Finding A Co-founder

Interior of 1871, a co-working space in chicago.

Interior of 1871, a co-working space in chicago.

What is Steve Jobs without Steve Wozniak. Jobs has the idea, and Wozniak built his idea. Your relationship with your co-founder may be one of the most important relationships you have in life, since they are helping you run your business or organization. If you’re looking for a partner for your venture, know what you’re looking for before you open the floodgates for anyone interested in joining a startup.

Golden rules when looking for a co-founder

  • Know your values - you are looking for someone you trust to help lead and run your business, so it is essential that you like them and that they believe in the ideals of your business or organization

  • Know your skills - ideally find someone with a different skillset or background than yours so they can fill gaps in your current team, think about how Wozniak’s technical skills complimented Jobs’ eye for design

  • Know your audience - talk to as many people as you possibly can to ensure you’re getting the best and most committed person, you don’t have to interview everyone but even chats over coffee will help you get to know their interest level

  • Know your role - if you are sharing control and leadership of your venture with another person, it is crucial that you jointly agree on what the company or organization’s goals should be and split up roles and responsibilities early on

Where to find a co-founder

A lot of startups begin with co-founders who met each other in college or through work. Networking at job fairs or college fairs are a great way to meet new, similarly-minded people.

However, if that is not an option for you, you can easily find entrepreneurial-minded people at startup events like Techweek, South by Southwest, and Demo Day. Co-working or shared spaces for small businesses may also be a good idea. Each city usually has their co-working spaces like 1871 in Chicago or REC in the San Francisco Bay Area.

There are also websites and online platforms just for matching founders with co-founders. Some online platform to find co-founders include: