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What problem does your solution solve?
The demand for software developers is insane and growing incredibly fast, but the current methods of hiring them are extremely expensive. Most SMEs/startups can't afford to hire through a recruiting agency. There is also a massive number of non-technical founders in need of developers to bring their product to market. VentureStorm creates a unique talent pipeline that allows developers to work on small, real world projects to build their portfolio and experience before they are ready to take on larger projects or get recruited for their dream job. VentureStorm's platform allows SMEs to track potential candidates progress, interact with them, and eventually recruit them – all as a low cost solution to the alternatives. For larger budget projects the VentureStorm project management team will get involved, helping the owner to scope, design, and carry out the project.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
We estimate there are 1 million SMEs/startups with needs for software development (need a website, webpage, mobile app, etc) and each spends on average $10,000 to hire a software developer (recruiting agencies, head hunters, inner network, etc). This adds up to a total market size of $10B. The demand for software developers has been growing about 2-3% year over year, with an already estimated over 1,000,000 current open positions for software developers.
Who are your customers?
We are a B2B company, focusing on selling to startup founders, recruiters, and established companies looking to test out a software developer through a real world problem. Theses customers will use the platform to recruit, so we also have to market to the other side of the platform – developers. The developers are only users, not customers. We may begin to charge a one time fee for developers to weed out the one's don't buy into the platform.
How will you reach your customers?
Our platform has been around for college students for about year now, so we have many entrepreneurs that have utilized our services to find their co-founder. We have begun to see larger projects entering the site. This has come through our teams networking efforts and sponsorship of entrepreneurial competitions. We will continue to sponsor hackathons and pitch competitions to grow our community. But we are also planning to roll out digital marketing campaigns on Facebook to target different cities as we bring the online community to them.
How will you make money?
We will charge a monthly recurring cost (~$100/mo) for companies to access our database of developers, track their progress and prospect potential candidates. Because we allow them to track the developers progress and gather their talent pool before interviewing candidates they will be on our platform a few months throughout the hiring process.
As companies come into our platform we will target the larger budget projects for our Project Management Service. We do the technical scoping/documentation, design work, and then contract the development process. When contracting the development we interview the developers to ensure they have the ability to complete the project and the availability to meet the commitment level of the project owner. We handle all payments and contracts and take a 20%-50% commission from the developer, depending on the leg work. Project values range from $10,000- $100,000.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
The best partnerships we can make currently are with coding camps, universities, accelerators/incubators, and venture funds. We have begun to partner with coding camps because they have a constantly growing pool of developers that come out of their classes. We aim to partner with the entrepreneurship centers/programs on campuses that can get projects and students onto our platform. Through the schools and coder classes we will have a great income of young talented developers. The last two partnerships would benefit our bottom line. Venture Capital funds and accelerators have an ever churning amount of startups coming through their doors. These startups usually have the cash on hand to pay for the premium account or the project management services.
What will your expenses include?
We have three full time employees (the three lovely co-founders you see in our profile), so factor that in at about $3,500/mo times 3. Our advertising costs are about $5,000/mo and we just got office space for $700/mo in DC. Factoring in Hosting, DNS, and storage we have a monthly burn rate of about $12,000/mo.
Who is your competition and how do you differ?
Freelancing: We currently compete with other freelancing sites like UpWork, Freelancer, and Guru. We differ from all three of these because focus on developers that aren't looking to be full time freelancers. We give companies the opportunity to post projects and hire the developers.
Hiring: With that respect we end up competing with Hired, and TopTal. We separate ourselves from TopTal because we aren't offering the top 3% of developers. We focus on the younger talent that's looking to gain experience, so our developers and platform completely undercut the cost of TopTal's solution. Hired acts like a recruiting agency. They push candidates to ask for higher wages, and aim for jobs in the $75,000 - $250,000 range. VentureStorm charges up front and stays within a project owners budget, so we allow companies to hire at a lower salary (if they wish) and offer equity as compensation. (Note: VentureStorm does not handle any hiring agreements, we are simply the meeting grounds)