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Any advice about getting gigs doing dataviz/programming in R to help bootstrap my startup?

I'd like to generate some extra cash to help bootstrap my startup and push development/product iteration across the finish line in terms of getting initial pilots with our first clients. I've noticed on a few discussions on FD a number of founders who were doing consulting gigs on the side to help bootstrap.

For those of you here who have expertise in R programming (or data analysis consulting in general), do you have any advice on how to get started on small gigs in the Bay Area?

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William Grosso
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William Grosso Entrepreneur
CEO, Scientific Revenue
Go to an R meetup with some consulting cards.
Corey Butler
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Corey Butler Advisor
Entrepreneur, Consultant, & Web/Data Engineer
I've been a consultant and entrepreneur for over 15yrs, and it's still hard to find "side gigs" that leave enough time for the startup or enough money to help. Beware of what you're getting into.

I agree with William... go to meetups. Here in Austin we have a reasonably sized R group, but our group is pretty knowledgeable and there aren't many leads... mostly people looking for work. Go to web meetups, data visualization meetups, and other startup events. Also consider any kind of business analytics meetups where there are folks who may need more advanced work than what they can do in Excel. Remember that your consulting services are best received by people who don't already have knowledge in your subject matter expertise.

Finally, most of the smaller side gigs I've landed lately start with requests I respond to on Twitter. I've also partnered up with small local tech/consulting shops in town who need a quick hired gun here and there. Bottom line is side gigs are hard to come by and are a completely different line of business. Finding them requires time. Clients pay late, require proposals, require insurance, require legal contracts, work orders, and often like to "hurry up and wait".

One of my early ventures was a DW/BI consulting practice, so over time I amassed a lot of the soft infrastructure and IP to do this quickly... but just because it's side work doesn't make it any less of a business. If you don't do it right, there's also a risk to your new startup. Make sure you cannot be classified as an employee and that you're keeping any IP you develop separate from your future business. In some states, this means having more than one gig to show you're not dependent on a client for a living.

Best of luck!!
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