Budget Friendly Development
More often than not, as a startup you don’t have piles of money laying around. Companies can charge an upwards of $10,000 for even just a basic WebApp you aren’t sure you will like, or even know how to manage. If you are a startup here are a few places you can look for talented developers who will be able to help you begin development on a budget.
Hiring a Student / Recent Graduate
If you are looking for someone that is willing to work for equity only I would try to reach out with students or recent graduates. A great place to start is General Assembly.
I am a General Assembly Alumni, I know they train their students pretty well and they come out very hungry for projects. There are tons of other "code bootcamps" across nearly every major city. Reaching out to these types of programs for talent is a great place to find hungry, talented developers looking to prove themselves.
A lot of these meetups are just a place for developers to come and build stuff. Lot's of talented developers come to these meetups looking to network, find side projects etc.
Work with Equity Directory
This is a site that connects people who are willing to work for equity, or a share of ownership in the company. Being willing to give up some of your equity can be a great way to save on direct costs in the early stages. This can be a slippery slope though, you don't want a bunch of random freelancers owning chunks of your company. Make sure that when you exchange equity for work you are building longer term relationships with people you really want connected to your company. It’s important that you can really trust this person.
Go "Code Free"
The other suggestion I can make for your early stage validation is the "Code Free" startup model. This is essentially building a "MVP" without any backend code. You can learn more about that here code free at this link - There is only so much you can do with this model but it might be just what you need to get going.