How To Research Startups Looking For a Growth Hacker?

This is an extended response to a question I answered on Quora:

“How do I do research on which companies to help in Europe as growth hacker?”

There are two ways to look at this:

  1. Find amazing startups that have some funding behind them and are growing quickly.
  2. Find startups that are struggling with growth and often as a result are not funded.

There are pros and cons to both. If you are extremely confident in your skill set then working with a struggling startup can really give you an environment to prove your skills. However, make sure you find a startup that has an incredible founding team and product. You will not have much impact growing a sub-par product and doing so will prove extremely frustrating.

If you are not as confident and are just beginning to get your feet wet, you may want to join a startup that is growing like crazy with an insane mastermind fueling the companies growth. This environment will allow you to learn from the master and become great. It also builds your credibility in the field. Now on how to find the right startups to target.

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How to find these growing startups:

Use tools like Mattermark, Crunchbase, and AngelList. Search for companies and find the ones that are just beginning to break out. Mattermark has a trial where you can develop your targeted list. Use filters to limit your search for startups within Europe or whatever metro city area are in. Continue to refine your search with filters for funding, industry, and stage. Then sort by Mattermark growth score. Due to the filtering Mattermark will be the one of  the best methods for finding these startups.

Tip: Startups that have just closed a round of funding are extremely likely ramp up recruiting/hiring efforts. 

AngelList Method

For AngelList just start searching and see what startups are getting featured. The jobs search feature will help a lot. Many startups are using AngelList as a primary place to source talent.

Heres how to go about using AngelList to find startups looking for growth hackers/marketers. You need to create a profile on AngelList if you intend to send these startups messages. The more you add to your profile the better.

  1. Go to AngelList – Open Click “Jobs” in the menu. Currently there are over 11,000 startups hiring on AngelList.
  2. Geographic Filter – Now we need to apply filters to narrow your search to startups that match your desired criteria. We are going to start by narrowing by location, in this case Europe. That narrows our search to 1,641 startups.
  3. Skills Filter – Next filter we are going to add is the skill, “Growth Hacking”. That narrows our search to 47 startups. This gives you a really targeted list of startups to pursue that are looking for your experience.
  4. Learn About These New Found Startups – The next step is to do further examination of each of these startups. Learn about their product and the founding team. Click a startup name then go to the about page of that startup. Scroll down to see the founders and info about the product.
  5. Targeted List – Use this to create your targeted list. I recommend you organize this in a Google Sheet. I am currently working on a post with multiple templates that you can use. Subscribe to my email list to be notified when I publish it.
  6. Apply To – Then to contact the companies click the “Apply to” button on the company you are interested in. Then write a brief note to the company. I recommend you make it personal to each startup by using the founders name and speaking directly to the role you are applying for. You may also want to follow this up with an email to the founder. I tend to do both. 

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