find a startup co founder

How To Find A Startup Co Founder: 5 Ways You’ll Love

Find a Startup Co Founder that “gets” your vision and shares your commitment, and as an old proverb says “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Okay, you say, but where are the best places to hang out to find a compatible founder?

Find A Startup Co-Founder: TL;DR

There are several ways to find a co-founder for your startup.

You can look for co-founders within your personal contacts, social media groups related to startups, job listing platforms, startup events, and conferences.

You can also create a profile on one or more of the following:

Y-Combinator, AngelList, Startup School, Co-Founders Lab, StartHawk, Founders List, Indie Hackers, Reddit, FounderDating, Founder2Be, YouNoodle, LinkedIn Groups or Twitter.

However, perhaps the more difficult yet generally successful way is to apply for entry into a global incubator program such as Antler.

Find a startup co founder that is a good fit and you have gone a long way to “derisking” your startup.

Here are some things to consider when looking for a co-founder:

  • Shared vision: You and your co-founder should share a common vision for the company. You should both be passionate about the same things and have similar goals for the business.

  • Complementary skills: You and your co-founder should have complementary skills. For example, if you are a technical person, you may want to find someone with business or marketing skills.

  • Trust: You need to be able to trust your co-founder. You will be working closely together and making important decisions together, so it’s essential that you have a good working relationship.

  • Communication: Good communication is key to any successful partnership. You and your co-founder should be able to communicate openly and honestly.

  • Commitment: Starting a business is hard work and requires much time and effort. You need to find someone who is committed to the business and willing to put in the work.

  • Culture fit: You and your co-founder should have a similar work ethic and values. This will help ensure that you are both on the same page when it comes to making decisions for the company.


Summarizing The Five Ways To Finding A Great Startup Co Founder

In Person

  • Personal connections:
    Friends (and friends of friends)
    Family members
    Romantic partners 
    Former colleagues/classmates/peers

  • Networking events:
    Affinity groups: There’s a community for almost every industry and speciality, from the Association for Computing Machinery to the Society of Professional Journalists
    Business/tech meetups: Such as events through the Entrepreneurs’ Organization or the American Marketing Association 
    Conferences: Like the Forbes Under 30 Summit or HubSpot’s INBOUND
    Accelerator events/pitch competitions: Think MIT $100k or Y Combinator’s Demo Day


  • Matching tools:
    CoFoundersLab: The site uses an algorithm to help you find a co-founder match, and also offers a 20-week program focused on growing your startup and raising capital
    FoundersList: This service lets you browse existing co-founder listings or post your own, as well as joining founder groups by region and industry
    Indie Hackers: Follow along for helpful tips and tricks for finding a co-founder or post your own callout 
    StartHawk: The site pairs a search algorithm with an intuitive messaging system to help users find a co-founder who fits their startup
    Y Combinator: The matching tool of arguably the most famous startup accelerator, YC’s site matches co-founders based on interests, skills, location, and more 

Social Media

  • Reddit: The co-founder subreddit is built around helping entrepreneurs find a co-founder; browse prior posts or submit your own 
    LinkedIn: Use search terms you’re interested in and click the “people” filter as well as the location filter to narrow down profiles (for example: “technical lead” in New York City)
    Twitter: Many Twitter users put interests and job titles in their Twitter bios. You can search specific terms when looking for a possible co-founder (“former lawyer” or “MBA,” for example) 

About the Author

James Spurway is an Angel Investor, Mentor, Advisor, Speaker, former Commercial Pilot, and Author who specialises in raising debt and equity capital. He strives to model diversity, equity, and inclusion in the founders he agrees to invest and work with. He has paused his angel investing activity to focus on raising his first US$ 50M venture capital fund, which will invest in startups that can accelerate the achievement of net zero emissions. James spent the past 33 years living in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, the USA, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Australia, his country of birth. In that time, he started 10 businesses, exited from seven, shut down two, and kept one. He has invested in a total of 50 startups since 2001 and had six successful exits.

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