Over 2,000 mentors available, including leaders at Amazon, Airbnb, Netflix, and more. Check it out

Meeting right cofounder for your startup

Meeting a cofounder for your startup can be a daunting task. You got the idea, and you want to take it to the next level, but at the same time, you’re afraid of everything that can go wrong if you trust the wrong person.

Meeting a cofounder for your startup can be a daunting task. You got the idea, and you want to take it to the next level, but at the same time, you’re afraid of everything that can go wrong if you trust the wrong person.

Those doubts are normal. We can be overprotective of our ideas and dreams because we’re afraid someone might steal them. At MentorCruise, we can help you find the right person for the job.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why you need a cofounder.
  • Where to find a cofounder.
  • Why you need a cofounder for your business.

What or who is a cofounder

Cofounders are people who have decided to work together upon an idea or a business venture. A common misconception of a cofounder is that it needs to be someone who has partly come up with this business idea alongside their partner(s). This couldn’t be further from the truth:

  • Elon Musk became a cofounder a year into Tesla’s existence partly thanks through his cash injection of $6.3 million in its Series A funding.
  • Many non-technical founders actively look for programmers to lead the technical side of things in a startup that’s already existed for some months.
  • Cofounders can be demoted or promoted, depending on the scope of their tasks or mutual agreement between founding members. Yes, CEO’s have the power to demote a cofounder if the latter is becoming a sunk cost.
  • Sometimes, the cofounder who is the company’s face label themselves as a founder to build a brand around their image.

There are many nuances behind a seemingly simple designation. Sometimes, community-based initiatives emphasize the idea of a founding team rather than having specific founders.

Generally, funding partners prefer to fund startups with cofounders rather than with one single founder. Having 2 or more cofounders, after all, mitigates the risk of the company failing by having this risk spread between different actors.

Simultaneously, these cofounders can be complementary in expertise and vision, which helps mitigate the risk of failure even further.

Suppose you are a founder in the pursuit of a cofounder because they need clarity on what to do next or don’t want to lead a specific side of the business. In that case, a startup mentor from MentorCruise may help you understand how to establish various processes to help your business grow in the process.

Understanding compatibility

There are so many factors to consider when looking for a cofounder:

  • Consider the relevant experience your potential cofounders have. Sometimes, there might be a hypothetical match in skills, but you must find a way to determine how skilled the other person is.
  • Your personalities need to be complementary, too. Being cofounders is akin to being in a marriage. Both of you enter a potentially life-changing partnership, and you will need to work with each other for extended periods of time.

Which stage of business are you in?

Different stages of your business dictate different approaches to looking for a cofounder.

  • If your business is in the before-launch stage, you’ll be looking for experienced people with little money. You can ask your friends or industry insiders to become partners with. You can also look for inexperienced people with no money. Depending on your past experience and the stage of your startup, you might just need an intern or a part-time worker who’s entrepreneurial.
  • If you’re in the after-the-launch stage with little to no money, you might have to offer compensation in the form of equity to your potential cofounders.
  • If you’re looking for experienced people with money to spend, you can hire a professional to look for a cofounder or people to work for your company. This is the best scenario to be in, but make sure not to burn cash carelessly. The headhunter needs to have some experience in startup recruitment. Otherwise, they might start looking for cofounders or executives that don’t know how to grow a company from scratch.

Where to find a cofounders

#1. Leverage your network.

Make sure that you’re visible and actively engaging in your industry.

  • Join networking functions and relevant events in your niche
  • Use your network. Ask people on social media to cold introduce you to relevant people in your niche
  • Create discussions on social media or forums about relevant topics. This might attract relevant people you would like to work with.
  • Go to meetup events to further network.

#2. Go online.

There are so many ways to go online to find your cofounders online that it warrants a whole article of its own. But here are some fast ways:

  • Join Facebook Groups in your niche. Facebook has been making a pivot towards community, so this side of the platform is growing rapidly. Just enter a relevant topic in the search bar, and you’ll be surprised at the number of groups you’ll find.
  • On LinkedIn, you can use the Sales Navigator coupled with an email finder tool to do some cold outreach to people who you find interesting and have the right profile for your needs. This platform is also a great place to reach someone whose content you found online.
  • You can also join subreddits, Indie Hackers, Slack groups, and other forums appropriate for your startup.
  • Suppose you don’t like Facebook or Linkedin. In that case, you can also try websites specifically for finding cofounders, such as CoFounders Lab or StartHawk, where you can message the people you find interesting.
  • You can join Startup Weekend, an online event lasting 54 hours from Friday till Sunday. It happens in different areas across the world. There you can meet mentors, business advisors, and also possible cofounders.

#3. Leverage your local universities.

If you’re a student and want to launch a company straight after your studies, local universities can be a great place to look for your cofounder. This involves checking university job boards, being part of campus clubs, and even meeting people during parties.

You can ask leaders in relevant student bodies to share your idea and job description with their members and friends.

Think about reaching out to graduate students. Some of them might have what you’re looking for, and they are probably looking for new job opportunities, especially with the current pandemic.

Job fairs and company-based events can also be prime areas to find people who may have converging interests like you.

#4. Join a hackathon

Working with other people who want to start a business has its ups and downs. In hackathons, you get the chance to form a team of people with complementary strengths, but on the other hand, you can also end up in a completely random team that doesn’t work well for various reasons. In any case, if you don’t have much experience in growing startups, this can provide a great way to experience how to work with other people.

Why you need a cofounder for your business

#1. More attractive for startup funding

Investors prefer that cofounders rather than a single one lead a company. The risk of failure could be spread within multiple people, and there’s a fallback option if one founder decides to throw in the towel.

As a rule, investors don’t like to invest in single-founder companies. For example, if something happens to a solo founder, the company runs the risk of failing due to a lack of leadership. Different cofounders can also own different parts of the processes that they have expertise in.

#2. They take care of things you don’t like.

Having a cofounder means you can focus on things you know well and enjoy doing. They will take care of things you don’t know enough about or don’t enjoy doing. Cofounders with different skills can also own different processes involved in building a company, which makes scaling and building teams a lot easier in the process.

#3. They can bring new management styles.

As your business grows, it’s important to remember that some management styles work better than others. And a cofounder can bring a much-needed boost with a different approach towards management.

#3. They help manage stress.

Starting a new business is time-consuming and takes a lot of effort and sacrifice. Not everyone in your family and friend group will understand what you’re going through, and you must have someone by your side who does.

Founder’s stress is no joke. Setbacks and failures can easily discourage someone from continuing a venture. Cofounders can become each other’s cheerleaders and help motivate each other in growing this idea.

#4. They can cover for you.

Everyone needs a day off from time to time. A cofounder can run the business for you when you need a break.

#5. They can help with problem-solving.

Problems are an inevitable part of establishing a successful business. And if you want to solve problems successfully, you need an opposing view which understands your business the way you do.

Having a cofounder that thinks and sees things the same way you do can do more harm than good. If your cofounder doesn’t agree with you about everything, they can offer a new perspective that you wouldn’t have thought of.

#6. You can split early and out-of-pocket expenses.

Starting a brand new business can hit your bank account hard. If you work with a cofounder, you can split the initial costs of getting a working product or prototype going. You can also split the costs of any mentorship programs, business courses, and any other courses that might help you succeed.

#7. A cofounder can increase productivity.

A cofounder will be as invested in your business as you are. They will be more productive than employees because they see you just like their boss and are not as invested as you are in the startup’s success.

You’ve found the one. Now is the perfect time to join a startup mentorship program at MentorCruise.

In this article, you learned who is a cofounder, why you need one, and where to find the right one.

You now have the perfect cofounder for your startup. All you need now is the perfect mentor to help you kick things off the ground. The right mentor and the right mentorship program for your startup will help you grow your business and achieve all your goals.

Don’t hesitate and book an “Introductory Call” Session, so we can figure out how to help you with your startup.

Find an expert mentor

Get the career advice you need to succeed. Find a mentor who can help you with your career goals, on the leading mentorship marketplace.