Learn how to find your target audience and match your business goals with their needs: Get the Target Audience Persona Template

How To Build Your Startup Team Without Money

by Adedolapo Olisa

July 17, 2019


There are three things that every start-up needs: a strategic business plan, a vision that dares and a winning startup team. These three will either make or break your new business. Now, the first two you can do without external help, but, you can’t make up your own team. You need people, more specifically people you can trust because the fate of your start-up rests on the shoulders of your team.

Before you can secure a successful round of funding whether, from angel investors or venture capitalists, you need to make sure you have all the right people in place. But assembling a kick-ass startup team takes money and time. Both of which majority of start-ups do not have.  So how can you properly assemble your team? How can you build your startup team without money?

1. Establish key positions

What positions do you need to get by with your operations? Take a tech start-up for example. It would probably make more sense to employ a handful of software developers than stack up a bunch of project managers. These positions should be beneficial to the kind of products and services your start-up is building. Also, try to stand by the two-pizza rule: if you can’t feed your team with two large pizzas in a meeting, you’re in trouble. Keep the numbers down.

2. Determine your hiring process

When hiring for a start-up, look for people that are in the areas of interest that your start-up needs, who are smarter than you are and that can do what you can’t. How do you want to sift through all the applicants? It could be as simple as filling out a form, taking a test or getting interviewed.

3. Offer equity

Simply put, equity refers to the value of shares in your company. This is a popular option among start-ups who cannot afford to pay their staff. Getting your employees to agree to be paid in equity that they might not fully earn until a few years can be hard but those who agree to it tend to work harder because their success is tied to the company’s success.

4. Hire interns and students

You would be surprised by how many people do not mind unpaid internships. Be on the lookout for eager students who are hoping to get more experience and mentors to boost their resumes and career.

5.  Exchange services

Attend networking events and interact with people. The aim is to find someone who has the skills you need, is interested in what you do and would be willing to exchange services. For example, you can enlist the service of an app developer in exchange for keeping his books.


Adedolapo Olisa

Adedolapo Olisa

Related Articles