March 22, 2018
Being a co-founder is a big role, and the role often comes with even greater responsibility. Co-founders are vital to validate a business plan and product while executing the early stages of the startup and providing deliverables.
However, not everyone is suitable to be a co-founder and just because someone is there from day one that does not mean they are the best fit for the team to build, operate, and scale a startup in its early stages.
The Traditional Method
The method used in the past and still is the most popular method is having co-founders starting a venture together as friends or classmates from school. This is a common story where friends or classmates have an idea and decide to build it into a reality, having discussed it over a late night. It seems like an easy way to find a co-founder, having your friends sharing the same dreams. Although this seems like a beginning of a story of how a unicorn startup got started, in reality, the least stable founding teams were friends.
The problem is that co-founding a startup with friends or classmates will eventually lead to difficult conversations that they have never faced before. This will result in the co-founders straining both personal and professional relationships that will further lead to a decrease in collaboration and put the venture at risk in order to protect the personal relationship. Another obstacle to finding co-founders as friends is that the same set of core values may not be shared and working habits may not be compatible once work is underway. In short, a business built on friendship is riskier than others.
The Synthetic Method
The less popular but more practical method of bringing co-founders together is to synthetically build the team together based on the phase of the startup as well as skills that are needed at the time. This method brings into account the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the team, and how the selected co-founders can complement each other’s skillset. Usually, the existing founder will go and network or scout the pool of candidates that fit their needs based on past experience and skills, rather than start off the startup with co-founders already.
A friendship built on business is more natural and usually results in a better outcome. The goal of this method is to focus on the business idea, then to center co-founders around their interest for the startup and have their skills and educational background fit the startup. This decreases the risk of having a co-founder without the same set of core values and work ethic. By getting to know each other by collaborating with a co-founder first, this will allow a breeding ground for compatibility and will prevent any strain on the startup and relationships in the future.
Become a Co-Founder Without the Risks
At TandemLaunch we turn Ph.D. students into CTOs and startup co-founders. We follow the synthetic model of bringing co-founders together and there is a proven track record to show our success. Ph.D. students do not need to apply with an idea or invention, we provide all the ideas and inventions for you to explore. All we want are niche skills, a strong education background, and an interest in entrepreneurship. We are still accepting applicants for our next cohort that starts on April 1st, 2018. There are a few seats left so please apply if you are interested in becoming an Entrepreneur-in-Residence! Contact us if you have questions.
Are you ready to become a co-founder?