Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Starting an Open Source Startup

What you need to know before starting your own open source startup

Starting your own startup can be both very similar and very different to starting your own business, or even starting an open source project. It provides you the opportunity to be your own boss and control your destiny, while working on something that you are passionate about that can make a positive impact on the world. A startup, however, is different in that it's expected to grow rapidly and reach a high level of revenue, often raising money from investors to expedite this growth. There are many ways to start successful businesses, and a rapid growth startup is only one of them.

Open source startups are great for the open source community, and we will all benefit from having more of them started. They bring in more contributors, and enable more people to work on open source software full time, making for more quality open source software. Successful open source startups also tend to contribute to upstream projects, both financially and with code contributions, making the whole ecosystem better. While there is a lot of information online about starting your own startup, there is much less information about starting open source ones.

In this talk Tom will talk about why you should or should not start an open source startup, and what you need to consider when building an open source startup, covering topics such as fundraising, business model, product, and more. Tom will draw examples from his experience building two successful open source businesses, one of which has raised over $10m in venture capital, and the experiences of fellow founders of other successful open source startups.


Photo of Tom Hacohen (tasn) Tom Hacohen (tasn)