Why Did The Startup World Need A New Model?
The ugly truth is that the road to success is paved with good intentions, broken promises, and those that just want to take advantage of the passion you have for your startup. Have you ever noticed that most “tech teams” build what they are told, look for ways to build more, and keep cashing checks?
We know “Status Quo” is not good for startups or their investors so we set out on a mission to break the mold! We focused on what a relationship would look like if there was a technology development and startup advisory team that was aligned with their client’s interests and then we built our model around that. What does that mean? We only succeed as you or your portfolio company succeeds!
Our Model Highlights
We built our model to ensure we are as invested in your company’s success as you are. We take no equity, have covered the technology/IP challenges that typically cloud exits, and contractually bind ourselves to be there helping you until the end. We only succeed when your company succeeds!
Minimal Cash Outlay
We work with you to define the right functionality to get new ideas to market and continue growth at each phase of the business. We perform all work AT OUR COST so more cash can be used for business growth! Aren't aligned interest great?
Speed To Market
Great ideas need to get to market quickly! Once we have identified the right functionality for launch or growth phase our team will deliver all functionality to our test servers within 3 months, regardless of complexity or scope, and no, we are not talking disposable prototypes here!
Revenue Share Model
Revenue sharing is an easy way to reward the investment QStart Labs is making in your company. During under-performing years you are not obligated to a fixed payout amount, however, as we succeed together we are all doing the happy dance!
Is QStart Nuts?
Most likely we are a bit, but we like to describe our reason as being passionate about building successful web businesses and not "just building technology" because we can. We believe the best way to ensure startups have the best chance of success is to have a partner that is aligned with their interests.
What To Expect From Our Model
The purpose of our model is to provide early stage companies with an experienced team to help navigate the challenges associated with growth, incredible technology that allows them to accelerate revenues, and do it all in a way that creates alignment with revenue growth and a future exit .
The QStart Labs Campfire process bridges the gap between business and technology needs to provide a solid platform for rapid growth. This process starts with an all day in-person meeting to discuss the business, objectives, revenue model, audience(s), etc. Note: This process is an “all cards on the table” style meeting.
Since QStart Labs’ success is dependent on the success of our partner company, we will highlight great ideas, challenge bad ideas, and work through areas that are not well defined to ensure the best possible chance of success. The end result is a detailed functional specification and wireframes outlining what should be “in” and what should be “out” for this phase of the business.
Completely custom, highly-scalable, enterprise-class, Java codebase that you own. (Sometimes other language may be used if agreed upon by all parties and is in the best interest of partner company)
Ongoing Technology Development
QStart Labs wants to work with companies that want to grow. We want you to succeed so badly that we do follow on work at our cost to free up more money for growing the business! Aren’t aligned interests great?
QStart Labs team will conduct an approx. 30 day design process, with the partner company, to create a truly awesome design that meets their culture, personality, and image. This process may have multiple iterations as we arrive at the final design utopia.
Delivery of Functionality
QStart Labs will take no more than 3 months to deliver any technology needed, regardless of complexity or the laws of physics!
We Can Never Leave You!
We know how many times businesses get derailed, lose all institutional knowledge, and end up with spaghetti code due to internal or external developers leaving the organization. (Usually at the worst time too.) We contractually bind ourselves to never be able to leave you. In fact we will even help you build your own internal development team, when the timing is right, and be there to back them up as the move the company forward.
Non-Equity Based Partner
True aligned interests cannot take place by giving a developer equity. As such, we are not on any cap tables, have no minority shareholder rights, or any ability to control what the business does. Simply put, our model incentivizes us to be the best advisors possible for a startup. No hidden agendas, no games, just push for revenue and the elusive exit. Our business counts on it!
Terms For QStart Labs Investment
TBD from Campfire – We want you to have as much money to grow your revenues as possible. While you may think we’re nuts take advantage of our looniness of doing work at our cost!
The revenue share is calculated as a % of Gross Profit. The %’s are as follows:
$0 – $2.0 million of Gross Profit – 5%
$2.x – $5.0 million of Gross Profit – 3%
$5.x -$10 million of Gross Profit – 1%
$10.x million and above – 0.5%
5% of exit. (with a few failsafe provisions in case things do not go as good as planned)
Been There, Done That, And Have The T-Shirt!Don't take our word for it, see what our clients say!
"QStart's process is huge, and by huge I mean they have figured out how to be accommodating, but also directional. Their capabilities span multiple dimensions of the digital world and they helped mold those to the dimensions of our organization. Their flexibility had even more impact than their process did as we explored the possibilities of what we were creating, not to mention their team's depth of capabilities (especially Ben Wallace who we had direct interaction with). My recommendation to any organization starting to work with them: Simply tell Qstart the problem(s) you are trying to solve and they will connect the solution." Timmy McCarthy
- Experience: The QStart team had decades of managerial, entrepreneurial
and tech experience that other tech firms could not match.
- Expertise: Their "Rock Star" team of experienced developers did not need to be educated about the perceived challenges of the trucking industry.The "been there, done that" knowledge base was crucial to easily integrating complex US tax law into a mobile solution.
- Integrity: The unique QStart business model aligns their interest with those of their client firms and they have on numerous occasions gone beyond their contractual duties to insure Per Diem Plus exceeds the expectations of our truck driver customers.
- Reputation: Reputations are earned over time and cannot be bought through today's modern social media world. Due diligence with respected members of the investment community confirmed what one meeting with the QStart team revealed: QStart's solid reputation is based on their experience, expertise and integrity.
"QStart Labs is the latest addition to our member recommended provider program because of their unique focus on helping investors and their portfolio companies succeed." Marianne Hudson
"QStart Labs is playing a key role in assisting Greif's expansion into new lines of business through the use of technology. Their approach has allowed us to quickly bring value to our customers while laying out a technology roadmap aligned with our long-term objectives." "The fast paced success we are experiencing is due to their strong strategic planning, detailed work processes, and pragmatic approach to technology development. We are pleased to have such an experienced team of professionals to help us take Grief to our next phase of growth. Great Job QStart Labs team!" David Fischer
"QStart Labs enabled DOmedia to quickly assess market opportunities, build customer-centric technology and adjust to market demands within the first year of commercialization. QStart continues to be a valued, strategic partner in helping DOmedia to build its suite of products for the Out-of-Home media marketplace." Andy Mansinne
"We wanted to create a more efficient way for pet owners to shop for pet health insurance. QStart played an integral role in building the technology that allows dog and cat owners to get custom pet insurance quotes in real-time. No other website has this capability because integrating one system with several different companies is an extremely complex and time consuming endeavor." "QStart has the people and resources available to make complex system integration possible. They've been a great partner for us and a truly fun group to work with." Nick Braun
"What makes QStart Labs so great is the amazing team they have put together. Their team brings so much knowledge and expertise in areas of business beyond just technology. Having access to a trusted source like this within one company is extremely rare and valuable to new businesses." "I am confident that I make the right choice in partnering with QStart Labs to grow my business. Thanks QStart Labs!" Jennifer Boese
"There isn't enough room to express how great it was to work with the Qstart team in the development of our MVP, so I will summarize. When approached with the idea of developing our MVP in 24 hours I thought these guys must be good or just crazy. It turns out they are better than good - they are great." "From the campfire that went so smooth I think even the Qstart team was a little excited, to the development of the MVP which was done 24 hours after the campfire as promised. The project was perfect!" Haley Hougan
"You don't often come across development firms that really grasp the business and domain needs of their clients. QStart not only focused on our business problems, but were able to provide us with high quality and technically sound results under tight deadlines." Mark
"Kevin and his team have never failed to go above and beyond their contracted duties to assist us in any way we have asked-and several times without being asked. Being a Tech Startup can be very trying, to say the least. Having a "partner" that is willing to leverage their experience and bring real world knowledge and enthusiasm to every meeting is rare. QStart has been that company for us, and we are very grateful. I would (and always do) highly recommend them!" Mike Boyd
"Qstart Labs has maintained an exclusive relationship with Seamless Logistics for all of our technology needs. They have been exceptional to work with and have taken the normal expected frustrations when dealing with technology development out of the equation for us. Qstart Labs, and its team, have a proven system for web development." "Their customer service and professionalism have made them a joy to work with and I would highly recommend their services to any company looking to streamline their technology process to better enhance their business." Jack Tucker
"They definitely are professionals and experts in their field, allowing us to be professionals and experts in ours! Not only does our new website look great and boost our image, it is also highly functional and boosts our organization's productivity." Amy Szabo
"QStart Labs is the first technology company that actually aligns their interest to us as investors. Their business model allows NCT to increase speed-to-market and enhance our ROI." "We particularly like that QStart Labs is incentivized to help make our portfolio companies successful, and that we incur costs only when development is needed vs. internal overhead." Rich Langdale
"As a small and growing IT company, we are always at risk of making wrong decisions and turning into a path that might not be best for our long term vision and goals. Jeff and Kevin from QStart Labs went through the strategic planning session with us, and opened our eyes to a great methodology that will surely help us through our journey into success." "I really recommend this session to any start ups and small/medium businesses to help steer the team into ONE direction, to help identify and reach their short and long term goals collectively." Steve Hartono
"With Qstart Labs, you're getting an experienced and highly skilled Internet development team, whose main focus is creating an application that's "revenue ready" from Day One." "Azoti chose Qstart Labs specifically due to their experience building online marketplaces and eCommerce solutions as well as their start up business model that allows us to scale costs as we grow." David Ranallo
"The QStart Team has been a pleasure to work with as we at PackH2O have launched our web site and our commerce program. They have met all deadlines and have kept us abreast of all activities related to the launch on a daily basis. Great Team! I would highly recommend." Tony Somers
SpeakerSite"QStart Labs delivered incredible value in a condensed period of time through their campfire process. It was amazing how quickly they grasped what we were trying to do and the depth of knowledge and experience that they were able to bring to the process." "They challenged us, made us think in new and different ways, and delivered well above our already high expectations. Anyone considering any kind of web development project should first go through their campfire process." Andy Von Kennel
"As a start up company with a significant requirement for not only a strong development team, but also a business partner, we couldn't ask for more than our exceptional relationship with QStart Labs." "The QStart Labs team have been willing to help us every step of the way, building trust, respect, and ultimately a long term partnership that we believe in. I urge anyone who has development needs, or those who simply want another viewpoint on their product in leveraging QStart Labs' campfire process, to at least spend some time talking with them. Certainly worth your time." Rob Burns
"Recently at a big cross agency dinner in NYC and our PR lead turned to a QStart Labs team member and asked: 'how long have you worked at TruYuu?' This about sums up TruYuu and QStart's relationship." "QStart truly understands our business and is an indispensable part of our team. We would recommend them to any young companies trying to get up and running." Andy Von Kennel
"Our partnership with QStart Labs has allowed Mediplay to focus solely on growing our national network, without the need for an in-house development team. The work involved in putting together our online portal went far beyond the scope of a normal web interface. Their team of dedicated professionals took the time to understand the logistics of our third-party application and created a robust, user friendly interface that has scaled seamlessly with our business.
“QStart Labs took our ideas from being in our heads and on various pieces of paper to a fully functional site that surpassed our wildest expectations in ONE WEEK!” “They *%$#@ ROCK and we have to say that if you aren’t using their services, you’ve lost already.” Demetrius Curry
"The QStart Labs team has been instrumental in the development and implementation of our online application. They completed our project well ahead of schedule which was key to our company achieving important strategic objectives." "The professionalism, expertise and dedication they demonstrated are something to be admired and we highly recommend QStart Labs for any online design and development initiative that is critical or otherwise for your going concern." Orville C. Lynch, Jr
"We at Embrace were fortunate enough to be a growing company in a growing industry and needed to make sure that we did not outgrow our technology." "QStart helped us prepare for not only the present but the future growth that we expect and made us comfortable to grow our business with no restrictions. The partnership with QStart was like no other and we truly felt like they were part of our team. Michael Butler
"The one thing that really impressed me was the way your team made me feel not just like a customer but like a partner in the project. I felt like the QStart team cared not just about the specific job that we were working on and getting paid, but about my company and its overall goals." "I'd like to thank the QStart team for working hard, making yourselves available, and delivering a very nice website even in the seemingly impossible time-frame that you were given to work with. Many great sales leads were generated from it! You guys have a great thing going, and with the experience that you and your team bring to the table, I feel I am in very good hands for our future projects!" BJ Yurkovich
"Jeff and his organization [while at Interactive Ink] have proved to be an invaluable asset to our web project. Jeff and his staff are head and shoulders above previous companies hired to help produce our website. Jeff is exceedingly well versed in all areas of marketing technologies and brings innovative solutions and suggestions to our project." Vicki Wettrich
"The team at Qstart Labs was instrumental in helping TechColumbus document technical requirements for the redevelopment of our website." "Kevin, Kipp and Jeff's expertise helped create a clear vision for the developer who will take on the project, and as a result I expect the process to run much smoother than if we had attempted the task on our own." Wayne Henry
"The Campfire process was very helpful and gave us the ability to visualize our program and its functionality. We can see the possibilities. The QStart Labs team was highly responsive, very professional and the process was very effective." Dr. S Michael Camp
"I wanted to thank the QStart Labs team for the excellent, insightful and thought provoking campfire planning meeting. Although this is the third company I have started, your process of flow charting, white-boarding, and astute probing for positives and negatives that plague start ups was most impressive. I cannot recommend you company, expertise and spirit of cooperation highly enough." "The campfire fee was more than worthwhile when compared to the knowledge I gained from the process. Although there are many development companies out there to choose from, none have demonstrated QStart Labs' expertise and knowledge of the challenges that we start ups face." "What an extraordinary surprise to find QStart Labs was just as interested in my success as I was in succeeding. The campfire meeting actually gave us a jump start by helping improve our business model. The willingness of your management team to share their diverse, in-depth business knowledge was nothing short of phenomenal." Claire Marvin