First of all, this question is not about "how to save a startup", it's about some possible career opportunities, so I think it fits the rules of Workplace SE.
I am a lead developer in a small tech startup that has not yet got any investments, we've been performing really nice and won 2 hackathons. Now we and a couple of other selected projects are being mentored by some international experts and we're likely to be a favorite.
Everything seems to be very very nice so far, but there's one problem. It's not as if we've been cheating or whatever, all the demos we've been showing were built with our tool, 100% fair. But the promises of marketing guys are insanely exaggerated, the idea itself has been evolving, and now it requires stuff that we can't do and can't afford. It's not as if I was a pessimist or hysteric or whatever, but without really huge investments what they are claiming we do is IMPOSSIBLE (and we won't get it because we can't even show the MVP for the current idea).
- We're likely to be favorite, mentors (which are all non-tech) like our idea
- I am the only developer that is working right on the product, not the stuff that comes alongside like promotion sites, etc
- The team is TOO OPTIMISTIC about the opportunities, despite the fact that I have explicitly pointed out the problem, many times, not by giving some transparent hint, but by explicitly saying that we won't handle that. They seem not to be listening at all.
So, we're likely either to go down silently fading and stopping to attract attention, or the fact that our marketing guys have been constantly exaggerating (whilst we were showing not so awesome as they were saying demos) will be revealed.
The latter is much worse and I would like to avoid getting that stain on my reputation, so, why then am I participating? (that's not the question I'm asking here :))
As I've said, there are some cool guys mentoring us, and I was making some contacts, exchanging business cards, etc.
Is it possible in this situation - and, if so, how? - to make use of these contacts? I am a good developer and I have an impressive CV. Is that possible in such a situation to get a job offer from these guys or maybe some recommendation to join another projects that's not such a nonsense?
I know that it's quite a broad question, so to narrow it, how would some approach a business owner in the position like described to get better career opportunities? (I am going to leave my project anyway).
Sorry for such a long story, but I believe that without the details the full picture would be lost.
Thanks, Kate K.