How to find a tech co-founder for your start-up?

It is not that hard to generate an idea for tech start-up, but in case the idea creator is non-tech founder, it comes with a great challenge. How to find a tech co-founder that will fit with the rest of the team? The tech person as a co-founder holds the key to the existence of the whole product and its functionality, therefore it is crucial to the potential success of the start-up. Let´s dive into the process how to find the right tech co-founder.

1. What is your vision?

Only an idea what you want to do is not enough. You need to specify the product in more details based on a problem you are trying to solve with the solution in mind, and of course, define the possible target groups using the product. Particularly important is to define the future of the company, the goals and next steps, e.g., in terms of expansion, etc.

2. What exactly should the co-founder know and do?

It is super important to determine what skills the new tech co-founder should have to really make it happen. You can’t just say, I need a developer. There are many ways how to develop the product, and various technologies and methods that can be used. Some needs AI knowledge, some blockchain or you need mobile app developer, etc. If you are not a person who knows what is the best tech approach (obviously), we recommend asking tech people around you, finding a mentor or joining an incubator or an accelerator.

3. Where to look for a new technical friend?

Start-up ecosystem is yet waking up in some countries, and thriving in others. Try to find the local organizations supporting entrepreneurship, incubators, accelerators and gather information about upcoming start-up or innovation events, hackathons, and meetups. But you can do even more. Find IT conferences, tech forums or try it online on many platforms: social media, community groups or co-founder matchmaking platforms.

Another potential source of a new co-founder is your network, a hidden gem you are looking for: classmates from school or a university, friends, family, former colleagues or people you attended the courses or lectures with. Reach out to contacts you have already made on LinkedIn, X (Twitter), or other social networks, and so on. If you have already established relationships or first contact with these people, it can be easier to commit them to your start-up project.

4. This is a long-term investment of time and energy

Finishing and improving a product takes big dedication. Once you find a potential co-founder with the skills and willingness to join your start-up, you need to assess their commitment level to ensure they are not just looking for a short-term project.

5. Have in-depth conversations with your potential co-founder before making a commitment

When choosing the best candidates, it is important to thoroughly understand their motives, vision, work style, technical expertise, their expectations and of course, desired equity distribution.

6. Give it a trial run by working on a specific task or milestone together

The goal is to create a long-term, professional, and working relationship. If you want to be sure about the compatibility, you can make a compromise and establish a trial period of cooperation on a smaller project for the start-up. This will help you assess how well it went and if you have found a real co-founder gem.

7. Legal things matter

It is important to have a clear co-founder agreement in place, drafted by a legal professional. This agreement should outline roles, responsibilities, equity distribution, exit strategies, and situation in which a co-founder wants to leave the company.

When building a tech start-up, finding a co-founder is crucial. Thanks to these steps above, you are more likely to find a good fit for the team. If it turns out that your co-found isn’t a good fit, remember to resolve it calmly. Good luck.

October 5, 2023

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