I know that some investors think it is best if you were long-time friends or co-workers with your co-founder prior to starting up, but I am curious if there are other ways to find/build a team that can also be successful.
Unfortunately, most of my friends from college prefer the security of a full-time job over the uncertainty and risk of starting a company or joining an accelerator. Or if they are interested, they are not as driven to put in same level of time and effort that I am. Starting a company is a big decision, and I would hate to rush into it with a complete stranger, but at the same time I want to start something as soon as possible. I guess that I can always just start it myself and then add members later, but it wouldn't be the same as being in the trenches together from day one. Would love to hear your stories and thoughts.
I feel the same way as you do! My best friends from college all went on to work for fortune 500 companies. I attended some seminars and events that CoFoundersLab hosted in my area and was able to connect with a couple of people. I'm still actively searching for teammates. Finding a good business partner is very much like dating, timing is extremely important.
Being too close might also not always be ideal to start a business. Although I started a project with a long time friend some time ago, we couldn't make it into a success. One of the reasons is that we shared too many of the same interests and knowledge (making the friendship very viable but growing a business less likely). The lack of additional skills to grow the project into a successful business, made us stop eventually. Although we still discuss many new ideas.
I continued later with a new project and found a co-founder through CoFounderslab and we build a small team with a much broader skill set. We took some time to get to know each other and find out goals and intentions. It's a journey, but if you work together closely, you start knowing each other pretty quickly.
1. Cold emails to MIT 100k participants
2. Brother of a previous co-founder
3. 2 guys I knew from a prior failed startup
4. Friend of a previous co-worker
5. 2 people I met for the first time at a hackathon and won a track with
I found my co-founder in academics (professor). He seemed knowledgeable and had industry connection. The venture has found limited success due to market conditions and but we are still at it.
Having a person with whom you can share the same vision, create a plan and work towards it, bring diversity - is very important.
a startup team does definitely need a optimistic and practical sense to it. good luck!
I found my co-founder because he works for me in another company. I was impressed with his attitude and style and we decided to partner up for future ventures. Apart from that, I used CoFoundersLab to find a CTO, which I believe I have now found.
Working together will pretty much always tell what kind of person you're dealing with.
I can relate to it too.My best friends are not necessarily the best profiles for my ideas, as I am not for theirs (we are fine about it) - we still do share experiences and even dreams that may work great. I, however, feel that the best answer is lying just between those extremes - we have to have that sort of connection with the person we are engaging with, and since this is business, that connection should be more into it. Things get tougher and some friendship are not that strong to handle this part, and some others simply cannot separate business from friendship. It is similar with family businesses - something that I have experience on.
In a first project I became a cofounder, I just met the person in a network like this, we have a couple of phone calls, we met for coffee and decided to try. We have a couple of business things (and vission) in common. We laid out things and deliverables right away on those first meetings and whatever the results there would not be hard feelings. I moved on, the business is still up with other people, we are still good business relations. One key component here is that anyone should be clear about what is looking for other people for business, being honest from the beginning especially when talking about resources, and measure deliverables on a weekly, biweekly and monthly basis. GIve some thoughts and listen to your instinct because when something doesn' feel right, it is not right. Let the doors open for people to come and go as they wish.