How to Find a Co-Founder for Your Startup
There are several factors that go into a successful startup, including marketing, a viable business model, financing, and market needs. But the most important resource of any startup is the right team. Your startup may fall like a house of cards if you don’t have the right people, specifically, co-founder(s).
So, choosing a startup co-founder is a crucial first step. Reports say that startups that have failed, 23% of them have claimed that not having the right co-founder contributed to their failure. Having two instead of one co-founders can significantly increase your startup’s success. Reports from Startup Genome claim that with the inclusion of a second co-founder, startups will increase an additional 30% investment capital, will be unlikely to scale too slowly, and grow their customers 3x as fast.
It is understandable that having two fully invested co-founders will ensure that teams perform well. But how to find a co-founder for your startup? Well, it can be challenging but not impossible. You can use several resources to find a worthy candidate who has the necessary skill set to run a business.
With that in mind, this post discusses tips on how to find a co-founder for your startup and where to look.
#1 Start with writing a ‘job description’ for the ideal co-founder
Take a hard look at your circle and see if there’s anyone worthy of taking your business to new heights. Friends and family members are a big no for business-related ventures. This is because you would not want emotions to play around you when making decisions. Review your business model and pen down its strengths and weaknesses. Based on that, write down what you want in an ideal co-founder. Consult your colleagues and investors on what their views are.
#2 Use your network to find co-founders
Trade shows, entrepreneur forums, industry conferences, and local business organizations, among other things, act as a networking ground where professionals meet and share their products and services and spread brand awareness. Finding the right co-founder starts with having a good network of like-minded people. You can also use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to interact with people who meet your criteria.
#3 Look for a partner from a diverse background
You may never know, but in today’s global economy, your startup co-founder may be halfway around the globe from a different geographical location and business culture. If you look at today’s startup infrastructure, it is filled with smart people from all cultures. There could be someone who is ready to bring creativity and new energy to your startup. For this, you will have to keep a tab on what’s happening around the global startup market. From determining who are the new potential entrepreneurs to what business ideas they have brought to the table, and more, it will help in narrowing down a few prospects.
#4 Seek help from your investors
Investors meet a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs. While they may not accept all the offers and business proposals they get in a day, they get to meet new talents. What if the co-founder you have been looking for approached one of your investors with a business idea? Ask your investors to give you a reference for the entrepreneurs that come to them with the same idea as yours. This will make the process a lot simpler.
#5 Join online ‘matchmaking’ sites for business partners
There are plenty of websites and matchmaking platforms from where you can find the ideal co-founder. These matchmaking websites are like your dating platforms but only for business purposes. The most prominent sites include:
- FounderDating: It is a platform where you can search for a mentor, business partner, or co-founder. Joining FounderDating is easier said than done. It will take you through a rigorous screening process and will only select an applicant as its user if he/she meets their website’s standards. Before you go to FounderDating, ensure that you have a LinkedIn account.
- YouNoodle: YouNoodle is a unique platform for startups that want to take a unique approach. What’s special about YouNoodle is that it uses contests and competitions to connect entrepreneurs, advisors, and co-founders. Once the contests are over, entrepreneurs and co-founders have the opportunity to get funding from those investors who followed their competitions.
- Founder2Be: This is a platform designed to help startups connect with everyone in the industry, from designers to marketers, co-founders, and other important professionals. Unlike other online platforms, Founder2Be doesn’t have any screening process for applicants. You can sign up, launch your startup, find a co-founder, secure funding, and get your first customers on the website.
#6 Place a job posting on the logical job boards
One of the most effective ways to find the best co-founder for your startup is to place a job posting or hire a recruiter. Websites like CareerBuilder, Monster.com, LinkedIn, etc., are filled with potential candidates. You can hire an online recruiter to make this job easy for you. Explain the job description thoroughly to the recruiter so that he/she can communicate on your behalf with the potential candidates.
Take Time to Find the Ideal Co-Founder
Before you look for how to find a co-founder for your startup, the first thing you need to do is scope your needs. You should never be in a hurry. Moreover, ensure that you are perfectly clear on what expertise and skillsets will be most needed for your startup’s success. The idea behind this is to determine the various roles and responsibilities within your startup’s management team.
Most importantly, it is something that you should not take lightly. Above all, focus on finding a partner you can trust. Running a business presents a plethora of opportunities to indulge in dishonest activities. You have to be cautious with whom you share your business secrets. If you find a co-founder who is completely unknown to you, it can take time to build a bond. Find someone who can handle responsibility.