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Looking for startup partner

falmouth02540

Plastic
Joined
Jan 2, 2024
I'm looking for a startup partner in the Boston area. Please direct message me if you'd like to work on a stealth-mode startup. Will be a combination of prototyping, small scale production and product development. I'm experienced as an engineer and am looking for a hands-on partner to build something great in the area. Don't care about criminal background, credit or education, just what you can do.
 
Your post sounds enough like a scam bait but, assuming you're legit:

Break up your parts into separate designs and drawings. Send each to various sources (Xometry, SendCutSend, etc.). It reduces the ability for one person to have all the pieces. Do your own development. Anybody with the manufacturing capability is going to be stuck taking all the financial risk (machinery, tooling, software, rent) while hands are waved around and debating about whether or not something might have a market.

When you have sales of your parts or at very least a pre-production prototype, you will have something to offer a partner. If you don't want to spend $100-200K on developing your design, there is no reason a manufacturer would want to invest their own. That's realistically what any capable small shop likely has tied up in equipment, software, a building, etc.

At the point the manufacturing makes sense, someone will come along that will manufacture it for you, where you both stand to profit: you from your proven design(s) and them from their proven manufacturing.

If you find someone in a similar industry who already has the manufacturing capability, they probably won't want to even talk to you out of fear of intellectual property claims over something they tangentially might already work on or have ideas about. I have people constantly wanting to talk to me about their next great idea and partnership and my answer is always, 100%, no, not interested.
 
Thanks, that makes sense and sorry for the open-ended scammy sound to it. I'm looking to set up a scalable onshore manufacturer, bootstrapping it with prototyping and small production runs but ultimately want to develop my own products if that makes sense. You're right there's a lot of financial risk tied up in machinery, inventory, but I think that's where a lot of the horsepower of the work is, and therefore the value that accrues to the expertise developed.

Can I ask when you've turned down ideas, is it bc you are successful enough in your own path or is it bc you don't want to take on so much counterparty risk?
 
If you have a good idea/produuct an existing machine shop might give you credit manufacturing for a piece of the action.
You did not say if you need financing or manufacturing.
If financing then you should give some ballpark of amount.IMHO.

I am retired so not interested unless something about grinding.
 
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Well, it sounds like you're going to possibly be a self-manufacturer like many of the people on here. Welcome aboard. :D

With vague descriptions, it's impossible to give good guidance. The problem is that machines cost money to buy, maintain, store, pay taxes on, etc, etc. Every minute the machine runs, there is basic wear (depreciation), there is the possibility of blowing expensive electronics, or a cutter path zigging when it should have zagged and crashing and damaging something. It happens more often than you might think. It's usually minor but, a clanked tool turret on a lathe might require a visit from the repair guys and days of lost production.

The machine sitting idle, doing nothing is bad but, running the business through its paces for zero income is far worse. For the owner to stop, invest four hours in some future product is four billable hours they need to make from the future of their investment before they break even, much less 'profit.' Consider that a deposit into the owed or invested column.

I argue shops should be closer to $150/hour but, lets use $100 for round numbers. Four hours is $400. Four hours for ten weeks is $4,000. No money for expendables, it keeps the owner from bidding or performing other work, etc. Maybe some prototypes get built. Materials are bought. The dollar counter is spinning.

The investment by the engineer is simply their time. Yes, you have experience, schooling and intellectual property but, you can walk away with nothing invested but your time and everything learned is portable. You can abandon and go somewhere else knowing all that you discovered.

You're also asking for the manufacturing experience which is just as vital and cost the owner an investment in their own schooling (self or formal), trade shows, trade magazines, etc. The manufacturer is left with rent every month and taxes every year. They could be $25K invested in a very short time and left with needing to pay that off.

Why would I not want to be involved in something like above? Because I have plenty of my own ideas to chase and risks to take without getting financially tied up with someone else's financial expectations.

If I'm working on my own product and you happen to be around, you might suggest something you think is novel and I had already considered. If you start feeling entitled to share in the profits, it would damage our primary relationship. I'm not interested in intellectual property arguments within my own business. I don't want to buy business insurance for whatever market you might be interested in but, I will be the one holding the assets to get a judgement against.

So your choices are: become a self-manufacturer or figure out how you can get the products made by separate business entities. There will be other opinions as soon as someone finds something they don't like in my post. 🤣
 
I think the OP needs to clarify what he's looking for. I read his post and thought he was looking for a business partner or for a shop manager/first employee/machinist/manufacturing mentor. Maybe others are reading it correctly???
 
Ok @Donkey Hotey, I'll be that contrarian voice.

Product development followed by small scale manufacturing is a big part of what we do. The time spent at the beginning can be a loss on projects that don't take off, but it's always a learning experience.

The investment by the engineer is simply their time. Yes, you have experience, schooling and intellectual property but, you can walk away with nothing invested but your time and everything learned is portable. You can abandon and go somewhere else knowing all that you discovered.
Outside of smashing a spindle I feel like this applies to me without being the engineer.

Overall I've had good experiences working with various crackpot inventors; weed out the perpetual motion guys and anyone trying for 180 miles per gallon (burning water) and you're fine.
 
Why not hire the people you need instead of entering into a partnership?

I rented a space, bought machines and hired people.

Cost a lot less than a partnership that doesn't work out.
 
Had a business partner once. Never again. Luckily I learned this lesson without losing too much money or time.

What does a partner provide that an employee can't?

If it's money you need, then look for an investor, not a partner.
 
Well, it sounds like you're going to possibly be a self-manufacturer like many of the people on here. Welcome aboard. :D

With vague descriptions, it's impossible to give good guidance. The problem is that machines cost money to buy, maintain, store, pay taxes on, etc, etc. Every minute the machine runs, there is basic wear (depreciation), there is the possibility of blowing expensive electronics, or a cutter path zigging when it should have zagged and crashing and damaging something. It happens more often than you might think. It's usually minor but, a clanked tool turret on a lathe might require a visit from the repair guys and days of lost production.

The machine sitting idle, doing nothing is bad but, running the business through its paces for zero income is far worse. For the owner to stop, invest four hours in some future product is four billable hours they need to make from the future of their investment before they break even, much less 'profit.' Consider that a deposit into the owed or invested column.

I argue shops should be closer to $150/hour but, lets use $100 for round numbers. Four hours is $400. Four hours for ten weeks is $4,000. No money for expendables, it keeps the owner from bidding or performing other work, etc. Maybe some prototypes get built. Materials are bought. The dollar counter is spinning.

The investment by the engineer is simply their time. Yes, you have experience, schooling and intellectual property but, you can walk away with nothing invested but your time and everything learned is portable. You can abandon and go somewhere else knowing all that you discovered.

You're also asking for the manufacturing experience which is just as vital and cost the owner an investment in their own schooling (self or formal), trade shows, trade magazines, etc. The manufacturer is left with rent every month and taxes every year. They could be $25K invested in a very short time and left with needing to pay that off.

Why would I not want to be involved in something like above? Because I have plenty of my own ideas to chase and risks to take without getting financially tied up with someone else's financial expectations.

If I'm working on my own product and you happen to be around, you might suggest something you think is novel and I had already considered. If you start feeling entitled to share in the profits, it would damage our primary relationship. I'm not interested in intellectual property arguments within my own business. I don't want to buy business insurance for whatever market you might be interested in but, I will be the one holding the assets to get a judgement against.

So your choices are: become a self-manufacturer or figure out how you can get the products made by separate business entities. There will be other opinions as soon as someone finds something they don't like in my post. 🤣


WOW!

Look who's been binge-ing on the All Black channel?
The over-drama here is alive and well.... :rolleyes5:


Good grief, if you don't want to doo it that much - walk away ....
Nobody's got a gun to your head - other than possibly yourself over this...

1704299099882.png


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I am Ox and I approve this post!
 
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Good grief, if you don't want to doo it - walk away ....
Hey, I wanted him to understand what part(s) of the deal might not be appealing to the other side. From the engineer side, every one of these things seems like an awesome 'opportunity' to get in on. If they don't believe in it, how would they convince others?

At the same time, they don't have direct experience with what all the manufacturing side involves. He can tailor his wants and approach with a full understanding of what a potential partner would have in mind.

I have no dog in his fight but, literally spent new years day with a good friend trying to convince me to "just design and build" about $25K worth of equipment and get rich from the licensing of this newfangled mouse trap.
 
Well apparently you at least have a cock in the fight!

For Petey's sakes - spindle crashing on sample parts?
But you don't routinely crash spindles for paying customers?

Hours for one guy not the same as hours for another guy?
You own a mill and even tho you walked away from it, hit the red button, AND shut off the air, the thing is still wearing out end mills and crashing spindles at the rate of $100 hour?

Apparently we don't run the same [brand?] machines and highly likely don't use the same programming methods.
I don't have those issues over here.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 
For Petey's sakes - spindle crashing on sample parts?
But you don't routinely crash spindles for paying customers?
As always: not posting all the details for brevity. I'll give an example. A good friend wanted I think ten parts made. Seemingly simple. Not necessarily straight vise and parallels job but, could be done that way. It really should have been in soft jaws but, I tried to do it cheap for him. Didn't bid anything for wearing out cutters or anything else because it wasn't that much material removal.

Only problem was: it was long, side milling and I wasn't gripping much of the block. On the third or forth part, it sucked the block out of the Kurt, jammed between the cutter and vise and snapped a brand new 1" carbide end mill. All of the "beer money" went out the window in that instant and it ended up costing me to do the job.

Another example might be custom cutters necessary for the job. You know that outsiders have no appreciation for what tools cost. We don't blink at $25 for a carbide drill but, that blows most people's mind. They think you just have a drill index and pull out a drill and who wears out drills?
 
I get that partnerships involve risk, but so does everything. The whole point of a partnership is to divide the risk between partners. As long as one party isn't assuming all of the financial burden and risk, it makes sense. Hiring a job shop(s) for producing prototypes gets expensive very quickly, in both money and time. For a company that expects to produce prototypes and quickly iterate the design thereof, paying the tooling and minimum time fees, and waiting weeks for parts is simply unacceptable. To me, someone with experience in a high-tech startup, an engineer seeking to partner with a manufacturer is a smart move, his inexperience in the 'other' field is not a bottleneck that way. The two can work together, things get done in hours, not weeks, and they both have a stake in the company. (The manufacturer won't be tempted to leave and start a competing business like an employee would be tempted to do, nor will the engineer be tempted to fire the manufacturer after learning enough of his trade, as is also possible) Have a competent lawyer draw up some articles of copartnership; nobody gets skinned or takes the money (and IP) and runs, and off you go.
 
I had a business partner several times .....all worked out well for me .....the last partner was a flake ,a nutcase,a bignoter ,and pathological cheater on wives.......(not a very good one either) ......Id known him for a lot of years ,and he was reliable and competent.....thats all you need.
 
Thanks, that makes sense and sorry for the open-ended scammy sound to it. I'm looking to set up a scalable onshore manufacturer, bootstrapping it with prototyping and small production runs but ultimately want to develop my own products if that makes sense. You're right there's a lot of financial risk tied up in machinery, inventory, but I think that's where a lot of the horsepower of the work is, and therefore the value that accrues to the expertise developed.

Can I ask when you've turned down ideas, is it bc you are successful enough in your own path or is it bc you don't want to take on so much counterparty risk?
That's a shipload of management speak right there...
 








 
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