How to Find a Technical Co-founder for Your Startup
Krunal PanchalMarch 09, 2023 320 Views
Quick Summary : Finding a technical co-founder is important for startups. This article provides tips on how to find a technical co-founder, including networking, attending events, using online resources, evaluating potential co-founders, and more.
Most startups find themselves lost during the development process, especially when it comes to technology products. They find themselves lacking the technical skills needed to evaluate and select the right technology. This is where they often feel the need to hire a technical co-founder for their startups.
One thing that often stops people from launching a startup is that they don’t have the technical skills needed actually to create a product. One way to solve this problem and give your startup a fresh start is to look for co-founders who have the technical skills you are missing.
Considering that most successful startups have at least two founders, so you are probably looking for a co-founder anyway. No matter how tech-savvy you are, it helps improve your chances of success. If you think your company could benefit from a co-founder with some technical skills you don’t have or are not confident about. Read this guide to learn how to find technical co-founders who will complement your skill set.
What is a Technical Co-Founder?
In general, Co-founders are people who together build a startup and are equally dedicated to its success. There are two main types of co-founders: technical and non-technical, which divide the responsibilities and share the workload.
The technical co-founder is a founder who has certain technical skills. This generally involves programming and developing technological products. A Chief Technical Officer (CTO) is an example of a title often given to a technical co-founder.
On the other hand, non-technical co-founders are founders who may lack tech skills but often excel in other areas, such as developing overall business strategies and acquiring investors. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a title often given to co-founders without technical knowledge because they tend to come up with ideas for the company and lead others.
Keep in mind that co-founders don’t always have to be non-technical. In many cases, every startup founder has the necessary tech skills to create a product together, although the most technical person may lead product development.
Why do you need a technical co-founder?
If you are not a programmer yourself or you don’t have the specific technical skills you need to create a minimum viable product (MVP) for your startup. Of course, you can always hire a programmer to help you build the product. But finding a technical co-founder will ensure that you are working with people who are equally passionate about the business idea and equally motivated to make it successful.
When you first started your company working with a technical co-founder also gives you a 50/50 split of the hard work at the start of your startup. This greatly contributes to productivity. When you are ready to start scaling, the technical co-founder should be responsible for finding and hiring software developers or other technical staff to build a stable programming team. This is the time for your tech co-founder to move from a self-production role to a strategic/executive management role, such as CTO.
Having a technical co-founder to handle all of the technology also gives you time to focus on other important areas like fundraising, marketing, and user/customer acquisition to building momentum once you have the product. In short, having the right people working alongside you right from the start is one of the best ways to succeed, and partnering with a technical co-founder when you are not technically savvy is one of the best decisions for you.
How to find a technical co-founder?
#1. Engineering professional network
If you have worked in a startup or a small tech company before, you probably already have a network of technical engineers whom you can contact to find a technical co-founder. Many programmers and IT workers people you work with. Then make a list of all the people you think might have the skills and drive to become a co-founder.
Then contact these people and ask if they will be available to meet you for coffee or lunch. So that you can present your initial idea or if you haven’t fully defined your startup ideas yet, ask them to brainstorm with you to create a business idea together from scratch.
#2. College network
For founders who are still in college or university, now is the perfect time to start looking for your future tech co-founders. Try to meet people in your class or social circle who are learning coding, computer science, computer engineering, and other technical topics. There may be coding clubs or other technology clubs where you can go out and meet people.
Once you get to know people who are interested in technology at your school, ask them if they have ever been interested in working on a project together. You can start small and build simple things within a limited amount of time to understand how synergies work. Then move on to bigger ideas if you think a more serious partnership will work.
Another place you can look for technical co-founders is on social networks, specifically LinkedIn. The first thing you should try is to create a LinkedIn post and explain a bit about why you are looking for a tech co-founder. And what skills are you looking for in your co-founders? Someone from your personal network that you have not considered before may contact you.
Even if none of your acquaintances are interested but they might know someone and be able to introduce the two of you. Another thing you can try on LinkedIn is to join groups related to startups, founders, and tech gurus. Then post within those groups. Reply to other people’s posts and start networking with members to see if you can meet someone who would also be a good fit to work on a technology project.
Another social network where you might find co-founders with technical programming skills is GitHub, as it is a professional social network built specifically for programmers. Find GitHub for developers who make their code repositories public and contact them to see if they are looking for new projects to work on.
#4. Hackathons, Meetings, and Conferences
Special events related to technology and programming are also good places to find technical co-founders outside of your personal network. You can start by searching for local one-on-one events which major cities. Most of them will organize many events. Try Google terms like “tech conferences near me” and “local startup events” for example.
You can also check meetup.com for founder groups that gather near you to meet people interested in networking with potential business partners. Alternatively, you can look for local programs and coding meetups to join and introduce yourself to those with technical skills.
If you can’t find a local event or meeting to attend, there are also many online hackathons that are usually free and open to everyone. Many developers looking for job opportunities join these online hackathons. So you may be able to network with potential co-founders of your technology.
#5. Matchmaking site
Another option you have when you are out of ideas for finding technical co-founders is to try a founder-matching site. These sites work just like regular dating sites, Except that these sites help people find their perfect business partner instead of a romantic partner.
When you sign up for one of these sites, you will create a profile to describe what you are looking for in a co-founder, and the site’s algorithm will show you the possible matches. You can then send them a message and request to connect with them to start exploring your compatibility.
#6. Startup Incubators and Accelerators
Startup incubators and accelerator programs are also great places to meet potential business partners and even try working on projects together within a shared office space. Please note that Accelerators is a short and intense program designed for founders with existing MVPs to help them grow their businesses rapidly.
You are able to build a technical product yourself or by hiring someone to build it, you are unlikely to join an accelerator program where you will meet with a technical co-founder. If you are still in the ideation stages of your business and looking for a tech co-founder to help you create a prototype or MVP, an incubator is probably a better place to meet them.
Unlike Accelerators, Startup Incubators usually don’t have much competition, and it’s specifically designed to help startups in their early stages by providing resources, consultation business services, and opportunities to build networks. Incubators generally provide shared office space in certain types of coworking spaces. Here you will have the opportunity to meet the founders and other technologists. There are many possibilities that you may work with on your project.
This is a great platform to find like-minded people for your startup project. You have to invest time and effort into such opportunities. And, of course, you will find great tech co-founders who are ready to invest in your idea.
What to look for in a tech co-founder?
Usually, the first thing you want to look for from a technical co-founder is actual technical skills. For example, if you want to build a mobile app from scratch. They need to know at least all the programming languages required for different mobile operating systems.
Ideally, your tech co-founder should have technical expertise in addition to your immediate needs. That way, when you are ready to grow and scale your business and your needs change, they will continue to be at the forefront of technology. To check the technical skills of potential co-founders Take a look at their CVs and ask to see their past work to see if they can do what you want.
Passion for business
The next thing you should look for from a tech co-founder is a passion for business. The technical skills required to create the product are excellent. But your co-founders must be committed to growing the business once you have the product up and running.
Before you agree to work with a technical co-founder, Make sure they won’t work on any auxiliary projects. To distract them from your business together, their passion and commitment should be 100% focused on getting started. You’re running together.
When your co-founders are equally passionate about the business, it is much easier to maintain a good balance of work and equal motivation, both of which are essential to business success.
Good communication skills
Non-technical people and tech-minded people often have a hard time communicating. That’s why it’s important to find technical co-founders with the necessary communication skills to discuss technical topics with you and your team members in terms they understand.
You and your co-founders need to be able to have honest conversations and listen to each other to brainstorm and develop an overall business strategy. Think of your partnership with a co-founder as a business meeting. If there is no good communication, it’s not likely to go well.
Strengths that promote you
One of the main reasons to partner with a co-founder is that their skills can complement yours. If you are not a technical expert Finding a technical co-founder covers areas of technology that you can’t do on your own, such as building technology products.
However, you should look beyond a person’s technical skills for other strengths that can strengthen your strengths and balance your weaknesses. For example, if you are not good at pitching to potential investors. You should look for co-founders who are comfortable talking to you and pitching ideas. If you are not a strong manager Look for co-founders who have very good team management skills and can help you effectively manage your first staff.
What are technical co-founders looking for in your startup?
The first thing tech co-founders look for when they agree to partner with you is equity or stock in the company. This ensures that as the company grows and becomes more valuable, their stake in the company is also worth more, and they can withdraw money from it one day. In short, equity rewards the founders of the company for their hard work from the beginning.
Equality is just one of the financial benefits of being a co-founder. Every founder should ultimately be paid a salary. However, both of you may agree to work for free initially for a period of time until your company achieves milestones.
Of course, people can only work for free for so long, and you should make sure you have the funds to pay a salary that will, at the very least, cover both you and the co-founders living expenses until your company becomes more profitable and you can increase your salary.
- Personal growth:
Most people also look for personal growth opportunities when they offer a new job. Suppose you start having co-founders build products for you. They may also want to know that they can eventually grow into larger roles, such as the CTO managing the entire technology department.
What are the signs you need to hire a technical co-founder?
It’s always helpful to hire a technical co-founder, but how to find that moment and realize that you need them? Here are three instances where you need a co-founder.
1. You lack technical expertise
Tech co-founders can help you bring your ideas to life. Let’s say you have a groundbreaking idea that is likely to enter the world of technology. Your thoughts are doomed to be on paper. A tech-savvy and enthusiastic co-founder or software company is the one who will help you on this path. This is where you might need a technical co-founder.
2. You want a long-term partner
If you already have a plan and need a team for long-term action, dedicated team collaboration is your guide. This collaborative model allows you to work with a talented team that is only fully involved in your project. It’s almost like an in-house team but without HR employment and social benefits, hence the rush.
3. You have to check your thoughts
It all starts with an idea, of course. That’s too risky for your business. The truth is that even the most relevant concepts need to be tested and validated.
How will you formalize your co-founder relationship?
#1. Consult a business lawyer
Starting a startup comes with its own set of challenges, Even if you don’t expect to be a legal expert. But you must comply with the business laws that govern your industry. So it’s a good idea to consult a business lawyer. Tap your network to refer for initial lawyers. You can access one of our startup ecosystem canvases in your location. Scroll down to the section Go “Develop and Official” to see a list of additional attorneys and legal resources available to you in your city.
#2. Equity division schedule
Splitting up with a co-founder can be a sensitive area for entrepreneurs. Although there are no right or wrong answers But it’s important to have these conversations at the start of your co-founder relationship.
#3. Useful tips
Some of the “founder stocks” to consider:
- Whoever comes up with an idea gets more.
- Whoever gives the most funds gets more.
- Full-time founders deserve more.
- If you are CEO, you are eligible for more capital.
- Reputation is important for obtaining a scholarship.
- You can download the Equity Split Worksheet to determine the split.
#4. Total entitlement schedule
The vesting schedule means that co-founders will receive shares over time. Protect you and the company if co-founders leave your company pulling their weight. The standard vesting period is four years which is entitled on a monthly basis Shares that are not vested should be bought back by the company if a co-founder leaves the company.
#5. Present your offer
Once you have decided how you want to build your share of equity and management roles, Present your proposal to your potential co-founders. This may consist of continuing negotiations until both of you reach an agreement that you are comfortable with.
It is important that your contract with your co-founders be clear and in writing. You can get sample contracts about what others are doing in your industry, such as quick deals. The Founder/Adviser Standard Template (FAST) is used by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and consultants annually to build productive working relationships, trading advice, and support for stocks as standard.
There are four ways startups can find tech co-founders. These are mentioned below
Chief Technical Officer, also known as CTO
This is a person hired as the startup’s technical lead. This is a paid position, and the person hired as a CTO is driven to propel the startup to new levels in terms of technical success. They deal with team building and strategizing the technical process to make the product launch faster. They tend to have moderate portions of the start-up capital.
With the same skills required in a CTO, technical co-founders differ from CTOs in the sense that they are deeply invested in the startup. They are hired as partners in startups rather than employees. They are also responsible for choosing the right direction for the startup and the business vision to help the startup grow. They usually hold about 50% of the initial capital.
The next person a startup can hire when it needs technical help in its team is a senior programmer. For small startups Hiring senior programmers can be a good step to avoid losing a lot of stock. They come with many years of experience and can easily manage teams. At the same time, it ensures that the technical process runs smoothly. You must offer them a moderate salary and about 5% stock.
A technology partner is an offshore software development company that you partner with to build your product. You can either hire them for end-to-end product development or build a remote product team with them. They act as a startup solution provider and oversee all aspects of development from concept to research to MVP development to product development and marketing and full launch. They work for projects and can be part of your growth strategy.
Job description of the technical co-founder
There’s always a job description for any role you are looking for in your team. However, how would you describe the role of someone who will become a founding member of your startup product? Although you can’t generalize the true qualities of the technical co-founders but here are the main requirements that tech co-founders should meet.
- Technical expertise:
This one goes without saying. When you hire a technical co-founder, you will expect them to have deep technical expertise, with many libraries, frameworks, and advanced technologies to come. Tech co-founders should be able to quickly tell the pros and cons of each and when to use which technology. They will help startups choose the best technology pool.
- Startup solution:
More than ten years of experience: Most startups have little or no experience. However, the technical co-founders they hire for the new company should make up for the lack of experience. You should always look for the experience of your co-founders, be they CTOs, software development firms, or other technology experts. Their experience will help beginners take smart steps while developing the software.
- Communication skills:
The technical co-founders you hire will also be responsible for managing and managing your technical team. The person also has good communication skills, and it’s not just technical communication with the tech team. Co-founders should be able to talk, discuss and explain things smoothly with non-technical teams.
- Team Management Skills:
Just proficiency and technical skills are not enough to be a great technical co-founder. They should have team management skills to get the job done from the technical team working on building your startup product. They should also have the ability to keep your startup product team motivated to work with their potential.
- Huge Tech Networks:
Startup teams are not just technical founders and co-founders. It’s about the tech team. You should look for tech co-founders with good networking. This means they can more easily bring in trusted tech experts to build their tech teams.
Startups need experience and expertise in technical domains. Tech co-founders bring the same thing to the table. We help startups in different domains. Keep their products up and running with our technical excellence.
As your technology partner, we help you figure out your product, do market research, Find the right technology, Build the desired technology team, and rapid prototype launch. After MVP development, when the prototype receives the green signal from the first user, we will make changes as suggested by the first user, and it starts with initial product development.
If you are struggling with choosing a technology partner or are difference between in-house vs outsource product development, outsourcing product development, you are in luck. You can check out our professional team for the best result.
For technology partners, we are powered by passionate coders, designers, testers, and business leaders. We can provide complete initial product solutions through our product development services. Additionally, we can help you solve business problems related to product growth, Startups, ideas, technology choices, etc.
Written by: Krunal Panchal
Krunal Panchal is the CEO & Co-founder of Groovy Web. Krunal has been a hardcore programmer since he was 11 and started his professional career very young. His technical and logical mind drove him to choose coding as his destiny. At an initial stage, he got essential experience and the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Learning something new is a never-ending process for him. Under his leadership, Groovy Web has become an established organization that serves industries from startups to enterprises, regardless of any limitations.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWe hope these clear your doubts, but if you still have any questions, then feel free to write us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Potential technical co-founders should be judged on a variety of criteria, including their technical expertise and experience, interpersonal skills and communication proficiency, degree of dedication and drive, and alignment with the company's mission and values. Reviewing their prior projects and work, as well as getting comments and recommendations from others who have collaborated with them in the past, may also be beneficial.
Several advantages can result from having a technical co-founder, including access to technical knowledge and experience, a greater grasp of the technical needs and constraints of the product, and a shared sense of ownership and dedication to the success of the firm.
Finding a technical co-founder might be difficult since there are frequently not enough eligible applicants with the required technical knowledge and expertise. Also, due to worries about the risk or lack of stability compared to more established organisations, many technical specialists could be reluctant to join startups.
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