We are three cofounders aspiring to start an online business. Our team makeup: business student (“CEO”), ux designer/front-end dev, and product owner/back-end dev. Between the three of us, we can bring our product to market.

We have the side and we have the business side. We have our mvp draft mockups and userflows and are ready to start dev.

However, active business student (“CEO”) wanted us to join a program at her university. This program provides more support for “pre-seed” with $000, and ~8 workshops on business topics related to launching a company. We wanted to join not for the “$” as we can bootstrap ourselves, but to cover any potential “business” knowledge gaps we might have.

This program at the university, however, “require” us to bring in 2 more additional active student business resources (“CFO” and “CMO” with no previous experience in the role), as the program is from a university and the developers (ux designer/front-end dev, and po/back-end dev) are not students.

This is the proposed split between the five of us:

“CEO” – 28%
UX Desginer / FE dev – 18%
PO / Back-end dev – 18%
“CFO” – 18%
“CMO” – 18%

If we did not join the program, our equity split agreement would be more or less split into 3.

What are your thoughts given this context–should we continue on with the program and give up 36% of our “pre-seed” equity to “strangers”?

Appreciate your advice!

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