What Technology has definitely done is to provide unlimited opportunities for those who can think out of the box. If you have a good product idea, start-up is the way to go. One thing that the start-ups have in abundant supply is new, fresh ideas. Two things that start-ups have in short supply is time, (limited by window of opportunity), and resources, limited by fund availability.
To tackle the limits set by the window of opportunity, start-ups have to address the resources short supply in a hurry. The ‘Idea to Monetization’ cycle goes through several phases viz.,
Each step above requires resources (read funding) of varying size. The funding priorities for each stage and the associated cost would be
As any start-up entrepreneur will vouch - While the funding needs increase exponentially, the cost decreases exponentially too – as your business gets proven over time. Once you are profitable – funding comes to you. As you move through the phases, the valuation of the start-up keeps increasing and hence the earlier you get funds in, costlier it gets. Early funding options such as Angel funding comes in at a very high cost because of two primary reasons
From the promoter’s point of view, delaying or minimizing external funding in the early stages is the way to go, especially if the promoters are bullish about their idea.
This is where a Development Partner could come in very handy to delay external funding as much as possible. Development partner is the one who will help the promoter fructify their idea into a product at minimal cost and then will stay on with the start-up throughout the product lifecycle for support and continuous product enhancement. An arrangement with a development partner could be a combination of one or more of the below options
A smart choice would be to find a development partner who will graduate into a business partner over a period of time.