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DQ General Partners: James Green, Arjun Singh, Oliver Palmer

Frequently asked questions.

Got questions? We’ve got answers! See if we’ve answered your questions below, and if not then get in touch. 

Is this an MBA alternative?

Some people have described working with the DQventures as an alternative to an MBA, as you learn a lot of new skills and gain a solid understanding of what’s involved in early stage entrepreneurship.

However an MBA usually costs between $50k – $200k and after graduating you still need to do the work needed to validate and launch your startup idea.

With DQventures, you skip the cost of an MBA and jump straight into doing the practical steps needed to validate an early stage business – with the end goal of creating a funded or profitable startup that enables you to quit your job.

How much does it cost?

We require you to contribute USD $20k towards the costs of validating your startup idea. 

This is invoiced in four monthly installments of $5k.

The first invoice is sent on the day you sign on with DQventures, with the remaining invoices sent the 1st business day of each month.

If at any point in the first month you change your mind and want to stop working with the DQ team, or if during the Problem Validation stage we all discover there isn’t actually a commercial problem that needs solving, we’ll cancel your remaining invoices.

Note: it costs us a lot more than $20k to validate a startup, but we cover the rest of the costs ourselves as our investment into you.

Is DQventures an accelerator / incubator?

No we’re not! Accelerators and incubators generally work in cohorts with large groups of people going through a program together, with the focus being on learning how to build and scale your startup. They don’t do any of the actual work for you, you have to do it all yourself.

DQventures works 1 on 1 with you, and we do a lot of the hands-on work ourselves. Every startup has different needs so the work will vary, as we act as your co-founder filling your skill gap but a few of the things we usually take care of for you include:

* plan, write copy for, design and build the landing pages / websites

* create and set up ad campaigns

* build the MVP and create documentation

* map out the GTM strategy (and then roll it out)

* develop your business plan

* write & design your pitch deck (if you decide you want to raise investment)

* incorporate the company with all legal paperwork

How much do you invest into my startup?

We don’t invest cash directly like a typical investor. Instead, we work on the idea inside DQventures and invest our own cash and internal resources doing whatever it takes to validate the idea. 

Note: other than your own $20k investment into this validation process, you won’t pay for any of the expenses involved – we pay for everything 

How much equity do you take?

When we incorporate the company you will own 80% and DQventures will own 20%. 

How long does it take?

It usually takes between 4 – 8 months to go through the full process. We go at your own pace.

Will I have time to do this alongside my job?

Absolutely – we go at your own pace, and our team does a lot of the work while you’re working in your current job. We have a one hour call each week, and ask that you find at least 2 extra hours each week to work alongside us.

Does DQventures stay involved after I raise funding?

Absolutely. Once you finish the DQventures validation process we’ll take a step back from the day to say work but we’ll remain as your team of advisors for whenever you need help or have questions. 

Ultimately, this is your company so you’ll take over the reigns once it has been incorporated. We’ll always be available for you in our Slack channel and with monthly office hours (optional) as your trusted advisors.

Am I legally allowed to do this while employed?

We’re unable to get legal advice, so we suggest to review your contract with a lawyer.

Common sense will also apply here, such as not working on your idea during work hours or on a work laptop / device.

Do I have to quit my corporate job at the end?

We do request that you don’t apply to partner with us unless you are willing to give up your corporate job once the startup is in a position to pay you a living wage.

Keep in mind that corporate salaries are generally much higher than startup founder salaries, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to replace your existing salary fully (at least not for a few years). 

Have a think about what the minimum salary is that you’d need to support yourself (and your family, if applicable), and we can chat together before you partner with DQventures about whether that would be feasible or not as a starting salary.

What happens if my startup idea fails validation?

There are a few different stages where the startup might fail validation.

During the problem validation stage, we may find that there isn’t a specific group of people who experience this problem deeply enough to care.

During the idea validation stage, we may find nobody wants the solution you’ve envisioned (or any other iterations of it we’ve thought of).

During the business model validation stage, we may find that people want the solution but nobody is willing to pay for it (or it’s not commercially viable due to low margins or low revenue per user).

During the MVP validation phase, although by this point we should have heavily de-risked things, there’s still a chance that it may fail validation if we’re unable to get obtain your first group of paying customers. 

We’ll never make a decision without you also being in agreement, so you’ll have the option at each stage of the process to stop if we all believe that validation is failing. 

If you decide to stop before all 4 invoices have been issued, we’ll cancel your future invoices so you won’t have to pay for them.

If your startup fails validation at the end of the whole process, we’ve both lost a bit of money but luckily you hadn’t quit your job to try this out!

Do I have to raise funding at the end?

You don’t have to, but unless we’ve already got your company generating enough profits to pay yourself a salary then we do recommend it. Being able to go full time on your startup makes a huge difference, to both the company itself and also your own well being!