If you’ve got a brilliant idea for a start-up but need a hand getting it off the ground, bringing a co-founder on board could be an excellent solution. As well as sharing the risks, pressure and any financial burden, ideally your prospective co-founder will boast a skill-set that complements your own, which is imperative if you want your business to thrive.
So now you know who you’re looking for, where will you find them – and how will you know you can trust them? Take your time and consider your candidates carefully. After all, the only thing worse than having no co-founder when starting up a business is having the wrong co-founder. But fret not, we’ve gathered up five of the best co-founder-finding resources so you don’t have to.
A dating site, but not as you know it. After paying a US$50 membership fee and having your application individually screened, you – if successful – are granted access to the “largest curated network of entrepreneurs and advisors for startups”. While there are undoubtedly other similar co-founder-finding sites available, the Founder Dating bigwigs believe the screening process (one of your LinkedIn contacts has to ‘vouch’ for you) and application fee mean they boast a higher calibre of candidates.
Could a potential co-founder already exist within your contacts? If not, perhaps a friend could introduce you to the perfect candidate? That way, an element of trust will already exist between both parties as you have an acquaintance in common who can vouch for you both. Reach out to your contacts and tell them what you’re looking for. Alternatively, hit up LinkedIn and simply type in the skills, experience and location you require of your co-founder and see if anyone exists within your 1st or 2nd degree connections.
Over the course of this tech-orientated networking event, you’ll be given the chance to grow your new business from the ground up. Within just 54 hours and under the guidance of the event’s mentors and coaches, you will join a small team made up of fellow attendees and work together either your project or a fellow teammate’s. Whether your team transcends beyond the Startup Weekend – held in over 150 countries – is entirely up to you, but it could be a great opportunity to scope out talent for your start-up. This way, you get to experience a taster of what it’s like to work with your co-founder before handing over half of your business.
Boasting a community of over 70,000 global members, CoFoundersLab – like Founder Dating – works much like a dating website; you create a profile and get ‘matched’ to like-minded members. You can then check out their profile before deciding if you want to make contact. But if you prefer to get a feel for a person by meeting them in the flesh, CoFoundersLab also holds ‘Matchup Events’ in approximately 50 cities across the world every quarter.
Still haven’t found who you’re looking for? Write a job description, advertise the position and let the candidates come to you. Where you advertise is completely dependent on where you are in the world, but do your research and consider a niche jobs board. For example, if you need someone with a background in graphic design, perhaps check out creativepool.com. If you’re based in Europe, StartUs is one of the fastest growing career networks, designed to connect talent with the start-up community, so it’s definitely worth posting your ad there too. Alternatively, you can browse through the thousands of profiles already listed on the site, all looking for start-up opportunities.
Our very own one-day conference designed especially for aspiring entrepreneurs, budding intrapreneurs and seasoned businesspeople after a professional refreshment, brings together industry experts and Collective Hub community members – one or two of whom could just be your future co-founder.