I am a software developer in Canada. 2 years ago, a close friend referred me a business owner who is running Futures trading firm(12+ employees) in Chicago. He need some system to help them manage trading strategies and formulas.
Friend asked if I want to join because I was working in a financial firm and know a special technology to solve the problem.(Using expensive IBM servers) I did not join the team. They hired few full time developers to build the system for 2 years and could not solve the problem.
I realized that this might have potential market (targeting small trading firms). And now I am ready to build open source system to solve that type problems. But I want do some marketing research to make sure there really have buyers there. Because most of the firm is hiring developers to build custom system in house, I am not sure if my solution will be a good fit.
Try to contact the business owner, but he left the company. Is there anyway to get in touch with those trading firms? Is it okay to make cold call to ask if they need the product? Any better idea?