Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Should I bring my app developer to an investor meeting?
Let’s assume there’s no CTO or tech-founder in your company. That means if you’re a founder, you’re probably an ideas person, with one idea in particular you plan to pitch to investors.
You might have insourced or outsourced an app developer to build a proof of concept for your idea, but that might have been the limit of the developer’s involvement. So should you really bring them to an investor meeting?
Why your company is a tech company
Ask yourself a question: am I solving a problem in the market using an app? If you are, then you’re a tech company. It doesn’t matter if you’re a charity clothing marketplace or a second hand bookstore. When your value proposition is a digital platform, investors will put you in the same bracket as the team of computer scientists who pitched to them earlier that day.
If you’re looking to build a brick and mortar store or get a non-digital product into the hands of distributors, then perhaps you don’t need to bring a technologist to your investor meeting. But chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you don’t fall into this category.
When your value proposition is an app, everything is technical. Your idea might be what makes your business disruptive, but it’s only as valuable as the reality you can create - and this depends on the technical.
So you need a technical person at your investor meeting, even if this person is a third party. They’re not only the one who translates your ideas into code, they’re the person who can vouch for the validity of your ideas, who can map out a development roadmap and talk an investor through it in detail.
So is it enough to bring any old developer along?
Even if your app developer is not contractually a part of your founding team, they need to be a part of it culturally. It doesn’t matter if they’re insourced or outsourced, they need to have a sense of ownership in what you’re doing, even if they don’t hold any shares.
So you shouldn’t simply have someone who has built an MVP to spec. Instead, you should have a developer who is:
- Invested in your product
- Able to scope out the tasks to deliver your vision
- Passionate about seeing that vision through
Especially at an early stage, investors aren’t buying into just an idea. As Angel Investor Will Herman said,
"The quality of the founding team is probably more correlated with the success of a startup than the idea the company is founded on."
Your team is what will convince an investor that you have the ability to make your idea happen. So it’s not enough to bring along a supplier and treat them as a tag along. You need someone who the investors can see is a part of the core of what you’re doing.
When the questions get technical
The developer you bring to the investor meeting will show their value when the questions begin.
Investors will want to know how exactly their money will be used. And when that money is being spent on an app, it’s a technical question. You need to be able to define what you’ll spend in the next iteration of your product, giving investors confidence that you know how to build strategically with the funding you’re asking for.
Investors may not be technical themselves - the development they imagine to be difficult might be a breeze, or what they presume to be easy might be intricately difficult. Your developer can set them straight on both scores, demonstrating why certain aspects of your product will need more time or funding than others. They’ll show you have the right priorities, particularly when it comes to spending an investor’s money.
If the investor is technically minded or has brought along their own tech adviser, they’ll be able to ask much tougher questions. In this instance, there’s no two ways about it, you need your developer in the room with you. And the more informed - and passionate - your developer is, the more experience they have had with investors before now, the better it will go for you.
When it comes to getting investors on board, you want every advantage you can get. An app developer who has been on this road before can give you the edge in an investor meeting - and they can help you move fast in the run up to your funding round.
Investor meetings and strategic development are not worth compromising on.
To get Morrow on your side, don’t hesitate to get in touch.