discussing how to overcome the cons step-by-step.

The other two people didn't mention the cons as much, with one guy in particular having a trainwreck of a presentation (openly taking about sensitive company information in a public event, being confused about the slides, having to pause in the middle, etc). He had a solid idea, but it was somewhat vague and he didn't address any cons.

Guess who won first place? That's right, the guy with the trainwreck of a presentation. And I won last (third). I have no problem not winning, but I do have a problem with a person winning with a vague idea.

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, either. I've pitched in a different competition while disclosing all pros and cons in a transparent manner, while some other guy comes waltzing in with a vague idea and also won.

I know it's hard to pinpoint what could have gone wrong without listening to the pitches (I can go into more detail if necessary), so here's a question for you guys: is it wise to be fully transparent with your pitch? Should I anticipate problems that may come up in the future with this business plan, and then address them in the pitch? Or should I not include them at all, and see if they ask me about it?

In other words, is it better to incorporate solutions to possible negative feedback in the pitch, or will that do more harm than good?

I know it mostly depends on your audience but I'd be curious to hear what other people think.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

7 Ways Every Entrepreneur Should Evaluate A New Idea

Board-Artificial-RobotAs an advisor to entrepreneurs, one of the most common requests I get is for an evaluation of a next startup idea. I try to explain that even the most innovative idea will fail if it is not a good fit for you at this time, so the question I ask them is “why you now” rather than “why this solution now?” The right person can make any idea a business success, and the wrong one will always struggle.

The reality is that I can’t judge any idea in your context, because I don’t know your passions, knowledge base, and experiences. If you show me a written business plan, I can assess it from a technical perspective, but that doesn’t tell me if you are the right person to create the business. Thus I can only recommend some context for you to make your own idea and business decisions:

  1. Play to your passions and personal interests. Pick an arena that gets your creative juices flowing, rather than one that everyone says is the next big thing. If your goals in life revolve around social change or the environment, aim in that direction for your startup, rather than maximizing revenue and profit. If you are not motivated, you won’t succeed.

    Entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, who founded Zappos, was passionate in his belief that he could “deliver happiness” to customers, before making a profit, through innovative moves like surprising 80% of customers with free overnight shipping. He succeeded well in both.

  2. Trust your background and intellectual strengths. The most successful entrepreneurs focus on solving a problem that they personally have experienced, and are convinced they fully understand. Also the same applies to dealing with the business elements, such as marketing, business operations, and finances. You may need a partner on this one.

    Bill Gates learned to appreciate the power of computers at a very young age, but was frustrated that available models were large and hard to program. He invented BASIC and Windows, snagged Steve Ballmer for marketing, and Microsoft helped change the world.

  3. Consider your access to resources for startup efforts. Take a realistic view of your ability to assemble the necessary funding, and attract the right people. Your strengths in physics and electronics may be excellent, but most of us could never attract the funding required for a new microchip process. Maybe you need to start with a smaller idea.

    Experts estimate the cost of the first next-generation chip factory to be at least $ 10 billion. Unless you have deep pockets, you probably need some strong connections and support from the people at Intel or AMD before committing your entrepreneurial life to this effort.

  4. Assess the time and effort you are willing to commit. Most startup ideas will fail, if you approach them like a hobby that you can work on occasionally and on weekends. It’s hard to win when other entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk, are known to work hundred-hour weeks, and don’t have a family to balance. Your time is a critical limited resource.

  5. Count the depth of your relationships with key people. Most successful startups have deep relationships with experts who can mentor and support them, or provide access to critical resources and funding. There is no entitlement in this business. You need to enjoy building the new relationships you need, and nurturing the ones you have, to succeed.

  6. Check your interest in learning how to fill the gaps. No matter how experienced and knowledgeable you are, every startup is a new learning process. If you don’t enjoy learning, stick to ideas and businesses that are “cookie-cutter” versions of what you already know. Your success depends on enjoying the journey as well as the destination.

  7. Test your ability to communicate value to others. Some of the highest potential ideas and businesses require a massive educational and sales effort, which may not be your forte or interest. Very few ideas these days have such obvious value that “if we build it, they will come.” Most startups require leading a team of people, and engaging customers.

So before you make those cold calls to me, or any other constituency, for an assessment of the viability of your next great idea, my advice if for you to take a hard look at your own drivers and resources, per the items listed here. I’m convinced that there are more than enough startup ideas around, such that you can pick one to match your profile, and we all win with your success.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on Inc.com on 07/21/2020 ***

Startup Professionals Musings

Should I accpet a job offer for half of my previous salary for a growing startup?

I just received a job offer from a growing startup that recently got another round of investment and got an evaluation of 1.5 Mil. I will be their 6th of 7th hire and they are planning to add about 50 more people in their new office although I noticed a high turnover rate for their previous employees (most of them were interns)

I have been out of a job for almost 3 weeks now and due to covid-19 I am afraid that I might not find another job. I do have some savings that could lasts me more months but I am just scared to use it and my partner is unemployed right now.

The job will only cover our Bills, rent,utilities and food for one person.The position has a lot of room for me to leave a good print and participate effectively in the development of the business, but my question is for that part will it be worth it?

Also I am developing my own startup on the side and building my own website and will be launching it for test in the next few weeks.

My experience is 4 years and I spent it with 4 companies including 1 year with a failed startup that I founded early days in my career. So what i do mostly is in business development/sales and also very small side projects for companies and people who approach me for work( they usually ask me to do it for free and I started to refuse it).

I don't like feeling undervalued because I am a hard worker and I am afraid if I accept that I will be starting all over again for my salary. I am just trying to seek hope that working in this position will benefit me on the long run.what you guys think?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

5 reasons you should keep up with tech job search during the summer holidays

Summer and holidays are synonymous. During this season, it is common for all to get distracted with a lot of celebrations and get-togethers. But it is quite common to keep your job search on the back burner during summer. One reason for the same is the misconception that hiring managers will not be available during this time of the year. However, this isn’t true and it can be a good time of the year to carry out your job search.

Looking forward to working at a tech startup? Check out from hundreds of jobs available right now by clicking here.

Reasons to keep up with your job search during the summer

When it comes to the tech job search, employers will be focused on meeting their business goals irrespective of the time of the year. So, there are some reasons that you shouldn’t put a halt to your tech job search during the summer. And, here we have listed some of these reasons as suggested by experts.

#1 Competition is low

A majority of job seekers could decide to give a break to their job search during the summer for various reasons such as busy schedules or the misconception that companies will not hire during the holidays. Eventually, there will be a plunge in the competition in the number of candidates looking for a job. And, there are increased chances for you to be among the few candidates reaching an employer during the summer, which will increase your possibility to be hired by the employer.

#2 Companies are still hiring

Many job seekers believe that companies give a break to their hiring process during this time of the year. But this is a major misconception. Businesses do not change their halt hiring schedules throughout the year but intensify the same at some point in time. Tech companies that are ambitious to achieve their business goals and reach new heights will not slow down their hiring process. And, these companies could be looking for fresh talent to help them boost their business.

#3 Employee perks during holidays

During summer, when the sun is shining bright, it could be challenging for employees to be productive. To motivate them, employers might provide some attractive employee perks as a token of appreciation of their hard work throughout the year. These include flexible working hours, extended long weekends, weekly refreshment cart, team outings, a relaxation in the dress code, and more.

#4 More networking opportunities

While there are holiday parties, community events, open houses, etc. hosted by employers, there will be a lot of networking opportunities. If you are looking forward to a new job, then you can use these events to network with others and get new contacts. You will be able to exchange business cards and ensure that your name is marked in a subsequent hiring process during the holidays. Given that not many people will be a part of the job during the pandemic season, it will be a great opportunity for aspiring job seekers.

#5 Opportunity to serve seasonal jobs

Seasonal jobs are temporary jobs that recur around the same time each year. Businesses with more customers hire seasonal employees during specific seasons for extra help during the busiest times. During the summer, you can look out for such seasonal jobs by networking, applying early, and considering a slew of options available for you. Having said that, the summertime is ideal to get such seasonal jobs. And, during the same, you will also get chances to make it your permanent job and save for your additional requirements.

Take note of the above, and you’ll be sure to nail the interview, and hopefully land the tech job of your dreams. Oh, and be sure to keep and eye on Silicon Canals’ Jobs, for loads of exciting opportunities.

Stock photo from Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

The post 5 reasons you should keep up with tech job search during the summer holidays appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

‘Product-led startups should be a priority’ says grassroots tech group in new report – The Northern Echo

‘Product-led startups should be a priority’ says grassroots tech group in new report  The Northern Echo
“startups when:1d” – Google News

[Lemonade in Investor Place] Lemonade Stock Should Be Your Main Squeeze This Summer

Insurance companies have been around for as long as we can remember, but the lack of innovation has made this industry ripe for disruption. Enter Lemonade (NYSE:LMND), the “insurtech” startup that hopes to make insurance cool again. Fresh off its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in July, Lemonade stock rallied 138% and pushed the company’s market valuation to $ 3 billion.

Read more here.

The post [Lemonade in Investor Place] Lemonade Stock Should Be Your Main Squeeze This Summer appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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