Entrepreneurship can be a challenging and rewarding journey, but it is not one that should be taken alone. A co-founder is an essential element in building a successful startup.
Joel is responsible for discovering exceptional founders to join Antler. As a successfully exited founder himself, Joel is a serial entrepreneur with his most notable startup, Hey Tom, which was acquired by Hometime. He has also advised various startups across a variety of industries. Previous to running his own businesses, he specialised in Sales and Sales Management for fast growing startups.
Joel is the Scouting Manager for Antler Australia, he is responsible for discovering exceptional founders to build their companies with us.
June 26, 2023
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Finding the right co-founder is not easy, but it is crucial to your company's success. You may be asking yourself, How to find a co-founder in Australia? In this article, I’ll explore five of the best ways of finding a co-founder and provide tips on how to make the most of this crucial partnership.
Bill Gurley, the legendary venture capitalist from Benchmark, once said, "The most important thing an entrepreneur can do is find a co-founder." This statement rings true, as a co-founder brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the table. A good co-founder will not only share your vision but will also bring different perspectives to help you navigate the challenges of building a successful startup. Having a partner that is there and understands the complexity of the problems you're facing can be invaluable.
Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz fame, advises entrepreneurs to seek out someone with complementary skills. Jordan suggests that founders should look for someone who has skills that they don't possess. This could be a technical co-founder for a non-technical founder or a commercial co-founder for a technical founder. Complementary skills will help you fill gaps in your knowledge and make your team stronger.
Renowned investor and entrepreneur Naval Ravikant stresses the importance of aligning values with your co-founder. Ravikant believes that shared values are more important than shared interests because interests change over time, but values remain constant. If you and your co-founder have different values, it could lead to conflicts that could ultimately break up your partnership.
So, how do you go about finding a co-founder in Australia that aligns with your values, has complementary skills, and shares your vision? Below are my top five tips for finding a co-founder in Australia.
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to find a co-founder in Australia is to join Antler. Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm enabling and investing in the world's most exceptional people building the defining companies of tomorrow. They provide structured support to de-risk the entrepreneurial journey. You'll have access to mentorship, resources, and funding opportunities that can help you grow your company. With thousands of entrepreneurs applying to Antler every year, there is a highly talented pool of entrepreneurs looking for co-founders in Australia in their programs.
2. Attend Networking Events
Attending networking events is an excellent way to meet potential co-founders. You can attend industry events or conferences related to your field. Keep an eye out for events at the Sydney Startup Hub and In Melbourne.
3. Utilise Online Platforms and groups
Online platforms such as LinkedIn, AngelList and Facebook groups such as Sydney Startups are great resources to find potential co-founders. These platforms allow you to search for people with specific skills and experience and connect with them. You can also browse through profiles and reach out to individuals that match your criteria.
4. Seek Out Referrals
Referrals are an excellent way to find a co-founder. You can reach out to people in your network and ask them to recommend someone they know who might be a good fit.
5. Attend Hackathons
Hackathons are events where developers and other professionals come together to work on a project for a short period. These events are an excellent way to meet potential co-founders with technical skills. You'll have the opportunity to work together and see if you have a good working relationship.
How to choose the right co-founder?
Once you've identified potential co-founders, it's essential to assess whether they are the right fit for your company. Here are some things to consider:
Assess whether the co-founder has the skills needed to help you build your startup. Do they have experience in the industry? Are they technical or commercial? Do they have a track record of success? These are all important questions to consider, generally, you want to look for a co-founder that has complimentary skills to you, if you're a commercial co-founder, you most likely want to find a technical co-founder.
It's essential to assess whether your work styles are compatible. Do you have a similar work ethic? Do you communicate well together? Are you both willing to put in the time and effort required to build a successful startup?
Having a shared vision is critical for a successful co-founder relationship. You need to make sure that your co-founder is aligned with your long-term goals for the company. If you have different visions, it could lead to conflicts down the road.
Effective communication is crucial in any partnership. You need to make sure that your co-founder can communicate clearly and effectively. This will help ensure that you're both on the same page and can work together to solve problems.
As mentioned earlier, values alignment is crucial in a co-founder relationship. You need to make sure that your co-founder shares your values and ethics. This will help ensure that you can make ethical decisions together and maintain a positive working relationship.
Building a startup is hard work, and it requires a significant commitment of time and energy. You need to make sure that your co-founder is committed to the project and willing to put in the necessary effort. If your co-founder is not fully committed, it could lead to problems down the road.
Finally, personality fit is an essential factor in a co-founder relationship. You need to make sure that you can work well together and get along on a personal level. This will help ensure that you can build a positive working relationship and weather the inevitable challenges of building a startup. Startups are hard! Sometimes your startup journey will last for over 10 years and this will be the person you're working closest with for that time, so take the time to make the right decision at the start.
Partnering with purpose
In conclusion, finding the right co-founder in Australia is crucial to building a successful startup. You need to find someone with complementary skills, shared values, and a shared vision for the company. There are many ways to find a co-founder in Australia, including attending networking events, joining a program like Antler, utilising online platforms, seeking out referrals, and attending hackathons.
Once you've identified potential co-founders, it's essential to assess whether they are the right fit for your company based on their skill set, work style, shared vision, communication skills, values alignment, commitment, and personality fit. By taking the time to find the right co-founder and building a strong partnership, you'll be on your way to building a successful startup.
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