To see what it’s like on the other side of the table, spend a year refining the idea and searching for a compatible co-founder / team to believe in your (pre-product and pre-seed capital) idea… plus another year networking and pitching VCs, accelerators, customers and users… plus a year iterating, pivoting and growth hacking, while also trying to raise a Bridge / A round because that $250-$500K is burnt and your team is anxious, losing hope, and getting daily recruiter solicitations. Meanwhile, every morning you hear about a new competitor getting funded, every afternoon you have a gut check when an engineer quits or a demo blows up, and every night you have a sanity check when you think about the opportunity cost of those 3–5 prime years of your life.
The entrepreneurial experience is invaluable, and it cannot be bought with 12months and $250K. It is a visceral experience. If you want the empathy and insight that comes from true immersion, you need to take the plunge: take an idea, start from zero, and be willing to commit indefinitely.