The Accelerator Dilemma

tunnel with blurry lights

The folks who run accelerators, typically require nontechnical founders to find a technical co-founder. The thinking, is that adding a coder (ideally full-stack) will allow the startup to be more nimble and iterate faster, being more responsive to obtaining product – market fit.

No argument here. However, finding the right full stack dude or dudette, is challenging. Once we hire the person, and part with a substantial amount of equity, the risk that we’ve hired the wrong person remains.

Most, early stage (pre-revenue) startups, are cash poor. In the extreme, which is many times the norm, the startup has no cash to pay the technical co-founder. This circumstance dramatically limits the field of technical candidates. Now, we are looking for someone with decent, full-stack skills, who doesn’t need an income to survive. An interesting situation, eh?

So, what’s a non-technical founder to do? Some options:

1. Don’t enlist with the accelerator, and develop an MVP using low-cost, outside contractors.

2. Raise one year’s worth of salary for the coder.