Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finding Your Co-Founders

I came across this tip which would be helpful if you’re looking for other co-founders. It was originally published on TechCrunch.com website. I believe both tech and non-tech individuals could find this useful. By Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg

Having trouble meeting folks you think would be good co-founders? Here are a couple ideas:

1. Join student groups relevant to your interests. If you’re a business major – go check out the Engineering Society’s monthly meeting. If you’re in the CS department, I’ll bet the business school students would kill to meet you at the next Entrepreneurship Club meeting.

2. If your school doesn’t already have a student group designed to foster collaboration between groups of students with the skills necessary to get a startup rolling, start one!

Ok, so most folks reading this are probably out of school. Fortunately, there are a number of examples of successful founding teams that met outside of school. Chad and Steve from YouTube met while working at PayPal. Sean and Shawn from Napster met in an IRC channel. Cisco was a husband and wife team. It helps to be in school, but it’s not an absolute requirement. A few practical ideas applicable to everyone, in school or not:

1. Get out there and find activities that attract diverse groups of people. In Silicon Valley, rock climbing’s a current hot spot for startup folks. So is ultimate frisbee. There’s at least one weekly ultimate frisbee game I’m aware of that’s chock-full of people from the startup industry, on both the business and tech sides.

2. Ask your friends for intros to people in an area you’re trying to learn about. Chances are someone in your group of techies knows someone business oriented. The first folks you meet may not be a fit, but keep asking for referrals and you’ll get there.

3. Join / attend local organizations designed to foster introductions between folks interested in startups.

4. Team with co-workers at your current job or that internship you did last summer. Just make sure to not violate any non-competes, etc, in the process! Generally speaking, as long as you’re not working on a project your employer would reasonably want to own, you’re probably ok. Of course, do not use any of your employer’s resources.

TIP: I will also add that you don’t live your life looking for a wife initially. You start with baby steps, going out with different ladies, until your connection with one or three has become a bond. Founders Under 40 (LinkedIn) (fu40group[at]bjmannyst[dot]com) could help you find other founders.

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