Francisco LePortEntrepreneur, Algorithms and R&D

Founder & CTO at Tachyus, backed by Founders Fund. Sr Research Scientist (Battery Technology) at Tesla. Dir of Engineering at Integrated Plasmonics (Medial Device). Ph.D in Experimental Particle Physics from Stanford.

Recent Answers

What your trying is one approach to finding investors. Here's another that in my experience is far more effective. I'd tap your network, and it's probably actually a lot bigger than you think! Linkedin is the perfect tool for this. Look for people you're connected to, that you trust, and that are suited to helping your business (ideally in your industry, or experienced in fundraising, etc) and that have a good network themselves (ideally they're connected to some investors you're interested in, but not required). Reach out to them, and let them know you're starting a venture, and are looking for their advice, and would love to treat them to a 30 min coffee meeting. People love to hear that others think they're awesome and they love to give advice which makes them feel awesome, and this is someone you know, so chances are they'll accept. Send this request to everyone relevant in your network. At the meeting, tell them about your venture, give them your pitch, hear their comments and heed their feedback, and ask them for 3 people in their network that would be great people to talk to. Get intros to those people, and repeat. If you do this diligently and listen well, your network will expand extremely quickly, and you'll be able to get introduced to literally anyone you want. This is how our founding team at Tachyus acquired our first customer within 1 month of starting, and having no experience or direct connections in our industry.

I'm always down to chat in more detail if you're interested. Best of luck!

I would strongly suggest obtaining the skills. I think it's extremely likely that very quickly into your education, you will discover all kinds of things that will either vastly improve your idea, or have you realize that it is fatally flawed. Either path will leave you in a much better position to produce something awesome. I think it'll be extremely difficult to find funding or talent if you yourself have no skills applicable to your own idea.

This is a great question! I can speak from my experience co-founding Tachyus, and experience joining very early stage startups and observing founder dynamics.

I think the first question is, why are you looking for a cofounder versus hiring a first employee? Both have pros and cons. Cofounders typically receive at least an order of magnitude more equity compensation then employees. This aligns them much much more tightly with the company, which can be great if your values, vision, ambition, motivation, energy, etc. match, and can be a disaster if they don't. I would consider the decision as carefully you would a proposal for marriage (no joke!). Given the importance and impact of this decision, I would only consider people that you know very well as cofounders. Pick from your inner circle of friends or colleagues. Ideally it's someone you have worked with before. If you know them outside of work, work with them for several weeks if possible before cementing a co-founder relationship. I would advise against trying to find a co-founder that you have never met before, and instead consider making someone new that you're very excited about a well compensated (equity wise) first employee.

Happy to jump on a call if you'd like to chat more about it!

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