How do I build a powerful team for a Start-Up?

We are witnessing an evolution in almost all walks of life and it is all about keeping up with the continuous change that happens. The term ‘Start-Up’ has gained momentum and is witnessing slow and steady growth. However, though the present era can be labeled the ‘Start-Up’ era, there are many challenges in startup company team building, especially when faced with critical situations as the current pandemics. In order to thrive, it is essential to have a powerful team that stays together amidst trials and tribulations. Let us explore how to build a team for a startup in this article. 

Where to start exactly?

When you would have conceived with the idea for building your own startup, you might have gone through the following steps strategically:

After a lot of brainstorming sessions, you might have figured out a novel problem statement worth addressing and would have started to invest quality time to make it take physical form by defining the core objectives. And then, you’d have taken so much more effort to define methodological strategies to achieve the defined core objectives. Once you had that ticked off the checklist, you would have started to realize that you need your own team now and would have started to hit upon the following questions:

  • How do I build a team for my startup?
  • How to build a team for a startup that sustains the initial extremely challenging times?
  • What are the possible ways to indulge in building a tech startup team with the right talent in the right technical position?
  • In what ways can I be successful in building a tech team?
  • Am I ready with startup company team-building strategies?

The above questions are basically essential questions to which you need to very carefully derive answers and make plans accordingly. You might have heard of this very popular definition of an entrepreneur which goes like this, ‘An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down’. You need to have this mindset, but careful and strategic planning is crucial at every step though. 

Building a Startups

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Start Small, Start Smart

True to the saying, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, it is very crucial and vitally important that you start small and start smart. You might have started your startup in one of the following ways:

  • Applied for grants and got it approved
  • You Might have had family support to build your own venture
  • Saved up from your previous years of work
  • Might have used crowdfunding strategies

The list goes on. Whatever may be the way you’d have started your venture, you might not have a huge capital financial backup to immediately set up a big office infrastructure and have multiple teams of a huge number of employees working under you. Therefore you need to take baby steps in proceeding with the startup company team building. Among many questions, when you ponder on this particular question, ‘How do I build a team for my startup?’, you need to think conservatively. Only then you will be able to manage the financial budget and at the same time invest effectively in the most needful entity. 

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

Strategies to build a powerful Startup Team

When you start drafting a strategy as to how to build a team for startup, your very own startup, you need to first fish for the like-minded people so that you can build a quality team with a vision similar to yours. Let us explore the strategies of building a tech startup team through a case study followed by an interview with a successful tech startup company entrepreneur.

Case Study – A daring journey of a tech entrepreneur

Ms. Devi, an energetic young woman who has always strived hard to excel in all that she did, got her project proposal approved by a renowned Research Foundation. Being a curious engineer, she always has a passion to build her very own tech venture. Once her project proposal related to Artificial Intelligence got approved, she first sat down to think critically as her very next step was building a tech team

Building a Smart Team with the like-minded

Ms. Devi made a list of her potential team members who were her friends from childhood and her previous colleagues. She then called them up one by one and started exploring the possibilities of building a tech startup team. After careful analysis, she found that her childhood best friend Ms. Gowri who is a Data Science Engineer and her previous office colleague Mr. Tamil who is a very eminent AI and ML Engineer had a similar inclination towards her project and that they would be a good team to start off with. She then hired them both and started to design the prototype. 

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Proposal to build a Virtual Tech Team

Ms. Devi with her candid team built the prototype successfully and presented it in front of the Research Foundation. The panel members were impressed and sanctioned the next level of the fund to increase the team size and get the technology ready to launch in the market. Ms. Devi took a bold and daring step of building a virtual team. The panel members were not cent percent sure if this strategy would work, but they gave a green signal anyway. 

The bold breakthrough

Ms. Devi again fished for the like-minded, but this time she fished for an international team. Her call for startup company team-building strategy was quite exotic and fresh. Once she had her very own international virtual team, she started to scale up the work. Though she faced some glitches here and there, she did not let it hinder her journey. From thinking of how to build a team for startup, her very own startup, to building a tech team of her own who made her dreams take form in reality, Ms. Devi went on to become one the most successful tech entrepreneurs. The Research Foundation was extremely happy as Ms. Devi made a win-win strategy come true. 

Interview

Mr. Edwin, a journalist, contacted Ms. Devi for an exclusive interview regarding her successful venture and she agreed to it. The following week Mr. Edwin went to Ms. Devi’s office to interview her. 

Mr. Edwin: Ms. Devi, first and foremost, congratulations. 

Ms. Devi: Thank you, Mr. Edwin. 

Mr. Edwin: So, Ms. Devi do you feel after receiving the best tech entrepreneur award of the year?

Ms. Devi: Well, I feel happy and more importantly I’m happy that my technology has hit the market because it caters diversified applications among which the healthcare sector was my primary target. 

Mr. Edwin: That is really nice and I’m happy for you Ms. Devi. How did you manage in building a tech startup team? What is your secret mantra?

How to build a startup?

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Ms. Devi: In addition to the traditional hard work and smart work, I implemented a ‘methodological strategy’ to the operations domain. And that is how I was able to manage and drive my company until this stage. 

Mr. Edwin: ‘Methodological Strategy’? Could you please enumerate?

Ms. Devi: As soon as my project proposal was approved and the first level of grant sanctioned, I happened to immediately fish for the like-minded. 

Mr. Edwin: ‘Fish for the like-minded’? That is a clever move Ms. Devi. 

Ms. Devi: I’d say that was a crucial move. It was the very first step that I took, but it was a huge leap I should mention.

Mr. Edwin: How was it a crucial move? And what kind of strategies did you follow to choose the like-minded in the first place?

Ms. Devi: Well, it was a crucial move because I needed a team on whom I could totally rely on and they had to have complete trust in my vision. That could only happen when they also believed in what I believed in. And in order to choose them, I penned down my requirements first.

Ways to build a startup

Ms. Devi: Once I penned down the qualities and skills that I was looking for, it became simple for me to zero in on the exact people whom I needed to carry out the first step. A best friend from childhood and an understanding and supportive colleague became my armor and shield

Ms. Edwin: This is really something Ms. Devi. I now agree that it was indeed a crucial step.

Ms. Devi: Yes, it was and I am glad that I made the right decision back then. Also, I made a daring decision to work with my very own virtual team in the process of scaling up. 

Mr. Edwin: That was my next question actually Ms. Devi. How did you manage to pull it off with a virtual team?

Ms. Devi: First and foremost, I was thinking in terms of financial investment for an office set up and hiring employees and the whole maintenance thing. I realized that I need to work smartly. That is when I confidently went ahead with hiring a Virtual Team in building a tech team to scale up my project.  

Mr. Edwin: Building a tech startup team itself is a challenging thing, but you went on to manage it by building a tech team that is completely virtual. Kudos Ms. Devi!

Ms. Devi: Thank you, Mr. Edwin. Again, it was my ‘Methodological Strategy’. I managed to pull it off by my very own methodological strategies.

Why Startups?

Mr. Edwin: [applauds] Mind-blowing strategy Ms. Devi! Kudos!

Ms. Devi: Well, according to me, I just drafted a logical strategy. I needed to make sure that I nailed it because I was not only experimenting with the project but, I was actually experimenting with the whole process of my experimentation.

Mr. Edwin: Scary and bold move I’d say!

Ms. Devi: No pain, no gain right? But, I am glad that I was able to set a different approach for a startup company team-building process. 

Mr. Edwin: This has been a very valuable and informative interview so far Ms. Devi! I’m pretty sure that this will inspire all those who are reading this interview session. And do you have anything special to tell the readers? 

Ms. Devi: Well, I’ve always wanted to inspire people and I’m glad that I was able to through this interview session. Special thanks to you Mr. Edwin for making that possible. My final statement is this, ‘I adopt the following strategies to execute my deeds and if it helps you, please do use them and succeed. All the best.’

Startups Basics

Mr. Edwin: Wow!! Wise words. Thank you for your time, Ms. Devi and thank you for patiently sharing such valuable strategies to build a winning startup team.

Ms. Devi: Thank you, Mr. Edwin, for the opportunity. I hope I shared a fair idea of how to build a team for a startup, your very own startup. 

Mr. Edwin: Yes you did Ms. Devi. Thank you. 

Finally…

There is no particular answer to the question, ‘How to build a team for start-up?’, however, the above case study and interview session would have given a fair idea of how to build a powerful team for a startup. Though it might be a challenging task, with methodological strategies, you can excel and build a successful venture of your own. 


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