While the following list of places to find a co-founder for your startup is not exhaustive, they, however, can provide you with the right avenue to find a co-founder for your startup. It is now easier than ever before to meet a future potential co-founder: events, meet-ups, and even websites can help facilitate this process.
But first before you begin your search in those places, while not search first in places you already have access to and by that, I mean amongst those close to you. Remember that the best place to find a co-founder is at the company you are working for right now or among your friends, colleagues, and schoolmates.
Check among your peers, find people with vision and technical talent who are willing to jump the ship you. It is a tried and tested strategy and it works. For example, the cofounders of Yahoo! and Whatsapp worked together for many years before coming up with their own idea and then quitting to start their own company. So also are the founders of Waze and many other companies.
If this is not an option for you or the concept does not work for you, then get out into your local startup community and attend events, as many as you can. These events are very social and are places where people meet to discuss trends, share ideas and also share drinks and pizza.
Below are some great events and programs that will help you potentially meet the right co-founder.
There are many great technology conferences that you can attend no matter where you live in. From popular ones such as Techcrunch Disrupt which holds in cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Berlin, Web Summit in Dublin to niche ones such as conferences on Blockchain, artificial intelligence, chatbot etc, you have a handful of technology conferences to attend. You can find the time and places for such conferences on popular sites such as Eventbrite.
Register and go to such conferences and while there mingle and talk to people. Make sure you are ready to talk about the industry and technology you are interested in and then engage people about the subject. Share your ideas and your passion with those you identify as worthy or could potentially be your co-founders. If you have an idea already or a working prototype, make it sound like a real deal (more like an already existing company). You have got to be able to convince someone about what it does and why it’s going to be big.
This is a great place to find technical co-founders. Tech companies host all kinds of meetups geared specifically towards developers on a regular basis. The reason is that they use such platforms to showcase new technologies, APIs or features to developers. There are others organized in various locations by developers and supported by big tech companies such as Google developer groups and Facebook developer meetups.
Even if you are not a developer, feel free to attend such meetups. Tag along, enjoy the pizza and the beer and then start talking to anyone and everyone. Because people often showcase and talk about the cool things they are working on, you may even be inspired by new features and programs other people are working on. You can also better be able to start to understand how software developers think and communicate.
This is a weekend event that is great for those who might only have time during the weekend.
Startup Weekend is a weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening. Think of it as an end-to-end business plan and software prototyping competition crammed into the weekend.
It now has a global presence as it is operational in many countries so there is a high likelihood you might have one in your community. The concept behind it even makes it more appealing to someone looking for a co-founder and it is simple: attend on Friday with or without a startup idea; people who have ideas pitch them while everyone else listens. Then people assemble into teams of people with different skillsets. Over the weekend the teams refine their ideas and then hack together a basic proof of concept piece of software by Sunday afternoon. They afterward present their idea and the solution they have come up with. A team with the best idea and solution will then be announced as the winner by Sunday’s evening.
You will readily see while this is a great way to spend your weekend and meet amazing people who could potentially be your co-founders.
If you could do it together over a weekend, you might as well be able to do it together for the long run.
A hackathon is where developers and designers all get together (physically or virtually) to build something functional over a set period of time be it together as a team or as a solo hacker.
People can come up with their own ideas or be asked to develop an existing idea or series of ideas giving to them by the organizers as part of the program with the eventual goal of the team or solo hacker with the best functional product (website, app etc) being crowned the winner. Many founders have met this way and some big companies today started from these hackathons. A very popular one is Techcrunch Disrupt hackathon.
At these hackathons, you have the opportunity of meeting very talented and motivated individuals and if you take part and is able to build something great, you get attention not from only other people who could potentially be your co-founders but also from potential investors who are always present at the demo to find hot ideas and people to invest in.
This platform is one of the most promising places to find fellow co-founders. It is a great resource tool for anything startup-related. There, you can find accredited angel investors, a rich jobs section which lists jobs and openings with startup all around the world and most importantly for our discussion, it also features people searching for co-founders.
You can create a profile and your profile can speak for you so make it count by creating a profile that is as impressive as possible.
The above list of places to find potential co-founders is not exhaustive but can get you started in your startup journey.