Let me touch on a couple of issues:
I have invested in startups with strong local technical leadership where all the code writing is done offshore. This can be a very attractive model since capable developers in many locales are very had to come by, and the costs of offshore development is typically 25%-30% of local salaries. So I'm not sure you need a technical leader who is going to write lots of code.
In my view a technical leader as part of your investable team needs to be able to:
- Vet and recruit technical talent (onshore or offshore)
- Set technology strategy, make technical architectural decisions, research 3rd party technologies and platforms (e.g. AWS vs. Azure)
- Set the dev ops and general SW deployment strategy (and likely manage it)
- Review all the incoming code
- Set up the QA processes
- Set up data management and backup processes and infrastructure
- Manage all the technical resources
- Other stuff I'm forgetting (e.g. set up on-call for outages)
Many CTO's I have worked with still like writing code. But without knowing more it is hard to assess whether that would be a good use of their time.
Often the product roadmap is set by the head of product management or the CEO rather than the head of development. Someone who is close to customers.
As a potential investor, I would want to see an engineering leader who:
- Has experience in the class of applications that you are building.
- Has managed teams, ideally has worked with outsourced teams before
- Has experience in the breadth of disciplines described above
- Has made architectural decisions and 3rd party tech decisions and can articulate and defend their rationale for their choices
As an angel investor who sees a lot of pitches, it is worrisome to see junior developers or even more experienced developers (IC's) being given the CTO title. This can become a problem when you need to bring in someone more senior, and it hints at either naivete among leadership or ego on the part of the employee. I prefer "head of SW development" or something similar.
As far as where to find them. Good suggestions above. Go where they go, e.g. meetups on startups or meetups on specific relevant technical issues, e.g. Angular JS.