Darren Meikle

Anyone here had any experience with successfully acquiring a Technical Co-Founder?

Any suggestions, thoughts and words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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1 Answer

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Hey Darren,

Great question. I have had success in acquiring a Technical Co-Founder. The process took awhile (and it should because it is important). Finding a co-founder (technical or not) is very similar to dating and relationships. You need to take time to find out if you mesh well as a business team. You need to build up a friendship and trust.

I always suggest starting on a small piece of the business or an unrelated short project that you can complete to see how well you work together before committing to a long term partnership.

The next factor in acquiring a technical co-founder depends how you plan to compensate them. Are you starting with them from the ground up and only offering equity? Ensure that the percentage you agree to give them vests over time (as should everyone with equity). Also ensure they get equity that matches the level of effort and expertise they are bringing with them. If you are offering pay and / or equity ensure that the blend makes sense (again with vesting on the equity).

The most important thing is that you give them latitude on the technical side to make the best suggestions and implement the best solutions (especially if it is not your expertise). A co-founder wants to be able to add value and not be micromanaged.

Lastly when looking for a technical co-founder you need to look where technical people spend their time. Try connecting with people already in your social network (friends or friends of friends). Try looking through your professional connections to see if anyone you've already worked with or know may be interested in the venture. Then if you still have not found someone, start looking on places it GitHub where developers spend a lot of their time. You can search by location and see what type of projects they are interested and currently working on to see if things make sense.

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