Software Development For Startups: How To Start and What Pitfalls To Avoid


Vasyl Khmil



4 min read

4 min read

The startup culture is fast-paced, dynamic, and constantly evolving. To stay competitive, C-level managers need to innovate, scale, and surprise both investors and end-users. Without the power of technology, it’s hard to keep up with tech-savvy competitors. That’s why startups inevitably consider reaching out to third-party vendors.

In this post, we will share tips on hiring tech vendors for startups — you’ll learn about what to look for in a team, get a checklist to support the hiring campaign, and maximize the efficiency of talent sourcing for software development.

Article content

  1. What startup founders should take into account when looking for software vendors
  2. How to find the right startup tech vendor
  3. Why business owners should outsource to Ukraine
  4. Conclusion

What Startup Founders Should Take Into Account When Looking For Software Vendors

If you are looking for someone to handle app development for startups, make sure to take the following points into account:

1. Vendor’s flexibility

Prioritizing vendor flexibility will help you cut back on feedback loops, reduce time-to-market, and help save money when hiring and maintaining a large team. A team that handles software development for startups should be flexible enough to handle unplanned business requirements or deadline changes. A startup needs a flexible, educated and professional team that is well-versed in web and mobile software development for startups, testing, and more.

2. Experience working in a particular industry

The lack of domain knowledge within tech teams is one of the reasons why some projects fail to resonate with target audiences while others are highly relevant to end-users. Here’s why you should hire a developer who has experience working on projects in your industry:

  • Familiarity with the target audience — how tech-savvy and educated the audience is, which features end-users prefer, etc.
  • A better understanding of business requirements. A team that develops products similar to yours will understand what objectives you want the product to achieve. As a result, these professionals will excel at translating business requirements to code, helping you meet KPIs and drive revenue.
  • Knowledge of best practices and trends. If, as a startup founder, you reach out to a team that develops primarily startup-oriented software, you can be confident that the vendor knows the best practices on the market, is familiar with tools that can empower an efficient tech infrastructure on a budget and can build a product with a focus on appealing to VC investors.

3. Development rates

Most startup owners can’t compete with global corporations in terms of attracting talent with high salaries. If you are bootstrapped, it’s natural to look for affordable development talent.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to find skilled vendors in software development for startups that don’t charge a dime. For one, you can consider new hiring models such as offshore and nearshore application development outsourcing.

4. The ability to further support/scale products

A company needs to be able to support the product and its tech infrastructure for years, and deal with scaling challenges like traffic spikes, security threats, and more.
If you want to ‘change horses’ in the middle of a product’s lifecycle, the new team will need more time to understand the specifics of the process, develop scalability strategies and contingency plans, etc.
To avoid these inconveniences, look for long-term collaboration with single and reliable software development vendor.

How to Find the Right Startup Tech Vendor

As the demand for tech talent is now higher than ever, looking for a vendor can take a lot of time — especially if you are not sure what type of professional you need. To speed up and facilitate software development for startups, take a look at this short checklist on hiring software developers for a startup.

  • Identify tasks and budget. Determine what type of product you want to develop, how many OS it should be available on, and which features are essential to the software. Once you have that information, estimate the budget you are willing to invest in.
  • Take a look at the candidate’s portfolio. Choose vendors with projects similar to yours, who describe their cases openly, mention challenges as well as achievements, and offer data-driven proof of the product’s functionality.
  • Check the tech stack the team is working with. Ask candidates to specify the list of programming languages and tools they use when working on software development for startups. Swift, Kotlin, Angular, and React are among the most sought-after technologies for mobile and web app development thanks to their versatility and scalability.
  • Check testimonials from previous clients. Ask vendors to list LinkedIn profiles of several referrals — this way, you can ensure a developer’s credibility and experience in tech.
  • Come up with a list of pressing questions for an interview. Find out how large the team is, and which stages of software development the vendor typically handles. Discuss which project management and communication frameworks a vendor uses, and how/when/for what do they charge payments. In addition, ensure that the software team is ready to support the product after the release.
  • Discuss the possible risks and ways they will be managed. Find out how the team deals with requirement changes, productivity issues, changes in governmental policies, and other risks. Make sure to assign someone responsible for contingency planning — this way, there will be a person accountable for dealing with unforeseen threats.
  • Negotiate contract terms and conditions. Specify the confidential data governance policy, detail pricing and the payment methods, declare any agreement termination conditions in full.

Why Business Owners Should Outsource to Ukraine

Desktop and mobile development outsourcing are the most comfortable ways to find tech talent. It’s also one of the cheapest ways to hire skilled developers with affordable hourly rates. Out of the most popular tech outsourcing destinations, Ukraine is extremely promising, and here’s why:

  • Vast talent pool — over 160,000 software developers
  • Low rates on software development for startups — a developer’s median salary in Ukraine is $24,000/yr compared to $71,000/yr in America.
  • No Visa requirements — residents of over 65 countries can visit Ukraine with no need for a Visa. Similarly, Ukrainian software vendors can freely stay in 67 countries for up to 90 days.
  • Mature IT market — ranking 24th in the list of top markets specializing in software development services for startups worldwide.
  • High tech expertise — there are 15 officially accredited technical schools in Ukraine, all of which offer STEM courses.
  • Good project management skills — high cultural affinity to Western countries, intermediate English proficiency, well-developed work ethics, and workplace subordination.


Tech expertise is a make-or-break factor for startup owners looking for professionals to partner with. Without an experienced software vendor on board, the project might not be as competitive as it should be in a fast-paced market. Having round-the-clock access to tech professionals.  So, startup owners can scale their products smoothly, prepare for risks, and attract more users to their products.

If you are looking for a software vendor to help build or support your product, contact Nerdzlab. Our team is geared directly towards startup development and support, with dozens of completed projects in fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, and other industries. Our developers will help you create a mobile app, website or other digital products. Leave us a message to let us know about the project you have in mind!