Startups · Team Building

What is the right number of cofounders?

sandy edri It manager at VR

September 16th, 2016


Currently I am looking at building my founding team and partnering up with skilled folks around a tech startup idea.
However, I am struggling with the right number of co-founders that I should involve with this project early on.
Based on your experience and what you have seen what is the right number of founders to start a tech business? 

Michael Barnathan

September 16th, 2016

Focus on skills and how many cofounder-material people you can actually bring in (suitable cofounders are actually quite rare, more due to lack of founder-level motivation and initiative than lack of skills). Don't worry about the number. Sometimes the answer is "just start it yourself and look later because you have to get the ball rolling".

If you're missing an essential skill on the team, that's when you need to bring someone in.

Steven Bonacorsi Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

September 16th, 2016

In my experience 2-3 roles initially
1. Marketing/Sales
2. Operations/Technical
3. Personnel

Suresh Neti Software Outsourcing Advisor | Custom Software & Product Development

September 16th, 2016

I think 2 or 3.

Ken Berkun Entrepreneur

September 16th, 2016

Based on my experience 4 is too many.

MaxBlox/Founder Institute Director, Chennai Area at The Founder Institute

September 16th, 2016

As i see the many startups I mentor, I find that three is the best number for a startup.  Ideally, the roles should be a Tech/ Marketing / Sales. One of these should also be the visionary/strategic individual.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

September 16th, 2016

What are all of the capabilities you will need to discover and validate your business model?

Which capabilities are "core" to the creation of your value proposition and which can be "outsourced" or contracted?

What is the number of people you will need to embody all of the core capabilities? 

Sidney Sclar SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com

September 17th, 2016

I agree. There is no fixed number.

Chip Hazard General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners

September 16th, 2016

I wrote about this question here ( https://hazardlights.net/2014/04/23/getting-the-co-founder-decision-right/), but the short version is that founding teams of two, with complementary skill sets and a shared vision, seems to be best.

Shams Juma

September 16th, 2016

This varies, but the rule of thumb is 3. You need vision (CEO). You need marketing (CMO). You need product (CTO)..

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

September 17th, 2016

CEO, CTO and CFO Cofounders are fundamental.