Where to find the right cofounder


Where to find the right cofounder is probably one of the top 3 questions I get asked.

Wanting your business to have the highest chance to succeed, it is  indeed very important that you identify and select the best possible candidates.

Lets have a look at a few resource pools of possible cofounders you can consider:  

1. Friends

This is an obvious pool and one that is at your fingertips. It is also a very frequently chosen one. And it can work. However, there are a few risks when choosing cofounders from this category. More info in Do Friends Make Good Cofounders?

2. Family members

The pool of family members, similarly to the pool of friends, is a very frequently used one. While this might work very well, you need to manage the specific risks (similar to friends category) and protect the underlying social relationship, so in case the business does not succeed (for whatever reason), the family relationship will not be collateral damage.

3. Classmates

A very interesting pool to definitely explore because you might have valuable insights into the skills, ways of working or attitudes from your common student times.

4. Ex-colleagues

Similarly to classmates, a great pool as you have insights into the skills, ways of working and attitude as you used to work with your ex-colleague before. What you want and need to check properly is if the resource which you are looking for has a skill or knowledge which a) is transferable and b) will fit in the new context.

5. Social and professional networks

There are many opportunities to connect with people through various existing social and professional platforms and networks. Chances are that someone you know might know someone you need and it is much recommended to use the power of your networks, be it LinkedIn, Facebook or your alumni’s networks.  

6. Skill share start-up platforms

There are many people who would like to participate in interesting projects and start-up ventures and have valuable skills and resources to offer – and lack the big idea themselves.

You can find as your starting point skill share platforms overview in the cofounding resource section on where to find cofounders.

7. Networking events

Depending on the resource you are looking for, it could also be interesting to check networking events in your neighbourhood.

8. Serendipity

And then there is serendipity – the phenomenon of finding interesting or valuable things by chance. And believe it or not, a few of the very successful cofounding teams I saw would swear by. So talk. A lot. To random strangers. About your idea. And you might be surprised how one hint leads to another.

Remember, the more you know what you are looking for, the more likely you are to find it.

Do not limit your search to only one category. As nicely put by Stefan Honegger, an experienced start-up expert from the Impact Hub in Zurich: ‘Sometimes the best cofounders are people you would never think of.’


Jana Nevrlka