Here's a facile but still pretty accurate answer I think: figure out what non-technical skills are core requirements for a successful startup, find the one most closely matching your own skillset, and pitch yourself as the best fit to fill that role -- and/or sharpen up your personal skillset if you're not yet a perfect match for the key types of non-tech roles that startups need. So what key types of non-tech roles am I talking about. That's not a simple answer but here's a really rough taxonomy I find myself working from constantly as I staff my own startup and mentor founders. In no particular order. Some major skill areas:* Technical (coding) - The premise of the question. Can you write code, the question pre-supposes no so assume this doesn't apply to you. But worth mentioning that there are different kinds of technical coding roles. Most startups will need some degree of hardcore coding skills (building algorithms, dynamic or DB driven websites, API integration, application development, etc) but most also have "softer" coding requirements like CSS and visual design related tasks that are only partially "CompSci" in nature, installing and configuring more standard codebases like say the company's wordpress blog, or perhaps changes to look/feel layout that require some PHP skills but aren't big thorny technical challenges. Most non technical people (correctly) feel the gulf is too wide to just jump to being a software architect, but learning how to be useful as part of a team and have some interaction with coding/development is a lower hurdle if you have some grounding in the basic concepts and some innate talent could be a stepping stone. LIke perhaps you have a really great eye for look and feel and can crash course yourself into some basic but solid CSS knowledge and work up from there. * Technical (non coding) - This is an area that people often overlook I think. There are many, many, many tasks in most startups that are somewhat technical in nature but don't require being a real programmer. For example, think about what problem the business is trying to solve. Chances are there are metrics, some math or science or analytics that are relevant, and so on. If one has a base of analytical skill and a precision "engineer" mindset but no formal background, they can be more than useful. To give a very specific example, early on in an project of mine I was referred to junior staffer who'd left a friend's company that had a background in econometrics and statistical analysis from his undergrad degree. I was building a calculation engine. He had no ability to write code at all but he knew how to do analysis and was hyper fluent in Excel. We worked to create a modeling engine (ie enter in data about a person, calculate derived results) and did the entire thing as a set of Excel files. Then he wrote up a very clearly written ruleset -- think "module B outputs a numerical answer denominated in tons by use of user inputs X, Y, Z, derived as (4X+Y)/Z and passes it to the module C" -- and we sent those rules plus the spreadsheets to a veteran developer who had no trouble coding them into an Ajax style calculation engine, and didn't need to know anything about how the underlying science worked, just how the variables interacted in the documentation. That was an invaluable skill. * Semi-technical - Things like sysadmin work, user administration, etc. Often people who have come up though the time honored path of working in college computer labs or on help desks have valuable skills just knowing how to keep machines up and running, which are immediately useful, and are keen on learning more about development, so they can chip in right away helping admin various systems and add skill as they go. Also in this category is QA/QC/testing, which a person with a solid analytical background (ie most natural sciences, applied sciences that build models like econ, etc) can pick up really quickly. I would also put project management into this category. If you give me a really fantastic, organized, and action oriented person with an ability to give precise instruction and document specs and defects you can use an offshore team or many other tools to build a killer site. If your brilliant programmers don't have these skills you're going nowhere. Both are required, and I'm sure many people who would call themselves non-technical have the rigor to be project managers, perhaps that's you. * Writing/communication - This skill I think is often severely overlooked and is invaluable. I don't think there are *any* early stage startups that wouldn't benefit from another person on hand who is truly great at communicating via the written word. You can always get value from another well written insightful blog post, a clear and concise pitch/intro email, a killer FAQ, great elevator pitches and one-paragraph and one-page sell sheets or overview summaries, or great client facing content explaining how to use your product or why yours beats the other choices. It can take a few days to teach a good writer how to write for a certain audience or how to follow good style for a blog or social media, or learn some jargon needed for business pitches/proposals. It will take a decade to turn a poor writer who understands the concepts into a great writer though. You could put PR, and ability to get free (editorial) coverage into this category too. * Sales/Pitching - Everyone knows this one but it's still crucial of course. There are three things I see as the key attributes here. One is the obvious, interpersonal skills, being engaging and able to inspire trust, being charismatic. The two others which sales people know but perhaps are less obvious are the ability to take rejection (fearlessness) and the ability to "close." I would define the latter as the ability to be exactly pushy enough to get a deal done. It's not all glengarry glen ross stuff. Over the top sales isn't appropriate for every client or market niche. Closing ability is a real skill that requires bring right at that line where you get it done but not over it into mindless boiler room hardsell techniques. That hardcore sales thing is required in some fields but not all. If you don't consider yourself sales oriented because you're not a douchebag, but you are fearless and convincing maybe think about it again. * Domain expertise/relationships - What does the startup do? There definitely are startups that are using technology AND also in the business of technology. Companies like 37 signals maybe. In this case this area is synthesized. I would say most startups are not in this category though (especially the interesting ones) and skill in the domain is key. A company like Zappos needs e-commerce people and it needs "shoe people" too of course. You can come out of CMU as a code ninja, or be just as valuable coming out of the vendor management office of Nordstroms. * General Administrative - Startups are businesses. Can you keep the books, do you know how to file 941's and are you willing to learn everything you need to know about 409(a) valuations and 83b elections and dealing with sales tax when selling different products/services, and basic HR issues, and so on? You might say that's outsourced work best left to a CPA or lawyer, but who within the startup does the CPA call when they call? I think this another set of skills that nearly all startups feel is in chronically short supply in-house during their early stages and could make you a valuable addition. * Creative - Obvious maybe as well, but being a killer visual designer, or video/content producer or similar tends to be relevant for most startup types. It's better if you're a brilliant designer who can build CSS templates in their sleep. But if you're a great print designer you might well be pretty damm helpful too. ....wow this answer got really long. There's probably another couple categories that I'm not thinking of stream of consciousness here but perhaps that gives you an idea or two to run with.