We are startup and have a hardware product. We are both business guys, with no industrial design or logistics experience. The product was designed by 3rd party and logistics is later expected to be outsourced via Shipwire. There is this accelerator in our country that won't fund us, unless we bring designer AND logistics/procurement expert on board. However, the design is 95% complete and the designer work left totals only few thousands. After we launch via Kickstarter, we'll naturally hire logistics/procurement expert, but giving them both equity right now seems unreasonable. We are also in talks with some interested angels from other countries, that currently do due diligence, but haven't yet expressed such concerns. Should we skip the accelerator and focus on angels or should we listen to them and bring the people on board as co-founders? If we don't sign with angels and we skip the accelerator also, it'll be pity. P.S. Investment possibilities are very limited in and around our country.

First and foremost, I believe that team and added value is everything for an early stage startup. Every founding member should be an indispensable asset to your business.

With regards to bringing in other experts as co-founders, ask yourself why this particular accelerator would make such a demand. Can you think of a reason why they would not reassured by your proposal to bring in these experts as hires rather than co-founders? Have you validated your initial approach with people other than angels (e.g. successful founders of hard-ware based startups)?

Lastly, ask yourself what your company has to gain by going forward with this particular accelerator. Do you feel they represent a unique opportunity that you could not find elsewhere? If so : see if there are ways to address their concerns in ways that that would be acceptable to you (e.g. appropriate vesting schemes that would protect your interests).

Answered 7 years ago

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