What Do You Want From Your Co-Founder?

December 7, 2022

Starting a company is not an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and time. But, it is also very rewarding. And one of the most important success factors for any startup is having a strong co-founding team. In fact, having the wrong founding team is amongst the top reasons why companies fail.

So, how do you go about finding the right co-founder? It can seem like a long and complicated process, but it is definitely worth it. There are many things that entrepreneurs need to take into consideration when making the decision of who to start a company with; starting with what to look for in terms of skillsets, compatibility and personality, followed by where to meet available co-founders, to making sure it will last in the long run.

A Bit Can Only Go So Far When Joining a Startup

Just because two parties set up a company does not necessarily mean that they have the drive, confidence, and ambition to complete a startup. So what should people be looking for in their cofounder?

For starters, you want someone who is determined to work on getting their business off the ground. They need a drive to make things happen and achieve their goals. Prospective co-founders must be able to set ambitious goals and find a way to achieve them. The person should also possess strong leadership skills as they will be responsible for managing leads, marketing, and hiring.

They will also need to be able to lead a team and have a solid understanding of their own and others' strengths and weaknesses. Co-founders should also be stable. Without stability, the new basis can quickly be torn apart. In the past, it has been suggested that one person dominate the decision-making process, though perhaps not in a position to do so.

Other Things To Remember For Founders

An important thing to remember – and investigate thoroughly – is tax structure choices. Some people who have multimillion dollar revenue streams will pay no income tax, while others undervalue their marital status to file a standard1065 (single). It is a simple tax issue, but it can be a pain in the behind to deal with. Remember that this will, in due course, play its part in determining your future financial returns.

Why are Co-Founders Important?

We all know co-founding a startup is one of the most important decisions you will make in your career. Get one, you will be spending many hours working on your startup’s product and service. Without the right team, getting there will be extremely difficult. Moreover, it will be a bumpy ride, with tough decisions to be made. Even if they will contribute differently and in different ways to your startup, each co-founder should bring something different to the table.

How to Find Quality (or Yes, Terrible, But You Have to Start Somewhere) Co-Founders

In order to find quality co-founders, you need to identify who is going to be a crucial part of your startup. Many startups have more than one co-founder and it can take various shapes and forms. While looking for a co-founder may seem like a stressful no-end job, both preparation and execution are crucial to get it right. Do your research, find a mentor and don’t spend all of your time quoting Ray Bradbury or Malcolm Gladwell.

And once you’re ready to make an appointment with a potential co-founder, avoid the temptation to ask a dozen acquaintances whenever the following questions arise:

• What amount you require?

• To be a co-founder or a partner?

• To join the team or have equity ownership?

• Do you have to be a tech expert?

• Have/do you have a startup?

• Do you live close by or do you remote?

• Do you have a wife/husband, or children?

Pro-tip: an “idea” is not a business. Unless you’re working with product(s) selling to customers, there is NO business without product.

The process of finding a co-founder is an iterative process of finding people who tick a lot of boxes.

What are the Stages of a Startup?

You can be just about any age and have the entrepreneurial spirit. Startups also begin to spring up each month; a look through AngelList or other startup databases will show this.

However, because of the nature and purpose that startups have, we have designed a customized list of the stages and processes of a startup. These stages, updated periodically and taught in Startup Bootcamps, play an important role in knowing every aspect of a startup. While business owners have the opportunity to cherry pick stages and apply them to their startups, they are typically unaware of the lesser understood phases that may turn out to be the better choice for them.

While each Entrepreneurship & Startups Alumni are vastly different, we have found at least these are those that should be well defined and should be essential for your journey to entrepreneurial success.

These are

...preparing for market movements

...building shared understanding

...making cold calls

...justifying the value of your product

...setting up customer development

...finalizing the product

...evaluating and communicating startup value proposition.

How to Evaluate a Co-Founder?

It is very important to start evaluating not only the skills that make someone attractive as a co-founder, but also their personality, positiveness and straight-forwardness in meeting other people.

For instance, someone who is more of an optimist (e.g. they wish you succeed no matter how small of a chance there is of it) is not likely to be a good co-founder. The founder who portrays more positiveness on a meeting is likely to have a better friendship and collaboration with their co-founders, whereas that person who is less warm and inviting would increase the chances of the startup success and overall success rate of being together.

Signing the NDA: What & Who Should Be There?

There are essentially 2 different types of NDAs:

Fall under the Company NDA which protect company specific information and prohibiting any employee of the company from using that information for competitive advantage. Also reviewing employees’ emails is not allowed. It is considered company’s property.

And The NDA for co-founders where “the signing party” can secretly communicate to their future partner without any implications of "interfering" with them and as long as they are the first to send it and the other party is the first to receive it, it is considered ‘private’ and "non-compete-based”.

In case you are not sure which is the best option for your co-founder(s) and you don’t have conflicting ones, you should try and sign both – as by doing so, one of the co-founders will sign first and you need to take this to the whole agreement. It is also important to be clear about what these agreements mean for you and your starting partner, and confirmation is a good option to go to if you still aren’t sure. You can also always find best alternatives in the help forum section.

If you're thinking of starting a business, one of the first things you'll need to do is find a co-founder. But what qualities should you be looking for in a potential business partner?

According to recent studies, the most important qualities for a co-founder are:

1.Similar Values

2.Similar Skillset

3.Similar Work Ethic

4.Complementary Skillset

5. Trust

6.Alignment with Vision



9.Ability to Execute

If you can find someone who possesses all of these qualities, you're onto a winner. But if you can't find someone who ticks all the boxes, don't worry – just focus on finding someone who has the most important ones for you.

While finding a co-founder can be a challenging task, hiring your first employee or outsourcing your work shouldn't be as hard. If you've gotten your initial idea in place but need help visualizing it to tell the story you have in your mind, a design team is what you need and there's no better than Mad Creative Beanstalk, especially when your goal is to slay giants. Get in touch for slides design or graphic design as our professional presentation consultant is sure to be a valuable asset to your budding startup business.

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