Startup Co-Founders can be either a blessing or a curse. If you are contemplating starting your own business, you should understand the pros and cons of being the sole founder or doing it with one or more co-founders.
Why Do You Need Startup Co-Founders?
It can be lonely to be a startup founder, so it helps to have someone who will share the negative experiences with you and have honest cofounder discussions with you.
Employees tend to tell you only the good news because they don’t want to go to their boss with bad news.
When the company is having issues (unknown to the team), a founder usually won’t talk to the team about it, because it could make them panic and/or plan their exit. However, you can talk to a co-founder in these situations.
Co-founders need to have a complementary skill set.
What Are Complimentary Skill Sets?
One co-founder likes to speak at conferences, the other likes to build the product. One likes to do sales calls, the other likes to hire, etc. It’s not always perfect, but it helps reduce conflict.
When Don’t You Need Startup Co-Founders?
When you’re older and maybe you’ve found a startup or two before.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a co-founder unless you absolutely love working with that person and it’s just what you want to do.
You can go out on your own and hire a founding team. This way you don’t give away half your cap table to a co-founder.
How Do You Find Technical Co-Founder?
You need to demonstrate that you have a ton of value if you’re not a technical founder. Investors are obsessed with technical founders and tend to believe that a technical founder is more valuable. You need to be good at raising money, getting press, hiring world-class people, designing the product, sales, partnerships, or other valuable skills.
Joining a programme like Antler will provide you with mentorship, some funding and the chance to be matched with a Co-Founder
What’s The Argument Against Having A Co-Founder?
According to Mark Suster, it’s better to hire your cofounders (founding team) because you’re in charge, but you can still talk to them freely as if they were co-founders.
See the Co-founder Mythology by Mark Suster.
About The Author
James Spurway is an Angel Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Speaker, former Commercial Pilot, and Author specializing in raising debt and equity funds for pre-seed or early-stage seed rounds for Startups in the Fintech, DeepTech, AgTech, ClimateTech and AgeTech verticles. He lives in Singapore and has spent the past 30 years living and building businesses in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, the USA, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia, where he was born.