Tell me how you met your co-founder, I will tell you how your company will do.

I’ve seen now fourteen startups going through our program since we got our accelerator started back in 2015. We are asked many times how we choose the companies that eventually join our program. What I have witnessed and learnt with the time is the importance of having the right partner to make something happen, therefore we invest some time finding out if the team behind the product is the right one to invest in. If you would like to deepen into the topic I recommend you to read Four Reasons To Invest In People, Not In Companies written by Ilya Pozin in Forbes.

Having said that, I have listed below all the type of co-founders that we have seen at next media accelerator until now:

  • Forever friends. Those are a classical in the startup world and sometimes one of the most successful teams. They know each other pretty well and are prepared to spend days and nights with each other fighting together to solve problems and go through difficult times. Can the demanding startup world ruin a friendship? Not really, I believe it makes it stronger.
  • Couples. Partners in life and business. Not everyone is ready for this challenge, however it seems to work pretty well. Sometimes it is difficult to commit to your role within your business and not to step all the time into the other’s shoes. Apart from that, where are you going to be able to find a better rapport?
  • Social Media.  Nowadays we do most of the things online. It is not uncommon to meet one of your co-founders via Social Media. You are having a conversation in  Twitter about a shared-interest topic, then you meet in real life and find out he or she is a match for your business idea!

next media accelerators 3rd batch of startups (picture: nma)

  • Solo players. Sometimes you feel confident enough you believe you can do it on your own. Being honest here, this is a hard one. We all have different skills and for sure we cannot be the best in everything, that is totally surrealistic. Going “ solo” can be one of the most frustrating paths to walk when trying to succeed with a startup. You will feel very lonely and exhausted.
  • Work mates. If you shared employer before you know already how you work together and there are very few secrets. This path is very safe if you have well defined roles from the beginning. You probably know good how to complement each other.
  • Scouted. If you are looking for a co-founder, have a look first into your close network and friendship circle. Scouting co-founders can be risky and time consuming. You don’t know each other and don’t know how it might work out. You will also might need to go through many insecurities. This is not an easy one!
  • Destiny.  Many times you will find the perfect co-founder in front of you in the less expected moment. Call it destiny or accident. You are talking to someone and you realize you are just supposed to work on this together. This is also very common and sometimes very successful. For that reason it is very important to tell everyone about your idea, discuss with people and at some point the right person will pop up in front of you without you even realize it.

Now it is your turn: How did you meet your co-founder? I’m sure there are so many crazy stories out there from people finding their partners at parties, randomly at networking events or even at the bus stop. Please share your story, I’d love to hear from your experience. Finding the perfect match is not easy but it can be a very rewarding experience one you succeed.

About Sabela Garcia

Sabela doesn’t know what a “normal job” is. She jumped from working shortly in a startup in Beijing to one in Hamburg. After spending some time as Visibility Manager at a digital agency she founded the first English speaking magazine in Hamburg, Gute Leute. Today she is the Program Manager at next media accelerator and works together with European and Israeli startups trying to understand the future of media.

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