Over the years a number of people have reached out to me asking for help finding a co-founder for their startup. Much like the challenge of recruiting great software engineers, finding a co-founder is even harder, especially when considering the importance of the co-founder complement. Last week, an entrepreneur mentioned that he found his co-founder through LinkedIn. Brilliant. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find employees. Sales reps use LinkedIn to find prospects. Entrepreneurs use LinkedIn to find co-founders.
Here are a few thoughts on using LinkedIn to find a co-founder:
- Write out the desired personal and professional traits first, and then search for people that might have them (e.g. if you want a sales-oriented co-founder or an engineer-oriented co-founder as well as interests like sports or volunteering)
- Seek out referrals through existing relationships (e.g. email your LinkedIn connections asking for help)
- Allocate a serious amount of time to find the right person as it isn’t easy and doesn’t happen quickly
- Building rapport and a trust-based relationship takes time, so don’t rush into things
I’ve only met one person that found his co-founder on LinkedIn, but I’m sure there are many more examples out there. Finding a business partner is hard and LinkedIn is a great network to start the process.
What else? What are some more thoughts on using LinkedIn to find a co-founder?