How to quit the startup I founded during fundraising?

I co-founded a startup that’s currently bootstrapped and is running out of money fast. We are currently raising a seed round, and it’s unclear whether it will be successful– It really could go either way. Regardless of the outcome, I know I want to leave the company. How and when is the appropriate time to tell my co-founders, potential investors, and advisors?

  • This is probably one of the best questions – when is the right time to quit, and how to do it. Sadly… can’t provide any input on that.

  • Before the money is in the door. It would be unfair to your investors (and in turn your partners who would have to deal with those investors) to leave soon after closing a round. You could position this in the right way without harming the company too much (i.e. you are leaving as you now realize you are not cut out for start-ups, even if that might not be your real reason).

  • I would suggest you first tell your co-founders. This may allow them to potentially mitigate your interest in leaving… perhaps to have you as an advisor or to locate someone else.

    I myself left a startup of which I was a cofounder (4) which was in the middle of raising its first round. I lost faith in the startup but because it also required me to relocate, the rest of the team was able to spin it as me changing my mind on relocating. The CEO was a slick salesman so was able to pepper over me leaving halfway.

    The startup got its funding but died a year later as I expected but thinking back it was a missed opportunity to learn on someone else’s dime.

  • Now is the time, lingering will affect you and others who are actually motivated to do something big out of this fundraising. Maybe you can start your transition now, it is going to very difficult for your other co-founders to explain this exit to the potential investors but it can get worse later.

  • You’ve got to tell the team ASAP. It’s not fair to the investors who are being misrepresented about the team that they’re backing.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    You may also like