Your Great Idea Needs Help. It’s Time for Some Co-Founder Speed Dating Strategies.

3 min read
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You’ve come up with a brilliant startup idea that will take the world by storm—now you just have to execute it. Whether you’re looking for coding knowledge or leadership skills, you need to find a co-founder who can complement your own abilities.

There’s just one question left: where will you find potential co-founders? Below, we’ll discuss how you can use speed dating for co-founders to bring the right startup business partner on board.

What does it mean when someone is a co-founder?

A co-founder is someone who is involved in the launch of a business, along with one or more other people.

If all of these people have been present since day one, they may all receive the joint title of “co-founder.” On the other hand, if some co-founders were hired afterwards (although still early on), the title of “founder” may be reserved for the person who originally established the business.

Co-founders are hired for many reasons. Some are technical co-founders who build the product from the ground up, while others can connect you with the right venture capitalist for your next fundraising round. This means that the question of how and when to find a co-founder will depend on what your startup needs at that point in time.

Is a co-founder a partner?

There’s a subtle but important difference between co-founders and business partners. Even when co-founders depart a startup, they will still retain the title of “co-founder.” This title denotes that they had a foundational role in the startup’s early stages, regardless of their current relationship with the business.

A business partner, on the other hand, is a person with whom you have a current working business relationship. Co-founders that are still working for the startup can also be called “business partners.” When co-founders leave a startup, however, they will always have the status of “co-founder,” but will no longer be your business partner (although they are your former partner).

Co-founders and business partners can be found in many places. You can invest time in your network to cultivate the right co-founder for your startup or search for good candidates. There are also Silicon Valley startup mentor programs, connecting you with fellow entrepreneurs who share your passion for the startup community.

How does speed dating work?

Speed dating for finding a co-founder isn’t dissimilar to speed dating for a romantic partner. You’re given a few important attributes (such as a potential partner’s education or work experience), and then offered the chance to connect. Based on the amount of chemistry you share, the two of you can then take it to the next level by going into business together.

Like the romantic dating process, co-founder dating has certain rules to follow if you want to improve your odds of success. It’s a good idea to consult a founder dating playbook to help narrow down your search and understand which qualities to look for.

Where can you find co-founders for speed dating? There are a number of co-founder dating sites where you can vet potential co-founders. These include Founders Nation, CoFoundersLab, StartHawk,, and Y Combinator’s co-founder matching platform.

Your local startup community is another invaluable resource when you’re searching for a startup co-founder. You can attend a dedicated co-founder speed dating event, which is a small, intimate mixer where attendees have the chance to pitch their ideas to each other. Getting involved with talks, conferences, hackathons, and accelerators is also a good way to build relationships that can turn into business partnerships.

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