The most personally and professionally rewarding projects we have worked on have been the early-startup ones.
The entrepreneurial adrenaline, intellectual challenge, and freedom to craft innovation in your very own way, will be eclipsed only on the day your business turns profitable, and maybe on the day when the first term-sheet lands in your inbox.
So, we asked ourselves: “Whom do we want to work with, given a choice?” and the answer was obvious: “Startups and entrepreneurs!”.
We want to provide real, tangible value, at no risk and preferably minimum cash outway to a startup, yet support a long-term pipeline of projects that we get a chance to work on in the long-run.
We came up with what we call the "Startup Engagement Package".
We often meet entrepreneurs that do not come from IT, software or electronics hardware technical background, or have somewhat limited real-life experience. They are faced with a dilemma – to roll the dice and bring in a personal acquaintance with relevant skills, or look outside for proven, experienced professionals?
Both approaches present problems – they require a commitment to be made to an individual, and it is difficult to set the expectation that you may need to part ways after only a few months, for one reason or another. (We have also found that in most cases, it is not a good idea to make your cousin’s brother-in-law, who “builds apps”, your CTO.)
Other material considerations are the credibility and gravitas of someone less experienced when the time comes to pitch to prospective investors, or the equity you may have to part with to bring in a “brand name” technologist.
We offer an alternative engagement – one that requires no long-term commitment, no equity, and no cash outlay.
We will work with you to put together everything you need to prepare the technology portion of a fundraising package. We always stand behind our work – if needed, we will be happy to present next to you in front of a VC partner meeting and field questions about delivering, operating, and scaling the technology portion of your business.
We have 30+ years of experience with dozens of VC, PE fundings, and IPOs that we have been involved in. We will give you the benefit and credibility of a technology risk mitigator that is “the next best to a sure thing”.
Our goal and value proposition is to remove technology risk as a top-of-mind consideration and objection from a potential investor and to let you focus on the important stuff - how to build, market, and sell your product and idea.
Typically, the set of artifacts we deliver include:
We operate with complete transparency, honesty and demand the highest standards of professional and personal ethics. We strive for a balance between confidence, driven by professional experience, and ego-free decision-making.
When we select and recommend technology stacks and toolchains, we consider our clients’ existing investment in team, technology and infrastructure. We try to understand the expertise, priorities and focus of the product management, IT and software teams and the CISO office. We consider the costs of hiring local talent and, of course, the business’ budgetary considerations both in the short and long term.
Our project management style does not promote or subscribe to a single methodology. With our smaller teams, startup clients and internal projects we align with the agile manifesto and scrum development styles. We are also perfectly at home on the other end of the spectrum, working for Critical Infrastructure Providers in regulated industries and with agencies that require us to operate in CMM and ISO:9k environments.
Every project we engage in considers the trade-offs between requirements management, real-time milestone tracking, performance and scalability considerations, branch-by-feature source control, pull-request driven peer code review, continuous integration, test automation, DevOps, business continuation/disaster recovery, cybersecurity and the cost of support, operations and planned technology obsolescence.
We ask a lot of questions, and often make a lot of suggestions and proposals. We do this because we want to understand what drives your business to success and try to eliminate the noise and distractions of irrelevancies. When working with us do not expect to hear an immediate “Yes” to every ask. You can, however, be confident, that by the end of the conversation, your product team will have understood, embraced and committed to a course of action that your organization has set and is comfortable with.
We believe that it must be easy to do business with us. We embrace the “one hand to shake, one throat to choke” style of client relationship management. At a minimum, we offer a dedicated technical program manager, who resides (not just works) close to your time zone and interacts with communication fluency.