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How To Choose A Co-Founder For Your Startup?

How To Choose A Co-Founder For Your Startup?

Ravi Kikan
Ravi is a Mentor at MentorEdge ( A CIIE- IIM-A initiative), A Knowledge driven enterprise. He is a Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector and B2B Marketing Expert.

Look For A Brother From A Different Mother

Lets look at a situation…..

Your Product is almost ready.

Your Business plan is done.

Your Got To Market is in place.

Your Seed Funding seems in place.

You are a Technology guy and you need someone from business to help you build your startup working along with you.

You have shortlisted and spoken to many people who can be your prospective Co-Founders but the million dollar question is “How the hell do you choose the right Co-Founder for your venture?”

Related: 7 Things To Actually Look Out For In Your Startup’s Co-Founders

It is an easy task if you think of it, there are a million Platforms or Online Communities that can help you reach out to these prospective Co-founders but there are some basic traits that one should keep in mind before choosing a Co-founder.

My experiences (success and failures) for a couple of startups that I was part of was a direct implication of the bonding in-between the co-founders.This was a critical part.

One question also took my attention was “Whether You Should Go Solo or Get A Co-Founder” Thank you John Teel for sharing this thread in the Startup Specialist Group.

Speaking to many global founders, successful entrepreneurs or failed ventures, one critical think came out was that to know and understand some basic traits before you finalize a Co-Founder. I put this question in the Startup Specialist Group on LinkedIn up for grabs and had some amazing responses.

Some of the basic traits that you should look at in a Co-Founder:

  1. Ability to Share Your Vision
  2. Great Tuning For Your Idea of Growth
  3. Compliment Each Other With Different Competencies But Look in The Same Direction
  4. He or She Should Be Your Biggest Critic But Looking At The Same Goals
  5. Look Into Your Personality. Answer This Question Whether You Are Ready To Listen To Someone Who Is On The Same Level ?
  6. Choose Someone Who Can Easily Communicate With Under All Circumstances
  7. Found a business with someone you know and trust, someone with whom you have history and a high level of comfort. Know that you are looking out for each others’ interest while maintaining focus on achieving clear objectives together
  8. Founders should have high levels of integrity, energy and intelligence. Without these critical elements, a company is flying blind
  9. Founders should start with and maintain good business plans that are updated frequently and constantly compared to actual results. It’s very easy to get lost if you don’t know where you’re going. It’s also better to know how actual operations are deviating from projected results which makes it easier to make course corrections as they are needed before calamities and not after.
  10. And finally, at the very start of a venture, founders should have agreements in place to allow that some founders may fall by the wayside. These agreements should be in the nature of pre-nups so that there is a very clear understanding of how founders can leave without destroying everything in their wake

One of the amazing experts Nick Kitchener shared this thought:

Ranulph Fiennes once made an interesting comment with regards to choosing expedition partners, and I think it applies to business too. 

He advises against choosing a friend. 

His argument is based on risk management. If the expedition goes badly with a friend, you risk losing the friendship. If it goes successfully with a stranger, you stand to make a new friend.

Another entrepreneur Brijesh Tejani puts it in a different way altogether:

There can’t a rule of thumb, but one make sure that his/her co-founder has the following:

1. High FSO (Figure.Sh*t.Out) quotient
2. His GSD (Get.Sh*t.Done) quotient
3. High Determination quotient
4. High Communication quotient

Whoever you choose remember he or she will also babysit your kid (your idea) make sure he or she is the right person. With these basic tips in mind I am sure you will get some direction into this.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Ravi Kikan


Guest Columnist at Inc42, Growthhacker for Startups, Online Community Builder, Startup Connector, B2B Marketing Expert, Mentor

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