Kriti is a marketer, entrepreneur and cartoonist. She is the illustrator and co-founder of EntrepreneurFail, a comic about the ironies of starting a company. She is also the founder of IdeaKube, a company that facilitates brainstorming and networking through ‘ideation parties.’ Kriti was a former marketer at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods, holds an MBA from NYU Stern, and a BS and MS from Carnegie Mellon University.
Let’s set the scene:
It’s a CoFoundersLab Meetup group set in a fun, colorful coworking hub in town. You see introverted onlookers assessing the scene and you see aggressive sales-y types already making their rounds. And you look on and you wonder if you’ll ever find your match here.
Every week, scores of wantrepreneurs and real entrepreneurs attend these events, comb LinkedIn, and network with friends and family to find the perfect startup mate. Unfortunately, most of them are disappointed and discouraged.
If you are looking for a cofounder, you need to be prepared for a taxing, needle-in-the-haystack, diamond-in-the-rough type of search. It is very difficult to find a cofounder with a similar vision, who is not only complementary in his/her skillset, but also able to challenge you.
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In your search, you may meet cartoons along the way that want to be your cofounder:
- The wantrepreneurs who want to leech onto your business
- The dabblers who have their fingers in 3+ businesses
- The know-it-alls who don’t let you get a word in
- The whisperer who won’t share any details about him/herself
- The no-clues who can’t communicate their background or ideas well
So how do you maximize your time at these events, even though the odds are low that you’ll meet your cofounder, love at first handshake?
- Read member profiles upfront and have a plan on who you want to talk to
- Keep your profile crisp and your venture well-defined so the right people will find yo
- Reach early to catch the other overachievers like yourself
- Prepare to jump out of fruitless conversations quickly
- Often the events are at a coworking space, so you may be able to network with others as well
- Aim for a basic intro and remember the selection process is never immediate
- Learn what others are doing to see if you can tweak your own elevator pitch or idea
And In the comic above, it’s difficult to decide who to work with. Our options are:
- Fred Flintstone – Loud-mouthed, aggressive, and constantly scheming often with unintended results
- George Jetson – Family man who always seems to make the wrong decisions and doesn’t think before he speaks
- Inspector Gadget – Generally incompetent but gets by on luck
- Shaggy – The cowardly slacker
- Miss Piggy – A little too narcissistic and exhibits too much favoritism
- Flying Smurf – Inventive yet not open to collaboration and discussion
So, how did you find your cofounder? Which cartoon would you choose as your cofounder? Let us know in the comments below.