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There is nothing more important in a startup’s life than the decision on who to start the company with. Right co-founders, working together can easily find a perfect product-market fit, while a directionless team may work for months or years on a worthless product that nobody is interested in.

Thousands of startups have blown up without a trace because their teams didn’t know their goals, and were moving in polarizing directions. Running a company is definitely one of the most stressful things there is. Hence, it’s very important to build a team that can withstand stress and succeed in all circumstances.

So what are the skills that you should look for in a co-founder that can ensure success for your startup? Let’s have a close look at some important co-founder traits:

Complementary skills:

It’s best to go with a person with skills that make up for your weaknesses, and vice versa. It’s best to look for qualities you don’t have so that your team is 100 percent filled out. Actually, you should both be leveraging your respective networks and strengths to achieve the maximum potential with your startup. It’s very important that your co-founder has a distinct background and possesses passion and like-minded attitude, which fit in with the culture of your company.

Mutual Respect:

While it’s important to have complementary skill sets, it also essential to value your partner’s opinion. You should select someone who is not only intelligent, but also respects your opinion, and is as hard-working as you. Although each of you brings different strengths and experiences to the business, you should have mutual appreciation and respect for each other and their skills.

Alignment of the mission:

It’s very important that all co-founders should work with passion for the achievement of their common goal, but ensuring that your goals are towards similar ends is also important. Both should be on the same page as far as the future of the company is concerned.

Open-mimdedness and Flexibity:

Starting any business is easy, but steering it towards success is a tough job. Every business comes with its own fair share of surprises. Therefore, finding a co-founder who can adjust to various unexpected obstacles can make your life a whole lot easier. Working with a person who understands the significance of flexibility in building a startup can be a great experience for both of you, in the long run.

A Personality Match:

It’s also important that you find someone who you can get along well with even outside of work. Building a new venture from the ground up can be taxing, and associated stress from the job can accumulate rapidly. Managing various challenges of your venture is much easier if you work with someone whom you genuinely like and with whom you can easily unwind after a hectic day at work.


So how do you find an efficient co-founder for startup? What makes for a great founding team? Let’s have a close look at a few things:

Weekend Hackathons:

You can find potential co-founders for startups at events like Startup Weekend, that are held worldwide. Aside from meeting co-founders, you can also see them in action over the course of the weekend. The creativity and problem solving capability of a person can be well judged when he or she performs within a stipulated time (say a few hours or days). Even though you may not be working on your original idea, but the time you will spend together will give you an idea about the capability of the person.


More and more events are happening around the globe that helps in finding startup co-founders. There are many websites that provide valuable resources for these sorts of events. For instance, has community groups all over the world, which meet up on a monthly or weekly basis around their shared passions.

Online Tools:

At every hackathon, you will find teams thinking about how to make life easy for startup founders. With some research, you can find a whole variety of web services dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in finding co-founders online. Some examples are:,

Educational Environment:

MBA programs, universities, coding schools and PHD. Programs are a great environment to find co-founders for startups. If you are in school, you can join an active startup/entrepreneurship club, if there is one. Search for courses that bring together business people and technologists – to find people with complementary skills to yours.

Your own Network:

Start looking for your co-founder within your network as well. Many people partner with spouses, friends, and even co-workers. Mutual trust is mandatory between co-founders. Most people will tell you it’s just like a marriage. However, on the flip side, it may cost you the relationship itself!

Photo Source: Heisenberg Media


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