Finding the right CTO for your startup

Finding the right CTO for your startup
Finding the right CTO for your startup

Within start-ups, the CTO, or Chief Technology Officer, is involved in making important technical decisions. Therefore, finding the right person for the job is one of the most important decisions you will have to make.

What is the role of a CTO?

The CTO has a key role in the success of a project as they choose the technologies needed to create a product and they control the entire development process.

However, the role of your CTO will differ depending on where you company is and what resources are available. For instance, if you are at the start of your journey, they will likely have to work on the product themselves.

Why find a CTO?

A CTO can help you to make better decisions about the tech stack, avoid aberrated costs, and deliver the product to the market quickly.

They direct the work of the subordinates and are responsible for the organisation’s research and development. Not only does a CTO have a strong tech background but they are also able to ensure that business goals and the development process always go hand in hand.

If you consider your own technical expertise to be high enough, you could consider taking on the role as CTO next to being CEO. Although, whether this is a good idea depends on the type of product you’re building: an extremely high-tech product might need a CTO, but a less high-tech SaaS product might not.

Questions to ask a potential CTO before joining

There are certain qualities that you will find in a good CTO, including:

  • Communication skills – communication is not just talking, it’s also about listening. A CTO with good communication skills, will be able to understand what you need, helping you to negotiate and achieve your goals.
  • Teamwork – you need to find someone who is a team player, some one who puts the success of the team above their own. Therefore, look for people who say “we” more often than “me.”
  • Emotional stability –the first few months of a start-up can feel like a rollercoaster, everyday there are new problems, and many will probably feel like giving up. Your CTO must be able to maintain emotional stability to be able to function in this kind of environment.
  • Long-term thinking – there is no such thing as one-day success. Search for CTOs who look five to ten years ahead and can be good leaders.
  • Technical expertise – this may seem like a no-brainer, but it is still important to note. There is a huge amount of tooling and software libraries available for many routine tasks that software developers face. Knowing what exists and the pros and cons of each tool and library can save your company a huge amount of time and money.

When looking for a CTO consider asking questions that highlight these skills.

Platforms to find CTO

The internet is a potent tool in today’s world. Make sure you make the best use of it and benefit from its huge pool of talented professionals. There is an endless list of platforms, many of which are dedicated to finding technical professionals such as a CTO. Here are some examples:

  • CoFoundersLab
  • Founders Nation
  • co
  • Indie Hackers
  • Co-founder’s subreddit on
  • Co-founding threads on Discordapp and Slack channels.
  • LinkedIn


When you start the journey to find your CTO make sure you are clear about your requirements. A potential CTO should be willing to take some risks, but you’re going to have to show him/her a potential reward too.

Beginning with the expected set of responsibilities and enduring through the offer, remember that the best CTOs will have many offers. You must sell the job to them all through the meeting procedure.

If you would like further advice on procuring a Chief Technology Officer for your start-up, contact our team now.

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