You’ve been pondering about the startup idea. You’ve got the monetization. Maybe you even got a basic proto-type but you need a cofounder with COMPLIMENTARY skill sets. Let’s find a cofounder.
The key is complimentary skill set. If you bring on someone exactly like you, the business is about to go down fast. The basic startup formation for web/mobile technology companies include:
a) Hustler — you know the business and the industry inside out. You are literally hustling every day to bring in clients and new business.
b) Hacker — you whip products together like no one else. You can architect the whole platform on ruby on rails or the language of your choice. You dream in code! This is where you belong!
c) Designer — you are behind the brand, the user experience and UI. You run the feel and look show!
It’s tough to bring out technology and business people together and form successful teams. Without a team essentially you’ve got nothing. In startups, there are tons of advice but few good ones. Best advice comes from actual entrepreneurs that went out there and built it and sold it. Before you even start looking for a cofounder you need to figure out couple of things:
1. Know your business idea, value proposition and monetization. Whoa! Yes, that’s a lot. But you have to be crystal clear about these and communicate the vision. These need to be aligned with your potential co-founder.
2. Equity. Figure out how will the equity portion will work out in the beginning (is it 50–50 split or something else?) since there’s no salary in the beginning.
3. Write on a piece of paper after you meet and agree. In other words, cover the legal aspect. You need to set it in paper with a clause that if things don’t work out you have something to fall back on. Look for people who are interested in a) in the business idea b) good values c) culture fit (you can work together as a team).
So what can you do to maximize your chance of meeting the one and only co-founder?
1. Write a compelling job description.
Having a compelling job description that shows the value proposition, projects, and why it’s exciting your join your startup is critical.
2. Check out extensive course on Finding a Cofounder and Build a Team.
We put together a comprehensive course that goes into details on how to find a cofounder including where to post your job postings, how to you assess talent, and much more.
3. Post with our community
Once you have a solid description about the cofounder opportunity post your opportunity on FoundersBeta project listing. This is where I found my cofounder for my first startup. While navigating the startup ecosystem and trying to find a cofounder I saw an opportunity to connect entrepreneurs with resources and other startup people in the community. Initially, the group was few startup friends in my network and then it grew to a larger network. That is how FoundersBeta got started. There are more success stories coming out so be sure to give it a go.
4. Join Startup Networking and Co-founders Online Event
We host monthly online co-founders event. Check out the details here.
5. Schedule coffee meetings.
Do direct outreach to schedule coffee meetings with professionals, student, and talent.
6. Attend startup events.
We host online monthly Cofounder events to find cofounders, beta users or potential collaborators. Check out the details for those here.
Also go to physical meetups such as startup weekend or potentially any entrepreneurship event where you meet “entrepreneurial individuals”. Additionally, we cover all the startup events monthly basis on FoundersBeta newsletter! Sign up for it here and let the opportunities roll in.
7. Advertise your posting
This really depends on who is your ideal cofounder. Is a none-technical or technical cofounder? Is there a specific target or industry you are targeting? After figuring this out you need to figure out which channels might be a good place to post. This can include groups on social networks and alumni groups.
8. Reach out to your network
This is a worth a try, but don’t rely on it as people may not be entrepreneurial or they have full-time corporate jobs and could not care less.
9. Direct Contact.
If you know where your target audience is then reach out to each person individually. This can be via social media, email or getting introductions from your network.
10. Chat with a Startup Coach.
Startup Coach can greatly help you with refining the cofounder description and building traction to attract the right cofounder. Book a time to chat with a startup coach here.
11. Lastly, if all fails put finding a cofounder in the back burner and continue to find a way to either compliment your skill sets or build the idea yourself.
Be your own biggest advocate. No one else is going to believe in your idea unless you do. Got questions about finding a cofounder? Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter. Cheers to an awesome cofounder!
About the Author
Eric Rafat is a startup founder with a wealth of expertise and experience in startups, building high-performing teams, and product development. Having won three volunteer awards for his contribution, he believes in the power of entrepreneurship to create opportunities for all. He is a top ranked tennis player with relentless drive to always reach to the next level. He is always up for a conversation about business, marketing, and tennis.