Investors across London are becoming increasingly choosy about the start-ups they decide to back. The start-up ecosystem is becoming more crowded with new ideas each day. This increased competition is leading to investors wanting to see that companies have all their ducks in a row before choosing to put down their money. Their choices are not only about the product idea, vision, and quality of the management team, but also evidence of how you have translated that into a strategy; how you will execute tasks, mitigate risks and do so all within your financial means.
Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and Funds alike are becoming more concerned with the specifics of what technology is sitting behind their client's products. Increasingly, this is seen as an important potential predictor of robustness and flexibility, driving longevity in a rapidly changing marketplace. While investors want to see that your product is innovative and ahead of the curve, they also want to be sure that the tech you're using as a platform is still going to be relevant in five years and not outstripped by the next iOS update.
Furthermore, your technology gives a crucial indication of your business' ability to evolve over the long term. Apps today are more connected than ever, with inbuilt social integrations and internet-of-things capabilities that extend the lifespan of the product and keep it relevant. Taking all of these factors into account from the get go can be a challenge for some founders.
The question of what tech stack you should be using, however, remains an open one. We asked some of our favourite start-up gurus to help us answer it.
Follow your needs
“If you’re not a developer, or you’re trying to build something outside of your skill, say in IoT, then the application itself will often determine the technical stack you should use.”
Mike Brothers, EVP at Studio Graphene, and Start Up Advisor
Studio Graphene EVP Mike explains that, in many cases, the exact technologies you use should follow directly from the goals of your application. Many frameworks are designed to facilitate specific types of build, for example, social networks or IoT. To find one that works for your needs, simply...
Examine existing technology
“If there’s an existing solution that works well it can often be seen as reducing risk and / or cost to utilise this rather than build your own from scratch. This allows the innovation to be focused on areas within the business or product where it adds the most value. Achieving the right blend of the two can go a long way to impressing investors that you can both innovate and understand how to minimise the potential pressure points!”
- Daniel Conti, Investment Advisor at CommonRoom Ventures
If it’s worked before, it’ll work again - this is the mindset of tech-minded investors. And it should be yours, too. No matter what your app idea might be, there’s so much activity in the tech sector these days that it should be fairly easy to find a model for your build. That doesn’t mean that you need to find an identical app - more that the central technologies or platforms from parallel concepts can most likely be used in your product to keep costs low, and can help guarantee robustness.
Speak to the experts
“Look out for communities of experts. The best solutions will have an enthusiastic developer community around them.”
Ritam Gandhi, Founder of Studio Graphene, and ex-Accenture
New, exciting technologies tend to draw a large crowd online. By staying engaged with tech communities and content you can keep in touch with trending frameworks and approaches. Make sure that you’re thinking critically about the advice you get, however. You’re likely to find that there’s more than one good solution to your problem and not all of them will work for you. Compare your responses and see what fits.
This approach has the added benefit of providing some social proof when applying for investment. If you’re using a popular technology - even if it’s pretty new - the chances are that your investors have heard of it too.