I have been negotiating with a technical co-founder. However, he needs to have a salary to come on board in more than an occasional advisory capacity. How much salaries are others paying to a technical co-founder if they are a seed-stage company (no product yet)? Do you pay the salary for the co-founder only if they are performing the technical work? For example, this person wants to manage other technical staff. So I would need to raise enough funds to pay at least one technical staff or contractorplus the co-founder. (Or skip the co-founder and just hire several lower level technical staff.)
Or do you only make co-founder agreements for equity only and not salary?
If you are paying a technical co-founder prior to having a product/revenue- how did you raise funding?
What would be an upper limit on technical co-founder salary (considering that the founder is not drawing any salary, is currently funding the company, and the company is a year or so out from revenue).
I am a technical co-founder and I disagree on most of the comments here.
I do not even look at non-salary offers, or equity only deals. Personally I always look for a mix package between salary and equity.
Most of the startup rely on technology, either an app/website/or something in between. Product and services are based on technology.
So, for an early co-founder, there is a "huge" amount of work. Long hour working days, nights and even weekends to achieve a MVP.
So basically I'm risking billable hours of work for a small equity, while the other part, is taking most of the equity and risking just an idea...
The risk that a technical co-founder is taking is too much i think. So, either you compensate them or you give same equity as the founder.
This is what I see from the side of a technical co-founder.
Fortunately, I came on board in a great startup, and the offered me a mix, so I'm happy. However, I see so many non-sense offers with zero" cash... I pass them all