Talent Crunch

Even More Pressure to Find That Rockstar Engineer: VCs Might Not Fund You Without a Full Team

hackers Even More Pressure to Find That Rockstar Engineer: VCs Might Not Fund You Without a Full Team

You probably can't afford the one on the right.

As if you weren’t already scrounging meetups for every killer coder or future CTO, Dow Jones has some bad news to report. According to VentureWire, several VCs and angel investors say that failure to show up at a pitch meeting without tech talent on your roster could hurt your odds of raising funds. “These investors argue that hiring the best people requires connections, and that founders who don’t have those connections will find that money is of limited use,” says the article.

“You need a full complement of senior engineers,” said Sanjay Subhedar, a managing director at Storm Ventures, which has delayed and in some cases denied funding for companies that don’t have a strong technical leader or team. “If you need to hire eight to 10 engineers after the funding, do you know who these guys are? If you say yes, good. If you say no, it’s very difficult.”

The ability to hire skilled engineers goes beyond just the need for strong talent, some observers say. It reflects a founding team’s overall ability to continue to identify and hire the talent needed to grow.

“With a tech team, it’s not so much can they build [the product] themselves, but can they evaluate engineers in the future,” said Thomas Korte, a former Google product evangelist who founded AngelPad, a mentorship program for young start-ups. “If you don’t have the rock-star engineers to do that, then it’s going to be very hard.”

No pressure, though. Mr. Korte forgot to add.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com