I have created a functional prototype that acts as a blueprint for the application and it's required functionality. I have documents referencing other comparable platforms as well as third party API programs we will need integrated into our system. I am currently having discussions with several development groups that will develop my platform for a flat fee. My worries include; 1. Having a vested employee with the skills to update, maintain, enhance and operate the platform, 2. How to attract the right co-founder to become vested with the project, 3. The proper distribution of equity to vested founders. I am in need of direct references, sources and general consultation as to how I should go about either: A. Acquiring the funds to pay a development agency. or B. Partnering with the actual developers. I appreciate any and all support. Contact me with personal offers, questions or comments.
I don't live in Chicago, but there is a Co-Founders Lab there that provides networking opportunities to find fellow entrepreneurs and co-founders. Here's a link for more info: http://www.1871.com/cofounderslab-comes-to-chicago/
You'll get more passionate, committed work out of a partner who is also an equity stakeholder than you will from an agency or contractor without vested interest. I would just start talking about your idea to people. Honestly, ideas aren't worth that much, and it's all about the execution. Worry less about someone stealing your idea, and focus on spreading your excitement for the product around until you find someone who shares your passion and would be interested in joining you. I would jump on Meetup.com and try to find every technology related event in your area and just start meeting folks.