Finding the right Co-Founder for your Startup Idea
You’ve got an idea and don’t want to venture down the road alone…well, the stats are in your favour.
According to Small Business Trends, Having two founders, rather than one, increases your odds of success. With two Founders, you can raise 30 percent more money, have almost 3X the user growth, and you are 19 percent less likely to scale prematurely.
Finding an appropriate Co-Founder to make your idea a reality doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s important for you to find someone that you can trust; someone that complements your skills, and someone that wants your idea to succeed and get off the ground just as much as you do.
When it comes to finding the right Co-Founder, there are some important things to keep in mind; and lots of great resources to help you in finding the right match. Read below to learn more:
- Find someone that brings skills (that you don’t currently have) to the table
Naturally, you may be inclined to want to find a Co-Founder to join your team that’s exactly like you – But the best thing you can do is find someone that brings other skills to the table that you may be lacking in. Are you generally a more reserved person? Do you hate public speaking? Then find someone to join your team that is more outgoing and loves networking. Are you more tech-focused? Then find a partner that is more marketing or business savvy.
It might help you to write down a list of must-have qualities for the “ideal Co-Founder.” It’s important to be objective here, and to look at your own skills, strengths, weaknesses etc. and write down the kinds of skills that complement yours. Consult with people that know you well that can objectively offer you helpful advice in this process.
- Network, network, network
As an entrepreneur, you already know how important it is to network in order to hire for your team, or to find investors. It’s an essential step in finding the right Co-Founder to help your business. Attend local networking events to help you in meeting people that can take your business to the next level. Networking also helps you to weed through prospects. Find the right person to help your business by meeting a lot of potential Co-Founders all at once.
This step is crucial in helping you to find someone that you can trust – which is also a necessary quality in a potential Co-Founder. It is critical for your company to find someone that is not only trustworthy from an ethical perspective, but also someone that can handle responsibility. Network to meet as many candidates as you can and find someone you can trust to get their work done.
Aside from local events, networking can look like the following:
Volta Workshops and Pitch Competitions
Want to meet people that are on the same page as you, and are located right here in Atlantic Canada? Then attend our workshops to meet like-minded entrepreneurs that you can connect with. We have a couple of workshops coming up in September that you can sign up for now.
Why Bankers say “No” to Startups (September 14) and WTWT Fireside Chat with Jill Hennigar of Dash Hudson (September 28).
Our Pitch Competitions take place quarterly, and are also a great opportunity to meet people in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem that would be a great match for your startup.
Attend university entrepreneur activities
There is no shortage of local university events to attend to pair you with the right Co-Founder. Are you still in touch with a professor, an alumni group or an entrepreneurship centre at a college or university? Tap into that network to find the best match for you.
Have you worked with a hard-working teammate on a project in the past? Whether in a work or school setting, it’s important to keep these people in mind when you are thinking about your next move and your next teammate from a business perspective.
- Meet a prospect to discuss goals and metrics.
So you’ve done a lot of local networking and have met a few prospects that you feel could be a great fit for your company. Now, you need to take the process one step further and meet with a couple of prospects that you can see yourself working with. This step is a true test to figure out if you are on the same page as a potential future co-worker.
Sit down with a prospect over some coffee and map out your goals and vision for your company. If you are aligned with your vision and work ethic, then it’s meant to be; if you find that there is a disconnect, however, then move on and keep networking.
If you are looking for a guide to reference when asking questions, check out this one: “50 Questions to Explore for a Potential Co-Founder.”
Another talking point: Equity Agreements
When meeting with prospects, it’s important to discuss what you have in mind when it comes to splitting equity. You must keep in mind the future contentment of your company, colleagues and co-workers. It’s important to think of what they will appreciate and what will keep them motivated to continue producing great work for the company.
Check out these resources on splitting equity and the importance of doing so here:
How to split equity among Co-Founders
How to split equity with Co-Founders – the only way that is fair
- Date before getting married
Start slow by working on a small project together to see how your working styles mesh in reality. In the honeymoon period, anything is possible, so it’s really important to get to know how each other thinks and works. How do you work through a disagreement? How do you communicate with each other when things are going wrong?
It’s essential to get to know how you are able to solve these problems with a potential Co-Founder so that you can easily work together to come to an agreement or compromise.
- Resources for Co-Founder Matchmaking
There are resources online that can help you with finding the right Co-Founder. Some of them include:
CoFoundersLab: This service requires subscribers to set up a thorough online profile asking what they are looking for in a Co-Founder.
YCombinator Startup Match Making – This is a matchmaking service for Co-Founders. It connects people based on their interests, location and skills.
There’s no shortage of resources to assist you in finding a match when it comes to finding the right Co-Founder for your company. Make sure to tap into those resources, network and meet up with potential prospects to help you in making the right choice for you and your business.Tags: Co-founder, cofounderslab, Entrepreneurship, equity agreement, network, pitch competition, workshop, ycombinator