Finding cofounders

How to introduce and bring in co-founder/s into my startup?


February 21st, 2016

I'm a coder developing a product.
I'm always in the lookout for co-founders to join in.
I have communicated online with some potential co-founders (who showed interest) who have complementary skills (biz, marketing).
Some I can meet after driving few hours, others are truly remote, but I'd give them a shot too.

I tried it before, and had long conversations with interested interesting people, but having no real roadmap for 'befriending' led to lack of commitment and real life pushed the virtual relationship into becoming just another linkedin connection.

Bottom line:
How do I get to know each candidate well enough to decide if I want to work with, and when and how to introduce into the existing project?

Helen Adeosun

February 21st, 2016


I met my first co-founder here about a year ago and I adore her! Her passion is fantastic and she was a perfect fit to balance my big thinking with detail orientation. We both had come from extraordinarily bad co-founder situations within 6 months.

I met her 5 months after I parted ways with a possible co-founder and a even worse parting on her end. We met for coffee and asked to record our conversation because of her deep knowledge in our area. After November we "dated" as she became a super advisor making introduction to a possible technical leads for at the time my startup. We went from meeting monthly, to weekly, then daily and after thinking about it we decided she would be a great co-founder for the level of credibility, day to day knowledge, etc. All of this took six months and in that time I had great feedback from the people who knew her best, she met my advisors. Keep in mind that my start up was at this point a year in existence when we met.

I think fundamentally the dating part of foundership is so key. I know that if all things don't work out I love our dynamic. Relationships take time and I think that if you wouldn't get married to someone you met in a weekend (i.e. startup weekend) then don't join a company in a weekend.

We're currently on the hunt for a CTO but we know we would pay someone before we got married. The ability for the CEO and original founder to cede control is hard and also takes time for original founders to grow into. This stopped being my startup and became our startup once my co-founder joined and that's hard if you don't have the bigger picture in mind. This is my first startup and I want to learn as much as possible from smart good natured people, and so far I've been blessed.

Message me for any more details or to talk.

Helen Adeosun


February 21st, 2016

By the second or third call, ask them to start working. Carve out some tasks that they can take on over approx 3 months. That's your initial dating period - you should talk frequently during that time, ideally daily. Figure out if you can work effectively together and if, collectively, you can create the momentum necessary to get your product out the door and into the hands of paying customers. Basically, move to working mode ASAP (there's no compensation during that time unless you're hiring an employee; if it's a cofounder, there should be consensus verbalized from the outset on an equity range for them after the 3 month trial period).

León Lassovsky

February 22nd, 2016

I tried many solutions, what worked best was to treat potential staff as a “start up”, moving fast and one step at a time.

After they decide to move in start with simple and fast task, so both sides can evaluate ASAP the working experience.

Nothing will replace shoulder to shoulder work, in case you can´t have it schedule 2 or 3 phone call frames each day to get organized and talk about anything you have to. Don´t go over the time and look for one of many tools where you can both measure progresses without contact (Eg: Trello)

I am strongly against the Eoin´s pov about giving 3 months, in a small startup, 3 months with the wrong person can jeopardize your business.

Joe Welfeld President; The Welfeld Group, LLC

February 24th, 2016

One important issue you raised early in your comment is the complementary skill set. Part of that "vetting" can take place in the early stages by bringing someone on as an adviser. It allows both sides to see if there truly is a complementary set of skills and whether the adviser and advisee can work together and respect each others strengths and weaknesses. I would recommend a local person to make it easier on both. Having participated in this capacity with early stage healthcare companies I have found that if they become "long distance" relationships, working together becomes more difficult. In this case, absence does not make the heart grow fonder.

Yiannis Vavatsiniotis Founder and Director at SITETRIX

February 25th, 2016

I have an idea and I am looking for a co-founder, The idea is based on human emotions and I treat this project as 'my baby' I am looking for a partner to 'date' and eventually get 'married', so we can both  raise our baby.

As this is a family we need to be living together. So I live in Norwich UK anyone?

Will Tran

February 22nd, 2016

Getting cofounders is like getting married - I suggest full caution to take time to fully vet them. If you can't get them to join you, you must either not have a good enough problem or you are lacking in some way.


February 22nd, 2016

@Leon -- agreed. To be clear, I'm not suggesting one should wait 3 months before letting the wrong person go. I'm suggesting that one should wait 3 months before committing to the right person. It takes a while to see fatal flaws or incompatibilities -- if terminal problems come up at any point during the 3 months then you move on. But problems rarely arise in the first few weeks -- it usually takes some time.

Elissa Hambrecht Co-Founder, NewCo

February 24th, 2016

I am a "serial" startup type, just beginning the search for my next project.  I bring operational chops as well as the BD/Sales/Marketing skills to the table.  I'm looking for a mission-driven company that is set to make positive and transformative change.  I am not down for a daily commute but happy to travel up to 30% of the time - so either San Francisco based or flexible on when/where we work together in a f2f capacity.

kapil patel Experienced web developer

February 23rd, 2016

Hello Enterprenuer,
First let me tell you that I'm looking to join some one as a co-founder.
I don't have any suggestion on where or how you can get a good co-founder, but I would like to tell you my experience as someone who is looking to join someone.
Before joining someone I would like that the guy in your position should tell as much as possible about the Idea/Product/Service you are going to to work on.
You should not say like "This is confidential".
Tell him about yourself what are the field where you excel and what are the things you are looking in future co-founder.
I have experienced that people want to everything about the future co-founder but are not willing to reveal much about his self and the Idea/Product.

Please let me know if this helps you.