Home Opinion & Blogs How to Find and Select the Best Co-Founder for Your Startup

How to Find and Select the Best Co-Founder for Your Startup

How to Find and Select the Best Co-Founder for Your Startup
How to Find and Select the Best Co-Founder for Your Startup

Selecting a co-founder is one of the most crucial decisions when it comes to starting up a business. This first step can be challenging and most early-stage startups fail due to founder disputes and not because of the business idea itself. According to CB Insights, out of the startups that have failed, 23% of them said that not having the right team contributed to their failure. It is worth to note that startups that have two founders than one have a better chance of making into the light of success. 

Some people say that this type of partnership is like a marriage, due to its high-consequence, long-term nature. However, there are some great resources that can be a helping hand while searching for a co-founder who is the right fit. First, let us look at how to find a suitable co-founder for your business. 

Here is a list of websites which can help you find your right co-founder:

CoFoundersLab

CoFoundersLab
Image Credit: CoFoundersLab

The CoFoundersLab ecosystem is a helping hand to founders in building and growing successful ventures. The technology and algorithms developed by CoFoundersLab connect founders, advisers, and early team members in the entrepreneurship community.

By joining CoFoundersLab, you can become part of a larger ecosystem where there is access to a greater network of resources: education, mentorship and partnerships.

It works in 3 simple steps. First, you can join CoFoundersLab by registering through LinkedIn, Google or Facebook. Next, complete setting up your profile and activate AI matching algorithm and the final step is to search by Skill, country, city, industry, business Stage and startup experience, with limited search access if you use a free account. With its premium account which starts from US$14.99/month, one can access added features like seeing who’s viewed your profile, advanced search candidates and recommended individuals.

They provide a community of 400,000 entrepreneurs with a widespread presence in more than 140 countries. It was founded in 2012 by Alejandro Cremades, Shahab Kaviani and Tanya Prive, making them one of the oldest and largest entrepreneur matchmaking platforms to date. All these features are included so that you waste less time trying to reach out to the wrong people and by ensuring that you shortlist the right people quickly by looking at their page. 

Founder2be

Founder2be
Image Credit: Founder2be

This company has made tie-ups with leading incubators, accelerators, and universities which can help you find the co-founder who would be the best fit for your startup. It connects entrepreneurs from across the world having similar interests and skills complementary to your profile. 

Through this platform, co-founders discover each other online, holds a meeting in person and then goes forward to creating their startup together. Founder2be has a great selection of co-founder profiles, with experience across business development, designers, web engineers, finance, etc. The service is free to use and user-friendly and it comes with a community of more than 95,000 co-founders, to select and choose from.‌‌ If you need advanced features, there is an option for a US$12/month subscription.

It describes itself as a platform where ‘LinkedIn meets the online dating site Match.com’.  According to Tech Crunch, they’re the first-ever entrepreneur platform to operate across all 5 continents, excluding Antarctica. You can also launch your startup on the site itself to get your very first customers and capture funding.

Startup Weekend

Startup Weekends
Image Credit: Startup Weekends

Startup weekends are 54-hour long events that are conducted over the course of the weekend starting on Friday and ending on Sunday. Entrepreneurs, designers, marketers, product managers, developers and startup enthusiasts across the globe meet here to create products and launch them in just a weekend. It is a highly recommended place to be to find like-minded people who are excited about the idea of building their own businesses and products and they could potentially be your co-founder. 

Startup Weekend’s statistics indicate that 36% of the startups launched there over these weekends have gone on to become strong businesses which are currently doing extremely well. During the event you can also end up meeting people ready to invest in your startup and hence form a strong team along with the new co-founder.

This sub-organization of Techstars was founded by Alex Santana, Andrew Hyde, Chouaib Attoui, Franck Nouyrigat, Marc Nager in 2007. The event begins with open mic pitches on Friday, where the participants bring their best ideas and inspire others to join them. Over Saturday and Sunday, the teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, utilising LEAN Startup Methodologies and developing a viable product. On Sunday evening teams give a demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

StartHawk

StartHawk
Image Credit: StartHawk

It is a new startup aiming to make a community where entrepreneurs and co-founders can meet and discuss their ideas. Majorly, StartHawk works by matchmaking founders and co-founders from any place across the world. The goal of this company is to support any entrepreneur to launch their idea even when they do not have the skillset required to build it themselves.

StartHawk was founded by Ben Liger in March 2020. The platform has an extensive list of people looking for co-founders. Its unique selling point is the platform’s intuitiveness, user-friendly UI and provision for quick messaging experience between co-founders. The website also has filters like  The company provides options for both free and paid premium membership. 

Younoodle

Younoodle
Image Credit: Younoodle

‌‌Younoodle is a technology engine that powers the global startup revolution by using competitions and contests for connecting corporations with disruptive startups through its Corporate Startup Innovation program. The company has managed to run more than 1000 programs in 180 countries on their platforms. It has worked with more than 250,000 startups and about 25,000 experts. 

The company has corporations, universities, accelerators as well as governments on its platform. Some of them use the judging platform to accept, screen and evaluate applicants for competitions or accelerators while others tap into the global network of talent to do brand or technology engagement and also help governments and policymakers implement entrepreneurship programs.

While these platforms give you access to many people who could potentially be your business better half, it is important to look out for certain characteristics in them. This ensures that you find the right fit for you and in the long run, help sustain the business.

Here is a list of factors to consider before selecting a co-founder who can help your business idea become reality:

Complementary Skill Sets

Startups tend to be more successful when there is a balance between the partners’ skill sets. Usually, people go for co-founders who are exactly like themselves rather than someone who can support them with other skills they lack. For example, companies should not have co-founders who are all highly technical, with poor skills in business analytics and marketing. This might lead to failure due to the absence of mixed skill sets. So, if you are a tech-focused personnel searching for a co-founder, go for someone who is more business and marketing-oriented and if one of the founders is shy, it is better to look for a partner who is outgoing and good at public speaking, which can be helpful when pitching their idea.

Similar Work Habits

You should also look for someone who shares your expectations on work-life balance. This type of mismatches can lead to resentments as both partners might have very incompatible schedules. You don’t need to be in the office and work at exactly the same times unless for any kind of reason your business actually needs it. But you do need to share a view as to how much you will work, which will lead to a better co-founding experience.

History of Working Together

It’s always better to work with someone you’ve known for a while or with whom you’ve collaborated before. This makes sure that you know the capabilities of that person. Familiarity helps conversations move quickly and allows improved trust and cooperation. But this does not mean you have to work with your close friend of many years as doing so has its own risks. A long-term relationship can help you reduce the learning curve of this close collaboration, which might take years to develop. It is important to note that you probably won’t see the full colour of your partner until something unfortunate happens in your business in any of your personal lives. Therefore, having prior experience with the person can come useful.

Similar Vision

Your co-founder should be able to comprehend the central vision for the business you are starting. It is essential that your partner’s main motivations for joining your venture include passion for the project you are pursuing, with a drive to make the startup a success. A startup could fail due to many reasons but a mismatch between the founders’ visions should not be one, as it is avoidable.

Do Not Rush

Finding the right co-founder is a very challenging step in founding a startup and also time-consuming. Since it is a major task, founders shouldn’t take it lightly. It’s usually seen that founders will often want to rush to the market because they have a great idea that no one has gotten to yet. However, taking the time to find and select the best co-founder and the initial team will give startups a better shot at success.

Network and Negotiate

It is always important to have a strong network. Relationships with similar  ventures, taking part in industry conferences, entrepreneur forums and join local business organizations is very useful. It pays to join entrepreneur groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and interact with people on other similar social media.

Anything in a business and partnership could go wrong. For example, Fundraising difficulties, cash flow shortfalls, employees leaving, and clients terminating contracts could happen and they will put an immense strain on the partnership. Because of such unpredictable issues, there needs to be a strategy on how the partners and the partnership will tide the same. Business partnerships succeed not because of how far they go, but due to the lows they survive. While there is no such thing as the perfect co-founder, taking some time to go through these could come up very useful. There should also be discussions on who becomes the CEO.

In short, for the success of your startup, finding the right co-founder is one of the most important things that a new entrepreneur has to do. The startup journey goes through many ups and downs and it is always better to have some with you for support. If the startup succeeds, your team can go forward and create new successful ventures in the future.

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