What are YOU worth to your startup? And what are your PARTNERS worth? One of the most difficult, and uncomfortable parts of building any company (especially technology companies) is trying to determine which partners (and employees) should own what percentage (equity portion) of the company.
If you have business partners now or will you have business partners in the future...then this group is probably one of the most important Meetup groups that you will ever attend! This is ESPECIALLY true if you own a technology company with a (potentially) huge financial upside down the road, if you are successful!
What is even more difficult than determining what is fair (which you could potentially do alone), is actually discussing what is fair among your partners...without having the entire conversation devolve into a shouting match of who contributed what to the success of the company! This conversation is virtually impossible to have with your partners unless there is some sort of empirical and objective way to fairly determine stock and ownership distribution...and that is what this group is all about!
Too many entrepreneur's never think about this when starting a company or make an even bigger mistake by waiting to discuss the equity division topic until the company is about to launch, or worse yet, when the company begins to become successful. And DON’T make the huge mistake that many newbies do like dividing equity equally among the founders!
In the first few days, weeks, and months of a startup company, everyone feels a huge rush of excitement about as the founders typically begin brainstorming, maybe meeting for 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours or more in the first few days, bouncing ideas back and forth, or perhaps even begin coding (for tech startups)…and everyone has dreams that they are building the next Google, or Apple, or Facebook!
But, eventually, after the early weeks and months have gone by, this issue of ownership percentages ALMOST ALWAYS begins to rear its ugly head among partners and even early employees as everyone begins to realize the truly different contributions that everyone is making in terms of time, money, expertise, ideas and countless other criteria.
But most people in start ups have little financial or business experience, which makes it nearly impossible for them to subjectively make a fair and equitable system for dividing equity where everyone is happy.
FAILURE TO FAIRLY DETERMINE EQUITY IN YOUR COMPANY CAN DOOM IT TO FAILURE DUE TO PARTNER/FOUNDER INFIGHTING AND ANIMOSITY!!!
I highly suggest that you bring ALL of your partners to this meetup because everyone will know that the organizer is truly a neutral third party (who doesn’t know anyone in your company) and is just trying to help young and early stage companies to succeed!
While this group will lean towards tech companies and tech startups, any entrepreneur is welcome who needs some guidance in determining the equity division among the founders of the company. And even if your company is well under way, but the partners are beginning to feel that the current equity division is unfair, then this meeting is still for you!
I also want to educate employees of startups and early stage companies, so that those employees can understand many of the legal and financial obligations and decisions that they will make both while working at the company and after, as well as gaining a better understanding of the risks and rewards of joining a startup.
I have spent a lot of time analyzing countless sources and have created what I believe to be a very useful and flexible tool for founders to use and I will give each attendee a copy of that tool. I only ask that each attendee pay a small fee of $10 for my time and for the tool. This small $10 investment could potentially get you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars more money in the future with a changed equity split, if your company is successful!
You can dress coder style (totally casual) for this meeting!