How to find a startup co-founder

To achieve success, a startup needs a cofounder. Having somebody who is passionate about the same idea that interests you, and who shares your views, is more important than even funding or technology expertise. Many venture capital companies consider the presence of a co-founder or a team to be a mandatory condition for funding.

There are two main approaches to finding a co-founder online: active and passive. With the active approach, you locate potential candidates and then pitch them your idea. You can use the list of resources mentioned below or compile your own list. With the passive approach, you publish your idea online and wait for people to contact you. Both approaches have their own pros and cons. In the case of the active approach, you have more control over whom you contact. You don’t reveal anything online, you protect your privacy, and you don’t have to worry about somebody copying your idea. In the case of the passive approach, you have more opportunities to connect with people who contacted you after they read your post because they are interested in your idea. However, you may not receive as many responses as you expect. It is hard to say which method is better, but you will achieve more success if you practice both approaches.

In both situations, you must present your idea to potential candidates. You must master the art of pitching your idea. Not only will this help you attract potential cofounders but it will also provide you with feedback from other entrepreneurs. When preparing your presentation, you must analyze your selling points and think about what you can bring to the table and how you can make people believe in you and your idea. Multiple factors are important here, but the critical one is to be passionate about your project and be ready to go all in.

Overall, finding the right co-founder is a challenging task, but it can be carried out more effectively if you use the right resources to target the right audience. Below is an overview of the most popular online services that can help you find partners for your business, locally and around the world.

NamePriceAudienceSpecializationType
CofoundersLab.comPaidUS and worldwideStartupsWeb
Founder2Be.comPaidEurope and worldwideStartupsWeb
Warriorforum.comPaidWorldwideWeb and online businessesWeb
PartnerUpList.comFreeUS and worldwideStartups, entrepreneurs, and small businessesWeb
Meetaway.comFreeUSNetworking, startupsWeb, Video
ShaprFreeUS and worldwideNetworkingMobile

CofoundersLab.com

CofoundersLab is one of the most popular social networks for entrepreneurs. To start, you must create a profile; then you can network with and message entrepreneurs who match your search criteria. The site has a large user base from the US. However, not everyone is looking for a cofounder; some users are interested in networking or working for a startup as an employee. CofoundersLab recently changed its business model, which means you now must purchase a membership to search for and contact people.

Founder2Be.com

Founder2Be is another social network for entrepreneurs and startup founders. The basic membership is free and includes the ability to search by country as well as to message other members. You must pay to use additional features, such as an advanced search by city and state. The site’s user base is slightly smaller than that of CofoundersLab; also, it has many European users because it was founded in Finland. In addition to user profiles, Founder2Be offers a list of startup ideas that you can browse. However, to submit new ideas, you must pay for a Pro membership.

Meetaway.com

Meetaway is a one-on-one online networking platform for professionals that uses video conferencing. It hosts numerous events for entrepreneurs and startup founders interested in networking. This is a good place to talk to like-minded people and meet potential business partners. As of this writing, the service is free. However, when you register for an event, you will be asked to download the (free) tickets, which means the site is probably planning to introduce paid events in the future. When you join an event scheduled for a specific time slot, you have 15 minutes to talk, using video conferencing, with a random person who is signed up for the same session. If both parties are interested, they can extend the length of the session.

Warriorforum.com

This is a popular, established digital marketing forum that has a Joint Ventures section. In this section, visitors can view and submit posts related to business partnerships. Most of the posts are related to eCommerce, web, and various types of online businesses. You can browse for free, but you must be a paid member to submit new posts or reply to existing ones.

PartnerUpList.com

PartnerUpList is a free message board for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Unlike the previous resources on this list, it works like an online classifieds section, where visitors can submit posts, even without registration. To prevent spam, a moderator reviews all posts. You are free to publish your contact information if you’d like, or you can provide only your email address, which will be hidden; visitors will reply to your post by filling out a contact form. The message board is completely free of charge and offers a wide range of topics, including real estate, import-export, online business, and blockchain projects. Because of its simplicity, the message board attracts many entrepreneurs, tech folks, and people interested in starting new businesses.

Shapr

Shapr is a professional networking app available for Android and iOS. It works in a manner similar to Tinder. The app uses LinkedIn profiles to match users based on their interests. It doesn’t focus specifically on business partner searches, but it is a very handy tool because it lets you reach out to people who have similar interests. After you connect with members who interest you, you can pitch your idea to them.

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