What is the best way to search for co-founders?
I'm finding it difficult to find a co-founder. I started going to entrepreneur meet ups & start-up events, but without much luck. Tell me there's a better way!
(I'm not looking for a co-founder here, just for some suggestions!)
Finding a co-founder is like finding a spouse, but more difficult!
You may want to start with Co-Founder Lab in Boston. I've heard good things about it, but I've never attended one. Is this the one you went to?
This is actually an extremely important question as the founding team can make-or-break a new venture. In my opinion, the best co-founder is someone you've worked with in the past, provided that person brings value to the team. That way you know that person's work ethic, skills, personality, etc. Granted, this is not always practical.
There are plenty of entrepreneurial and startup events in which to network. It can't hurt to keep trying those. As others have suggested, maybe try Cofounderslab.com if you haven't already.
Other options may be local universities. Many students have aspirations of starting up companies, so depending on your needs, you may find potential co-founders at local academic institutions.
Bringing on co-founders is something that should be well-thought through. My recommendation is to first have a very honest, introspective look at what you, the founder, brings to the table. Then determine the gaps that need to be filled to build a successful venture. Not all those gaps need to be filled with co-founders though. Reserve co-founder status for those who you feel will be dedicated and share the passion.
There are multiple ways for finding a co-founder.
Find a co-founder in person
Do a lot of networking. Attend many meetups and startup events. There you'll be able to find a technical co-founder. Or you'll find somebody who knows somebody you should meet. Don't pass up introductions - these could be vital for finding your technical co-founder.
Find a co-founder online
Or, instead of spending a lot of time by going to lots of events, how about choosing the online way of finding a co-founder?
I would suggest giving http://Founder2be.com a try. It works like online-dating but in this case for finding startup co-founders. There we're building the largest co-founder finding platform with currently around 20,000 users. Simply sign up for free, search for and find potential co-founders with the background and skills you're looking for. Sharing as much or as little information about your startup idea can also help you finding potential co-founders interested in joining you.
You can also do this in addition
You might also want to read Inc.'s article "5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Co-founder" (http://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/5-tips-for-finding-the-perfect-co-founder.html). It describes how Maida Fortune found her co-founder and now CTO, Abid Ali, on Founder2be after considering peers from her MBA program and interviewing people she found at tech meet-ups first:
- Don't waste your time interviewing people until you vet their proven track records.
- Be brutally honest with yourself.
- Put expectations down on paper in the beginning.
- Understand one another's risk profiles.
- Understand personality types.
Hope that helps. Good luck for finding the right technical co-founder for your startup!
In Denver, there are the Founders and other meetups. Online, cofounderslab.com is a good place to find them.
Agreed: it's tough to find the right co-founder. However, I think both you and John have the right idea: you just have to keep going to startup and entrepreneurship events in your area, as well as events relevant to the type of co-founder you're looking for (i.e. tech events for a technical co-founder).
There are also sites like cofounderslab.com, which John already mentioned, ekwity.com, founder2be.com, techcofounder.com, founderdating.com and others focused on certain geographies or certain types of businesses.
I'd also put the word out among your broader social network, not just other entrepreneurs. You never know who knows the right person.
Go for a Hackathon and work with totally unknown people. You can find the person you are looking for
As I see it, a co-founder is one who shares in the discovery, conception and genesis of a product, idea or service. It does not seem like someone you can search for. Perhaps I am missing the point but is it truly a co-founder you are looking for? Frederic touched on this when he said "What does it take to be your co-founder?"
Isn't the answer in the word CO- founder meaning two people together found ea other then participated in the vision?
I guess you have a vision which you want to develop. I also guess you are searching for someone who shares this vision and is passionate about developing it with you. You may start by articulating the attributes you are looking for in that person. In this way, it will be easier to identify the person when you meet him or her. You may also seek professional help. Good luck.
Agree with Frederic - determine exactly what sill sets you want from your proposed co-founder.Start ups generally do better when you have 1 founder with domain experience, and others with a different sill set e.g Sales/Marketing, Tech, or Operations/Logistics etc they should be complimentary and what is required for NOW to get your product/service out to customers for validation. Other skills can be brought on board further down the track when required. Once you have determined what it is that you're looking for in a co-founder the search will become a hell of a lot easier by using your own network and platforms like LinkedIn. Again agree with Frederic - the most important thing is the passion and the shared vision to last the journey - time is precious, you don't want to spend it disagreeing about direction.
I think like minded people will eventually connect, you need somebody who is as much passionate about your idea as yourself, therefore, I am a firm believer that you don't need to search them, they will come to you. Of course, you need to help them find you, and business schools ( London Business School for instance) is the right environment to find such like minds