There are few important points to consider while looking for the right co-founder for your company. All the business owners should find the right co-founder as the presence of a co-founder is critical in a company. However, many companies are owned by a single person but having a co-founder comes with its advantages. **This is divided into 3 parts:** - **What?-** What is a co-founder? - **Why?-** Why a co-founder is important for your business? - **How?-** How to find the right co-founder for your business with the help of 8 steps? # **1.** **Co-founders with different skill sets** Let’s see a few examples: 1. ****- Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal 2. **Microsoft**- Bill Gates and Paul Allen 3. **Apple**- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak 4. **Twitter**- Evan Williams and Biz Stone 5. **HP**- Bill Hewlett and David Packard 6. **Google**- Larry Page and Sergey Brin Each of these 6 companies has 2 co-founders.  In every company, the two co-founders had different strengths and they came together to form a very successful company. That is why, it is important for your business to have a co-founder.  A co-founder is that individual who comes with a different skillset in your business and may not always agree with you and he/she might have disagreements also.  A co-founder is a person who has an ownership/partnership in the business.  Co-founders can be of many types: 1. **Even stake:** The first co-founding structure of many businesses is 50- 50%. In this case, both the owners will have a 50% stake in the business. 2. **Uneven stake:** Some founders have different ownerships. For example, if there are 4 co-founders in a business, each might have a stake of 25% or 1 co-founder might have a higher stake as compared to the others. It is really important to understand the stake because an individual does not become the stakeholder for monthly salary but he becomes a co-founder because he has that passion to take the venture to another level. Also, he knows that the day the organisation becomes big, his stake will increase to lakhs or crores. # **2. Partnership and stakeholder**  Before finding the right co-founder, the problem that you have to solve on your own is to decide how much stake you will be giving to your co-founder as in whether you wish to go for a 50-50% partnership or less. To solve the problem, there is a very easy framework: - Find out the skill- set of the co-founder and also figure out if the skill set is critical for your organisation - Figure out the amount of money the co-founder is investing in your company The skill set of the co-founder can be so important that without his skill set your company won’t be able to move forward and therefore, he might not invest the money.  On the other hand, if the co-founder comes with a skill set that you can get by hiring an individual, it becomes important for him to invest money in the company. # **3.** **What is the right way to invest money?** For example: - If you have started a new business with a capital of Rs. 50,000 or Rs. 1 lakh, each of your co-founders can invest Rs. 50,000 to get their shares. - If your company is 1 to 2 years old, you will have to make your co-founder understand that when you invested the capital in the company, the price of each share was Rs. 10, and today, the price of each share is Rs. 15. Therefore, if you wish to have the co-founding status in the organisation, you will have to invest this much money on the share price. After that, you will allot the shares to the co-founders on that price. Co-founder has a very important role and that is skill- set.  For example:  If you have a technology company and you are not very well aware of the technology, i.e. you understand the product but you are not able to make it or do coding, your company must have a tech co-founder. # **4**. **Where to find the co-founder?** A co-founder is mostly the personnel with whom you have worked before. The reason is you won’t involve any random individual in your business, even if you liked his interview on TV or have met him in a social gathering. Co-founding relationship is like a marriage. The way a husband and wife relationship is meant to last longer, the relation of co-founders also has to be equally strong.  You will face both good and bad times in your business journey and therefore, a co-founder should be a person that sticks with you during bad times also and won’t run away. Co-founders are always those people who have spent some quality time together. For example: - The co-founders of Flipkart- Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have worked together in Amazon - The co-founders of Google- Larry Page and Sergey Brin have studied together in Stanford These co-founders understood the likes and dislikes of each other, had the same vision, and different skill sets.  Therefore, do not select a co-founder, if you like spending time with him because he might agree to everything you say and may not be a good choice for the organisation. # **5.** **Eight tips to find the right co-founder for your company** ### **1. Key Responsibility Area of co-founder** - Figure out the KRA of your co-founder that is what would be the role of a co-founder in your business.  - At times, it may happen, when a co-founder joins, he feels that he owns the business and he is the boss and everyone will report to him.  - He might also feel that he does not need to work because he is the owner and due to this attitude, you might have a dispute with the co-founder.  - Therefore, it is important to define the KRA of all the co-founders. ### **2. Look for a co-founder from a different background** - Your co-founder must have the different skill- sets.  - For example, if you have good skill-sets of marketing, then the skill set of your co-founder must be of technology, operations, or sales to complement each other. ### **3. Negotiate and document roles early**  - The role of every co-founder should be documented and negotiated.  - At times, the roles of all the co-founders may overlap but this should not happen.  - Co-founders have the most critical share of the business and if their roles overlap, the business won’t grow. ### **4. They must be similar culturally** - You and your co-founder should belong to the same culture.  - A cultural fit is important for both co-founders as well as the employees. **For example:** - Businessman was working with a company and every Friday the owner of the company used to take all the employees for a party.  - The company had that kind of culture but Businessman was not aligned to it.  - He used to feel that the money and time that he was investing in such parties, he could do a lot more with that.  - Therefore, he decided to part ways with the company. ### **5. Most co-founders are people that have worked together** - As mentioned above, good co-founders are those who have worked together earlier with each other.  - It may happen that you might have worked with a person before and liked him. You were in touch with him and now you got the chance to work with him again. - Like marriage, a co-founding relationship is critical and legal. Therefore, for a successful relationship, a co-founder must have an equal share. ### **6. They must have the same vision** - The vision of you and your co-founder should be the same as it helps in business growth and get a good customer experience.  - In case, the vision of 2 co-founders is different, the company cannot grow due to conflicts between them. ### **7. Same skin in the game** - If you are working 10 hours a day, your co-founder is also expected to work for the same number of hours. If this does not happen, then he is only interested in working from 9 to 5 and won’t work after that.  - The culture of your company is completely on the shoulders of the co-founders.  - Also, if the co-founder has been given some stake, he must put that much money in the company. When there would be an equal contribution from both the co-founders, the will and strength to work will come on its own. ### **8. Network at Events to Find Relevant Co-Founders**  - A lot of you may not know anyone in your network who can be your ideal co-founder and may be looking for one.  - The best way to find a co-founder is to do networking.  - Attend industry events as there you will find a lot of smart people.  - If your co-founder is smarter than you, it is very good for the company especially when you are looking for a role that you can’t do like coding, machine making, hardware, or any other critical but your co-founder excels at it.  - Owners of the company are usually curious, innovative, and have problem-solving ability and therefore they can find a co-founder when they attend networking events both online or offline. # 9.** **Investors trust the co-founding team** - Having a co-founder is important from another perspective and that is from the perspective of an investor.  - Most of the investors feel comfortable in investing in your business only when they have the confidence of having a co-founding team. This is because if you have co-founders in your business, the investor is involved in lesser risks.  - For example, if you are a single founder and may fall ill or die, there would be no backup plan to run your company.  - So, the investors prefer a company with co-founders as they maintain balance in a company that helps in building a good culture and new people are willing to join the organisation. Some of you might be a business owner or a student. If you are a wantrepreneur and wish to be a co-founder, the best way is to find good and interesting ventures that also match your skillset and send an email to the co-founders of those ventures. You can also tell them that you are ready to invest the money and work hard to take the company to the next level.