When you decide to join a start-up, there is always a certain amount of risk and unknown inherent in the company. However, this is no reason to take the leap with your eyes closed. Here are the questions to ask the person hiring you.
Igor Radic is an addict to start-up companies. After working for several years as an IT consultant in large corporations such as Microsoft and CGI, he decided to join a first start-up and then founded his own: Funifier, a gaming company.
His first piece of advice is to find out the CEO’s vision: “Where does he see the company in one, two and three ans ? That’s the best idea of the role we’re going to play. Because in a start-up, everyone is involved at every stage. »
Émilie Boutros, CFO at TandemLaunch and member of Anges Québec, also suggests asking questions to help situate the company: “At what stage are you at in terms of the development of produit ? What is the target market? What is the strategy of commercialisation ? »
Then we’ll want to make sure the company is serious. You can ask if there has been any venture capital invested in the start-up from the beginning,” suggests Igor Radic. To find out if there are people from outside who believe in the project or not. »
In the same vein, Émilie Boutros suggests looking at the quality of the team in place: “What is the experience of the managers? What are their successes and their accomplissements ? »
Tackling the sensitive issue of finances
It’s a tricky question,” Radic says, “but it’s still important to know if the company is financially sound. There are ways to bring the subject up, such as finding out when the next round of financing will come. »
Émilie Boutros suggests going straight to the point: “What are the ventes ? What is the budget for fonctionnement ? How many months do we have before we raise a new round of funding or become profitable ?
Finally, another financial aspect to be addressed is that of shareholding. Is it possible to have options on achat ? In the case of a start-up of 5 or 6 people,” says Igor Radic, “you ask for it right away. It’s a way for the company to make sure that people believe in the product and stay for the long term. »
Taking the leap, though
It’s obvious that there’s a certain amount of risk involved in joining a start-up,” agrees Émilie Boutros. But the beauty of start-ups is that each member has a significant impact on the company’s future. You become master of your own destiny. »
This is the reason why Igor Radic joined a start-up company, and later created his own: “I have a passion to develop something of my own that doesn’t depend on others. »