Finding the right cofounder for your company is rarely a straight forward process.
This person is going to be your business partner, which means you could end up spending nearly every waking hour of every day for the next few years working alongside them, possibly even sat next to them. As a result, it's important that you find someone you're compatible with. Someone who can help you turn your business dreams into a reality. Someone who isn't going to drive you up the walls or plunge you into the red.
"Choosing someone to start a business with is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make," said Bertie Stephens, cofounder of Flubit.com.
The first thing you need to do is identify the skills you need from your cofounder in order to make your business idea a success. If you have a technical background but lack sales and marketing experience then it makes sense to try and find someone with those skills and vice versa.
Once you’ve identified the skills you need in your cofounder, you should then concentrate on the personality traits you think they should possess. For example, if you’re more of an introvert then maybe you should think about teaming up with an extrovert. Other things to consider are the individual's startup experience, industry expertise, intelligence, credibility, passion, drive, ambition, communication skills, personal hygiene etc.
As soon as you’ve established what you need and who you need you then need to think about where to find them.
The obvious place to start is your own personal network. Do you have any contacts that might be interested in pursuing the venture you have in mind? This could be a friend, a relative or maybe someone you've met at an event.
If your network fails to deliver then ask other people that you would expect to have strong contacts, such as venture capitalists and accelerator managers. Hopefully they’ll be willing to make an introduction and you can see how you get on with the potential cofounder and if they have the skills you're looking for.
If both of those options fail then you may have to consider working with a stranger. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of startup networking sites and apps available to help entrepreneurs find the right business partner.
For example, eRipple, founded by Duncan Peters, aims to connect entrepreneurs with potential cofounders, advisers and support groups. Peters has said he wants eRipple to globally connect 100,000 budding Mark Zuckerbergs and Richard Bransons.
You could also advertise for a cofounder through a recruiter or websites like LinkedIn and CraigsList. Through LinkedIn you can also try and poach people working for companies in a similar area to the company you have in mind. For example, if you want to launch a music streaming startup, then try and make contact with employees at the likes of Spotify or LastFM as they are likely to have relevant experience. There's also every chance that they may be bored in their current role or know people looking for a new challenge.
Another means of finding a possible cofounder is by making a video and posting it on YouTube, in the same way that this guy did.
Who knows, you may be lucky and find more than one person to cofound your business with and if none of those work...there’s always Tinder.
Bertie Stephens, CEO of eccommerce platform Flubit, said:
"Choosing someone to start a business with is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. You're going to spend countless days, weeks and hopefully years together so you need to get it right!
"The early days in particular are going to be a roller coaster so you need to be able to trust your co-founder implicitly, especially during the bad times. I’d say that the true measure isn’t what you’re like together when things are going well, but how you work through issues when things are going badly.
"To find someone with complimentary skills and who likes to do the things you don't, and is really good at what you’re not, is ideal. It’s great to have shared skill sets too, but you want to make sure most of the important skills exist between the two of you.
"I’d also say that you need to have the same work ethic or at least have a very clear understanding of roles and responsibilities and set out expectations beforehand. That will avoid any unnecessary disagreement further down the line.
"At the end of the day, it is essential to find a co-founder you respect and can get on with and who shares a common goal. There will obviously be arguments along the way but ultimately you want someone who can roll with the punches, take constructive criticism in their stride and be flexible enough to change approach if things need adjusting."
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