Charles HwangTech Entrepreneur, Advisor, Investor

Co-Founder @TRAQ. Serial Entrepreneur. Angel Investor. Consult startups and early stage tech companies.

Recent Answers

The other 2 answers (so far) have very good points. But it really depends on what the offer is. My strategy would be to get an actual offer from them and then review the different options. The fact that you have an offer from a company would be very enticing for investors to put money into it for you to build out, if you decide.

This is exactly the strategy I utilized in my own company. We built a solution for one client as a consultant. Wasn't meant for it to be distributed. This client shared what we build in a large conference and we started to get flooded with offers for us to build other clients a similar solution. When this happened, the major player in the industry came along and offered to purchase the solution. We got them to give us an offer and negotiated to a higher price but it wasn't good enough. We used their offer to fundraise and was able to get the company to a valuation 10 times the original offer only 2 years into it. Having said that, if we received a higher offer in the beginning, we probably would've sold it.

I'm a tech entrepreneur (just started another company) that started my career in management consulting. Feel free to reach out if you have further questions or needs.

You're looking for a very niche buyer. I've worked with a group of college students that had an array of backend platforms that they decided to sell off because they got offered at a large tech company.

What we did was group the platforms into packages and see what type of buyer would find them to be beneficial. With your level of revenue, very few people will be interested in buying it to continue running it; even if they did, they wouldn't value your company very highly.

Best option is to find a company that can forego their R&D and just integrate what you have into their overall product/service. You'll get a better value if they come to you first so the strategy would be to peak their interest without knocking on their door.

A platform or website is not going to help you sell this. Most M&A brokers would also find the value to be too low to get involved, but there are a few that work in this level.

Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.

Really depends on how many rounds of funding you think you'll need. Most startup founders have their equity diluted anywhere from 15%-33% after 2-3 rounds of funding. If he is a key partner, then 25% is fair and a better deal for you. VCs hate preferred shares being issued because it just complicates the math and flexibility in the future.

I've been in a very similar situation as yourself. In our case the company split into two for better operational flow. I was the CEO of one company and was trying to figure out how to structure the other one.

Unfortunately, the answer to many of your questions depends on further details. But I'll give some general feedback:

1. Depends on how much time you actual put into this new company. You sound like a CEO role but having a CEO that only spends 10hrs in the company a week would make the company look weak. You can start out as CEO and change roles later.
2. What's your exit strategy? If you plan on exiting soon, then you shouldn't; you'll make money when the company exits. But if it's more of a long-term play, then perhaps you should setup a dividend structure. I don't think it's good for company culture when someone takes a salary for not doing work.
3. Depends on growth but usually early founders become a board member. Depending on the company, they can meet as frequently as once a month, but typically a quarterly meeting is more likely.
4. This is a complex question which requires much more info.
5. This is tied in with #4.

As a founder of my own company and an advisor for a handful of startups, a good advisor to me are those that have been through what I'm going through. An advisor is more than just giving advice, and definitely not someone to make your decisions for you. They're someone that guides you to come to your own conclusion. Their roles could also include introductions, investments, and early proof of concept.

The worst type of advisors for me, aside from those giving blatantly bad advice, are those that feel they sit on a throne above you. The image I hope gives a general characteristic; these are people that value their time more than yours, think their advice is law, and feel that you owe them for everything they do for you.

Obviously this is a generalization of what an advisor should be. There are those that don't check off all the requirements but are still great advisors. Feel free to reach out if you have more questions.

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