How to attract a CTO for a start-up?
We are a start-up, with three former MBA students (service marketing) & system science and one designer.
Network, network, network. In my experience, some folks convince a hot shot CTO to just appear on their website or at an important VC meeting. But I would not suggest that. I would look for a technologist who has done it before. It's kind of like speed dating !! keep meeting new people, and assess their technical mind/ entrepreneurship spirit/ experience and charisma in 5 minutes. (cuz that's just about as much time as you can get with them)
Several suggestions. Identify CTO type individuals in your niche'. Network with them via Linkedin for referrals, i.e., Several CTO of start-up can likely identify a bunch a candidates for you. Another thought: use your alumni data base and ping those that appear to have the right qualities, education, etc...even post the job on your alumni newsletter. You can always hire a head hunter but this costs bucks up front. Contact your angel investors and VCs that invest in your space. They always have a stable of talent that they can refer you to. Good luck on your venture. Send me your email link with the job/company/technology overview. I can put you in touch with several Valley CTOs/IT technologists that might have some good referrals for you. email@example.com
With 5 people in a company it is doubtful you looking to recruit any C-level management, most likely you think that you should emulate a large company. You are a startup. It many be fun to have the title, but the actual tasks for a company of this size are usually Senior Developer like roles, unless this CTO is managing more than 5 other people it's merely blowing smoke. And I've found many larger companies don't take you seriously.
When you think you need a CTO you'll need to determine whether you actually mean a CIO or a CSO. The focus of the company means a different type of person is needed to lead the company. So ask yourself are you a company that
a. maintains existing product(s), which need improving - CIO.
b. builds many new products for different customers - CTO.
c. does scientific research, and sells the work products or commercializes the results - CSO.
The mindset for each is different, the CIO needs to be more conservative, their task is to retain and expanding the existing customer base. Whereas the CTO should be more focused on getting out of the building and discovering who the customers are and what their problem is, and finding out whether the company can build a solution. I have no experience working with a CSO, but assume the requirements for the role is aligned to the CTO role.
So to answer the question how you attract a CTO, if you need somebody of that calibre you are wise to headhunt from larger technical companies. Not the CTO himself, but the middle level staff: Technical Project Managers, Senior Developers, Product Development, etc. People with experience leading people and projects, who have a track record of building new products.
However if, as I suspect, you actually need developers you should probably look at developer meet ups.
1. "The focus of a CTO may be contrasted with that of a chief information officer (CIO). A CIO is likely to solve organizational problems through acquiring and adapting existing technologies (especially those of an IT nature), whereas a CTO principally oversees development of new technologies (of various types)." "... a CSO exists in heavily research-oriented companies, while a CTO exists in product-development-focused companies. The typical category of research and development that exists in many science and technology companies could be led by either post, depending on which area is the organization's primary focus." - source Wikipedia.
All these comments represent good perspectives. It's important to consider one's use case. I will just express the logic I followed in selecting my CTO/CoFounder. I decided that this person was not just going to be my hired gun, but I wanted an equal partner, as ultimately, what I am building is technology intensive. A consultant can be a logical step if you are unsure of the viability of your business and this is just experimentation. As I knew that my biz was going to heavily rely on software and data, I wanted someone to own tech decisions from day 1 and understand what both my product roadmap would be and to use his experience delivering systems and technology to help me refactor both my product strategy and building strong operational processes to build an engineering culture. This person needed to be in the trenches with me to debug both code and my faulty assumptions from both a business and tech perspective. A great technologist can be one of the strongest operational experts, as great engineers are brilliant problem solvers rooted in logic. A CTO isn't just a brilliant architect or tech mgr, but also has to take a strong role in shaping culture and being a thought leader. Without those things, you won't be able to inspire the best technologists to join your company. Additionally, he balances by neurotic, manic behavior and passion with a very methodical, thoughtful approach - I'd like to think when we combine our brains and personalities, we make the perfect team. He is the yin to my yang and tells me when I am being stupid. Always happy to discuss this further, as one aspect of my startup ProjectSherpa will address the founder matching question. Private message me and we can go into strategies for attracting the right CTO.
As both CTO and entrepreneur i can agree will all the comments written.
first of all, at this stage, you need to consult with a CTO of technology guru in the field of your startup, to get the general and overall picture of what's ahead.
then you can use those insights to develop some working model/concept.
afterwards, as you go deep in to development and growth, you need to get your CTO.
I can tell about myself, i'm attracted by the technical possibility behind the startup. but not only, i'm also looking for the new and interesting idea, something that will tell me "this will make a change, disrupt the market"
hope this helps you,
Depends on the exact details... but start with a great vision and story about why your start-up is different and why it will succeed. Back your story it up with market research that shows you have good chance of success. Third, detail out the different exit strategies for the company and the prospective CTO.
Your CTO will want to know how much compensation they'll receive during each phase, so make sure you're ready to talk money and are ready willing and able to bring the CTO on the payroll. If there are any other perks, benefits, etc. be ready to discuss them.
Once, you have this all together, write up your attraction marketing piece... just like you would any other marketing piece. After all, you're selling the position to the prospective CFO.
In this marketing piece, you need spell the skills, experience and attributes you're looking for in your CTO.
Now you're ready to attract your CTO.
Network with every college Alumni Association, tech sector networking group, tech incubators and anyone else who has anything to do with the tech sector.
Tell them you're looking for a high quality person to fill the position, and if there is a profit sharing or equity share in your plane, make sure you disclose that in the marketing piece or with those you're networking with.
Give them access to your front-end marketing piece, but not your final package that you'll be selling to your CTO. Only show your final package to someone you know you're ready to offer it to.
You'll start to get responses and this is where the filtering process begins to find the one person to hire. So, make sure you're ready to filter them as the responses come in.
Hope this helps,
To define - we are former students! Been running a consultancy firm for one year now, trading between Sweden and China. Now we have our second start-up www.scallionfutura.com focusing on software development, marketing and design combined in one package. Our focus is education in first hand.
My short experience despite, it seems like CTOs are driven by money, and it's difficult to attract CTOs on an entrepreneurial level?
Still though I agree Mary-Alice, the challenge can attract people! It's more about the pitch/sales. One option is to "hire" the CTO from another organization in the same stage, Conrad? Like Christopher said, it's crucial finding the "right one", rather than just finding one in this stage.
Thanks for feedback!
the business start up - business consulting is wide range of services and activity ,
You have to determine the activity - and structure of the company - start up with right legal law .
business consulting can serve and present is Media consulting, set up ,company formation, SE consulting
Too soon for a CTO. You need to start with a consultant to help you determine your infrastructure, e-commerce and social media strategies. A Chief Technology Officers (CTO) can have a variety of roles in an organization. One option is to publish an RFP for assistance in determining the technology direction of your organization w/o offering a position. In addition to getting useful information for your startup, you'll also find potential candidates. . The other is to find established organizations similar to your own to determine their strategies and the credentials of their technology officers.