Starting up is hard. You will face a lot of challenges along the way, and there will be times when you feel like giving up. This is where a cofounder comes in. A good cofounder is that perfect puzzle piece that fits in and helps you build a strong foundation for your startup. They will be your sounding board when you’re feeling lost, will help you make tough decisions, and will push you to do better. In short, there are more chances of you succeeding with a cofounder than going solo. Moreover, here are some more reasons why you need a co-founder:
A co-founder will have different skills and knowledge than you, which will help balance out your weaknesses. For example, if you’re great at marketing but not so good with numbers, then you can find a co-founder who’s good with finances. This way, you can complement each other and build a well-rounded business. To Share the Load: Starting up is a lot of work. There will be long days and sleepless nights. It is not possible for one person to handle everything on their own. A co-founder will help share the load and make your journey a little less daunting. To Get a Different Perspective: It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re working on your own. A co-founder will be able to provide a different perspective and help you see things that you might have missed. This is especially helpful when making key decisions for your business. To Grow Your Network: A co-founder comes with their own set of connections which can help you take your business to the next level. This is especially helpful in the early stages when you’re trying to get your foot in the door.
1. Prepare a checklist The first step is to prepare a checklist detailing what you expect from a potential co-founder and your non-negotiables. The list should cover areas like personal traits, skills, professional qualifications, working style, and other relevant aspects.
2. Search for a partner who shares your values Like-mindedness in values is one of the top characteristics to look out for in a startup co-founder. Imagine starting a green tech company with someone who thinks global warming is a hoax. Or, co-founding an NGO with a partner who puts profit over people? Remember, starting a business involves creating a work culture, so it is in your best interests to have a co-founder who shares your values, principles, and vision.
3. Look for someone with complementary traits While it is important to have a co-founder who shares your values and vision, it is also crucial to look for someone with complementary skills and personal traits. For instance, if you and your partner both lack communication skills, it becomes difficult to make a pitch to investors, speak to your clients, conduct training sessions for your teams, etc. Co-founders with strengths and traits that support each other make a good match.
4. Search within your social circle Wondering how to find the right co-founder if you are a first-time entrepreneur? Well, start by searching within your existing social circles. A batchmate at your college, a colleague at your previous company, a cousin, a social media acquaintance, or a friend with similar professional interests could be a potential candidate. Choosing a co-founder from your social circle will also help minimize the risks of partnering up with a stranger.
5. Attend startup events Startup forums and events are among the best platforms to find a potential partner for your startup. If you are living in a metro city like Delhi, Bangalore, or Mumbai, you will have no difficulty in finding events conducted by startup incubators. People living in areas with less active business communities will benefit from online forums on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
6. Join a business networking group Want to up your game? Join a reputed business networking group to increase your chances and visibility. Unlike online forums, such groups often require you to pay a fee and meet certain membership requirements. Business Network International (BNI) and Rotary International are some of the top-rated networking groups in India. You will also find other city-specific and start-up-friendly groups.
7. Tap into the power of founder dating apps Here’s a common question most startup entrepreneurs have – how to find a co-founder in India online? Try co-founder dating, and yes, it’s a trend gaining in popularity in the country and all parts of the world. The Co-FoundersLab, Tech Co-founder (a niche platform from Co-founders Lab), Founder’s Nation, Start Hawk, Startup Weekend, and You Noodle are some of the popular founder-dating apps and sites.
8. Move to a city with a good business ecosystem While it is possible to find a partner from anywhere in the country using online platforms, you could also consider relocating to a city with a good ecosystem to make the most of local networks. For instance, you are more likely to find a co-founder for your IT startup in Bangalore or Hyderabad, while a FinTech entrepreneur might find Delhi, Gurgaon, or Mumbai more favourable.
9. Seek help from mentors Business mentors and coaches have a track record of mentoring scores of entrepreneurs from all industries. Seeking help from your business mentor is a great way to find a co-founder. Since your mentor knows you and your business, they will be able to put you in touch with suitable and credible candidates.
10. Join a coworking space We have saved the best for the last! Want to know how to find the right co-founder in a hassle-free and organic way? Join a coworking space in Gurgaon. Shared offices are startup hubs filled with entrepreneurs from all sectors, so you can easily amp up your professional networks. Your co-founder might be sitting just across the table!