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Detailed Tips to Get Perfect-Fit Startup Partners

Generally, right partners are needed. Because at first, normally entrepreneurs don’t have the bandwidth, interest or skills to do everything that is required to build their startup.
By Devon Vo | EnvZone Staff
on October 09, 2019 | 9 min read

Find startup partners - the challenge that every entrepreneur has to face during the process of forming their businesses.

Generally, right partners are needed. Because at first, normally entrepreneurs don’t have the bandwidth, interest or skills to do everything that is required to build their startup. They can solve these problems by outsourcing several parts of the work or hiring employees. However, applying this approach requires them more money and time, which they can’t afford, to mange the work. Thus, seeking elusive perfect-fit startup partners or co-founders is the best solution.

It is said that two heads are better than one in a startup. And of course, to maximize the effort the two or the whole team, everyone n eeds to share the passion, long-term opportunity and risk, rather than just getting paid to do a job, winning or losing. 

What is needed to be prepared before a business partner hunt?

Thoroughly understand your core value proposition

Before you actually start the search for a development partner, you need to make sure you know what you’re talking about.

For example, when you show up to a meeting with a potential technical co-founder or development partner without a clear understanding of what you do, why you do it, and who you’re doing it for, your chances of landing that second date are not really high.

At first, what you need to give out is a clear demonstration about researches that you have done, and everything you talked about is more than just a crazy idea you thought up in the shower yesterday. Once potential partners know you’re serious, they can examine your vision and decide if it’s something they can get behind as well.

Build strong evidence that the idea is valuable and has traction

Of course, you don’t have a product yet. But at least you need to validate what you are working on with strong evidence such as wire frames, business plans, pitch decks, or video presentations, etc. They are signals to tell others that you are serious and committed. Plus, they also make explaining your vision so much easier.

9 best websites to find startup partners

It’s getting harder and harder to find an ideal business partner or a startup co-founder in today huge and dynamic market. At this stage, online platforms are here to help, as they are created with the purpose of making this step a little bit easier for great ideas to meet their perfectly fit skillsets to build up these ideas together.

This stage is considered to be the most important in the process of forming businesses, since this is what will play a bug role in determining whether your startup will be successful or not.

FounderDating

Founded out of the utter frustration of finding a business partner, co-founder and investor in the current world, FounderDating is one of the best platforms for anyone looking to find a co-founder, entrepreneur, partner or investor.

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Courtesy: FounderDating

This platform divides business-minded people into three separate categories:

#1. Entrepreneur Network

This group includes both serial entrepreneurs and first-time entrepreneurs. Business minded people who aspire to be great entrepreneurs also fall into this category.

#2. Co-founder Network

People who have already started a project or have an idea and are looking for someone to start a project with and those who have already started a project but have no plan yet, are placed in this category.

#3. Advisor Network

This network is set up for experienced professional, those who want to mentor entrepreneur or startups for equity and no cash.

It is pretty rigorous to join FounderDating, due to the process of screening every single applicant to make sure that they meet the criteria of the site. Moreover, you are required to have a LinkedIn account as it is used as the platform’s sign-in tool. LinkedIn is also where most people will connect with you outside the site since it’s the most professional social media network around.

Startup Weekend

Startup weekends are 54-hour long events that happen over the course of the weekend beginning Friday and ending on Sunday. Participants are entrepreneurs, designers, marketers, product managers, developers, and startup enthusiasts who will be teamed up to build products and launch them in just one weekend.

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Courtesy: Startup Weekend

These series of event are absolutely ideal meeting places for business like-minded people, who are excited about the idea of building their own businesses and products. According to pressfarm, there is 36% of startups launched here over these weekends have gone on to become strong businesses which are currently thriving.

During the event you also get to meet the movers and shakers of your community and who knows, maybe you will strike gold, an investor and a co-founder to form the unbeatable startup team.

These events often begin with open mic pitches on Friday, interesting ideas are respectively presented to inspire and enchanted others to join their team. Saturday and Sunday are time for each team to focus on their customer development, validating ideas, practicing LEAM Startup Methodologies and build a minimal viable product. At the end of these events, Sunday evening, all teams will demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

CoFoundersLab

It is reasonable to say CoFoundersLab is one of the biggest platforms in this field, as it is a network of 40,000 entrepreneurs, advisers and interns who make a great combination all together for the newest entrepreneurs and startups.

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Courtesy: CoFoundersLab

Different form FounderDating, you can easily join this site. Your profile can be posted without being charged and you are also allowed to search the whole network for your ideal partner.

With the basic plan or free plan, you can only contact a maximum of 5 co-founders per month. But by using a payment plan, you are offered with a wide range of features such as the ability to contact an unlimited number of co-founders per month, suggestions of recommended candidates for your startup and priority in search listings where you get seen on top of the results page when entrepreneurs are searching for co-founders.

Other advantages of the subscription plan include the ability to see who viewed you, a compatibility score gauge and advanced filtering.

The plans start from $19.99 per month for 3 months, $16.99 per month for 6 months, to $14.99 per month for 12 months.

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Courtesy: CoFoundersLab

Founder2be

This has been compared to the dating site Match.com, but for the tech co-founders, developers, designers and other geeks all over the world. Creating an account is simple and not subject to any rigorous checks.

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Courtesy: Founder2be

On this platform, you can find your co-founder in whatever shape and skillset you desire. This platform is a meet-up place for a variety of people including developer, designers, engineers, marketers, product managers, business developers, salespersons and advisors.

Founder2be also assist you launching your startup directly on the site, getting your very first customers and getting funding.

YouNoodle

Comparing to previous platforms, Younoodle is totally different in terms of operation. Via competitions and contests, it connects co-founders, entrepreneurs and advisers together.

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Courtesy: YouNoodle

Itself a startup, has carried out 400 different contests and challenges. After the contests, opportunities arise for the various co-founders and entrepreneurs including the ability to get funding from the investors who were following the competitions.

Younoodle is also used by many universities, governments, accelerators, and corporations to judge and screen applicants for various competitions or funding deals.

FoundersNation

FoundersNation provides a very simple search tool for finding your co-founder or for checking out people who want to be co-founders and are looking for an opportunity to arise. It’s basically a very simple platform.

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Courtesy: FoundersNation

Logging in can be done via Facebook and that allows the people viewing your profile to know that you are a real person. You can search for co-founders from a particular location with specific skill sets using the platform’s search tool.

CodeArmy

For someone with very little technical know-how, this is the place to be looking for your co-founder.

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Courtesy: CodeArmy

CodeArmy will teach you how to build your product in a few weeks and launch it. What you have to do is to pitch your idea, get linked to the most appropriate Chief Technology Officer (CTO) whom you will work alongside. Build your product under the guidance of the CTO then launch.

You can also browse through all the ideas from other founders on CodeArmy and find one that fits your skill sets, and personality then dive right in as a co-founder.

LeadCandy

LeadCandy is one of the most revolutionary ways to get connections with entrepreneurs, marketers, developers, co-founders and partners today. It bridges the distance between your social media accounts and has all your connections in one portal.

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Courtesy: LeadCandy

You can search the platform for any type of professional you want to link to and get in touch with them in a minute.

When you search for a developer on the platform, for example, what happens is that you get several results and whichever name you choose depending on your location and their location, the Lead Candy tool analyzes your social media connections and theirs as well. It will come up with someone you know that knows someone who knows the developer you are interested in.

Lead Candy searches your social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus to find someone whom you and the partner you are interested in known in common. That common person between both of you will then be contacted to connect both of you. A very solid way of making sure you know who you know and how, in order to make a solid interaction when you meet them.

Meetup

Meetup allows you to create a local group or find one that already exists in your location where you can meet with other business marketers, product managers, developers, engineers, designers, etc., to work on ideas that you passionate about.

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Courtesy: Meetup

It is most preferred for a local meetup and you will be surprised how many people want to get involved in building your idea or making the ideal term for your startup.

Other fantastic places to find co-founders

Your available network

Between strangers and people who you have already worked with, the latter group is likely to become good co-founders rather than the former one, for the obvious reason that you already know each other’s style and have at least some mutual trust.

That is the reason why there are so many former colleagues co-found companies together. If you’ve lost contact with some talented former peers, maybe now is the time to shoot them an email and say "hi."

Talk about your idea with everyone you know and ask if they know anybody who’d be interested in joining you. Don’t assume people would know how to help without you popping the question.

Make friends in your local startup world. These people are more likely to know others who have an entrepreneurial bent. If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, it helps to have advisers who are well respected and connected in your startup community.

Job boards

Job boards are mostly being underrated as places to find co-founder. In fact, they are fully potential, as while most people looking at job boards are looking for a real salary. Which means that most startups do not post co-founder “jobs” at these places. And when you do, it will easily stand out.

It is simply just a job post, written about what you’re looking for in a co-founder, including a description of your company, job responsibilities and qualifications.

Universities

Many universities now have MBA programs that feature entrepreneurship. If you’re looking for a sales/marketing co-founder, it may be useful to contact the MBA program director at your alma mater and ask if the school could spread the words for you among its graduating class.

Final Lines

Finding the right co-founder is one of the most important things, and tricky as well, that an entrepreneur needs to do. You may have an awesome idea in your mind, and by getting a right partner, or a fit team of people may help you to bring that vision to life. Also, having the right co-founders can affect the make and break of your company in the future.

We believe that there are so many challenges at the very first stage of forming a startup that any founder should go through them alone. And when you have right people by your side, you should confidently think that you will be together on your next startup, the even next next one. Great teams persevere, and success breeds success.

This article is also credited to Pressfarm and Entrepreneur

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