This is the second series of articles on Finding a Cofounder. In the first article, I mentioned some specific tips and tactics in finding a cofounder. As a startup founder, this is one of the most challenging tasks to accomplish – to gain a co-founder who complements your skill set. Having a cofounder who isn’t a proper counterpart can completely derail your startup’s mission and goals. Why? Because at the end of the day it boils down to leadership. It is people that execute projects and if you don’t have the right ones on board, it’s all downhill from there. Let us dive into some tips and hacks in finding a cofounder in Toronto. As diverse as Toronto is, it is certainly a challenge to connect with the right individuals.
Before you post the role online have a clear well-written job description about the role.
Is it a tech or non-tech cofounder? How much commitment is it required for the project? Check out my previous post on producing well-written and compelling cofounder job descriptions.
Post it on Startup Project Listing.
This will give you massive exposure and connect with the right talent.
Meeting online first is an excellent way to meet potential cofounders, experienced professionals, mentors, and investors.
Connect with side-hustlers.
But wait a minute? Who are these people? Well…you see them every day on TTC, go-bus and coffee shops. They are working on multiple projects and managing a job on top of all. These are kind of people you want to connect with. Simply because, they are entrepreneurial and are looking for that extra side-kick on the weekend. Side-hustlers exude energy and have the persistency to succeed at a startup. You can connect with side-hustlers during events and online. Check out our event page for local startup listings in your neighbourhood!
Join our Facebook community.
Hello Captain Obvious! This is a given! This is why Founders Canada was created; to help connect early stage startups with co-founders and the right people and resources. You can post your role on our Facebook group and also on our online forum.
Get active with meetups, hackathons, conferences and events.
We host online monthly Cofounder events to find cofounders, beta users or potential collaborators. Check out the details for those here. There are also tons of physical meetups out there but definitely, go to the ones that bring out the best. For example, TechToronto is great to connect with the startup community. They also have an “open mic”. Perhaps the next event you attend, you muster up the courage to pitch that you’re looking for a cofounder. Check out our event page for up coming events.
If you’re a young professional join the local Rotaract Club of Toronto.
This is a charity club that runs projects to help the community. Rotaract is tremendously helpful if you want to connect with like-minded individuals and potential partners for business since you will work with people on various projects. In short, it’s a win-win situation.
Attend your University or College alumni events.
This is a great way to connect with professionals from the same school you graduated from. Check your university alumni event page and go for it!
Fire up your personal social media channels.
Personal brand plays a huge role in terms of attracting the right cofounder. Use social media to build up your audience but also connect with others. Some of my highest quality connections came from online!
Connect with professors and student clubs.
This is a great community to tap into. Some professors announce jobs and opportunities in their classes. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to ask professors to mention your job posting. For example, if you need a technical cofounder, foster a connection with your alma mater’s computer science professor. See who your mutual connections are, drop-in to their office hours, or send an email in the hopes of a warm introduction.
Practice your favourite sports or join a class.
Sports are another great channel to meet people in general. Since everyone already shares a passion for sports, your shared interest might also extend in a professional capacity. Who knows! Your cofounder might have been on your soccer team this entire time! It’s definitely worth a try.
Talk with a Startup Coach.
There’s a reason why world-class athletes have coaches. Chat with a Startup Coach to refine your value prop, cofounder job description and much more. To find out more check it out here.
Do a Vlog or a video shoot.
Start sharing your experiences and stories. This will help boost your platform, build an audience, and help you connect with a potential co-founder.
Bringing on a co-founder takes time and effort. They won’t magically appear one day. Be active in your search while you continue working on your startup. Channel your effort strategically and let me know how your search goes by commenting below.
For more tips on How to Find a Cofounder Take our Startup Course here.
About the Author
In Pursuit of World-Class Excellence. Eric is founder of FoundersBeta with a wealth of expertise in startups, building high-performing teams, and product development. He is a top ranked tennis player and always up for a conversation about startups.