I enjoy talking to entrepreneurs about their startup, what’s working, what’s not working, and where things are headed. When entrepreneurs reach out to me I usually try to get the conversation going over email before jumping on a phone call or grabbing lunch as I want to casually gauge how much help I might be able to offer.
One of my favorite questions for screening entrepreneurs is: are you working full-time on the startup? It might seem obvious that the entrepreneur would be working full-time on their startup if they’re reaching out for help but a decent percentage of the time the entrepreneur isn’t and one of the reasons for reaching out is that they want third-party validation of the idea. Of course, customer validation is a much better route to take but it still isn’t mainstream.
Not everyone can go full-time on their startup idea due to financial challenges, and I understand that. If they aren’t full-time (part-time entrepreneurship isn’t ideal), I look to help more via email and referring to programs like Flashpoint and mentors at the ATDC. I prefer working with full-time entrepreneurs since they are 100% committed to the venture and make significantly more progress than the part-timers.
What else? What are some other ways to do quick entrepreneur screening besides the full-time question?