One of the most crucial and earliest decisions a founder has to make when building a startup is finding a suitable technical co-founder. Often people tend to wait for doing the same, especially if they themselves are from a technical background.
Finding a tech co-founder is necessary if you are building a tech startup.
Founders without technical knowledge frequently hunt for a technical co-founder at the last minute. While some get lucky and find one easily, others find it hard to do.
It is not a great idea to look for a technical co-founder just before launching a new product or when trying to raise money because you might not always find one in the nick of time.
Who is a technical cofounder?
You may have come across similar-sounding tags such as technical co-founder and technical partner. While on the surface, they appear to be the same, they actually have different meanings to them and it helps to know what exactly you are looking for.
The individual who is responsible for all the technology-related aspects of your startup is the technical co-founder. This person performs the role of a co-founder of the company and receives a share in the ownership of the company. On the other hand, a technology partner is a company or person who, along with a development team, is responsible for providing technical direction and expertise to the company.
The technical partner can be the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and can cater to the software development and design for the startup. They are also responsible for setting the future technology roadmap for the company.
Who needs a technical cofounder?
Although you can build your startup yourself, having a co-founder with strong technical background shoots up the chances of the success of your startup business, especially if it’s a tech startup, and also of hassle-free operations of your startup.
Extensive research in the area has proved that startups with multiple founders have an enormous 163% more chance of outperforming a startup with a single founder and can generate 25% more seed valuation than single founder-owned startups.
Surprisingly, this goes up even further for startups having a technical co-founder.
A startup having a technical co-founder has a 230% more chance of performing better than a startup without one, especially for enterprise companies.
A technical co-founder brings with him/her, programming knowledge and technical skills which may prove to be crucial for efficient product development, forming and leading a technical team, and attracting sound investors.
A startup involves several essential aspects like a great business idea, financially sound investors, a detailed business plan, and a wide prospective customer base.
Along with all this, you have an equally urgent need to have someone to look into the technical working of your business and this is where the role of a technical co-founder comes into play.
Having a co-founder over a paid employee or a freelancer for handling the technical department of your business comes with its benefits as the co-founder is a founder member of your startup, has a sense of ownership for the startup, and has a direct relation with the performance of the business.
So, how to find a tech co-founder or a CTO for your startup?
Attributes to look for in a technical co-founder
A technical co-founder is involved in every stage of development of the business. This makes it invaluable to understand what attributes and qualities should he possess to be suitable for the role.
- Since he/she is a founder member of your startup, it is crucial that they understand and reciprocate your idea and vision for the startup.
- The business is bound to look up to them for all its technical handling, this is why it is imperative that the technical co-founder has the required technical knowledge, experience, and exposure along with leadership skills to handle the technical department.
- Your co-founder is going to hold a complimentary position with you in the startup. The contribution they make to the business will be manyfold if they can compliment you in areas like skill, knowledge, experience, etc.
- Co-founding works best when the partner is able to take care of the weaknesses of the other founder and can make up for where you lack.
- Your startup will not go-ahead to transform into a successful business unless there is mutual trust and confidence among all the founder members. The key to success for any business is strong and ethical business relations among all its stakeholders.
- On a bigger level, there needs to be coherence in the value system, vision, personal goals, and thought process between you and your co-founder.
Where to look for a technical cofounder?
You can look into various approaches and go in for more than one way to quicken your search for a technical co-founder. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular and result-oriented ways to find a technical co-founder.
Look within the family
Since you are going to spend a lot of time and money on the tech co-founder for your startup, it is a good idea to try and look for one within the family itself.
If you have someone you know closely, who has the technical efficiency to be your co-founder and shares your enthusiasm and vision for your business, they certainly have an upper hand over a stranger for the role.
Graduating to a cofounding relationship
Another low-risk method to find your tech co-founder is taking tiny steps. You can always begin with hiring the person as an employee to understand their skill set, evaluate their technical knowledge, and also acquaint yourself with their behavioral characteristics.
Once you are comfortable with everything, you can extend the relationship to a cofounder role.
Make use of traction
You always have the option of making timely use of traction. You can launch your startup on websites and communities which will help you interact with not only prospective co-founders but also investors, mentors, and promoters.
Such platforms receive an influx of thousands of startup entrepreneurs who bring with them innovative ideas and concepts from different backgrounds. Such platforms are also a favorite with keen users and customers looking out for innovative products.
The advantage of floating your business on such platforms is multi-fold. You not only attract prospective co-founders and investors but also get motivation and suggestions from enthusiastic entrepreneurs who are ready to promote an energetic environment for startup founders like you.
Share your startup journey
Documenting and sharing your startup journey is advantageous in several ways. When you share your startup story with others, you build a strong community around your vision. It helps you receive a wider validation from people with a similar mission and also gets you noticed by people who would like to be associated with your business in different roles like that of a co-founder, investor, or promoter.
A good way of documenting your startup journey is by creating a blog for the same where you can invite people to share their ideas, views, and suggestions and also update them on the advancement in your journey.
Generate a job posting
You can generate a job posting in tech communities. There are many tech job platforms like Angel.co and Linkedin which can be used to find a co-founder from close by.
Make a startup profile
Make a profile for your startup on social media platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc., and ensure that you list out your requirement of a technical co-founder on all the platforms.
Although time-consuming, one can never rule out the benefits of person-to-person networking. Make it a point to attend social and business events that will have people from the field of your interest and technical requirement, and spread the word that you are looking for a technical co-founder. This will allow you to make a personal connection with prospective co-founders and you will get to form a relationship with your co-founder which is a must to set sail on the challenging journey of starting a business.
Going for a specialist
You can go in for one or more of the popular solutions for your co-founding needs. There are several platforms available where you can hunt for a suitable technical co-founder.
CoFoundersLab, Founders Nation, Angel.co, Indie Hackers, Co-Founder’s subreddit on Reddit.com, Co-founding threads on Slack channels and Discordapp, Meetup.com, and Clutch. co are some such platforms that can be used to find a technical co-founder as per your needs.
Difference between a Tech co-founder and a CTO
A tech cofounder’s role is to provide the technical expertise and vision for the company, while a CTO’s role is to oversee the technology and make sure it’s being implemented correctly. A tech cofounder can also be a CTO, but not all CTOs are tech cofounders.
The difference between a tech cofounder and CTO can be summed up like this: A tech cofounder is someone who creates the technology, while a CTO is someone who manages the technology.
Tech co-founders are often the ones who come up with the original idea for the product or service. They have the technical expertise to build it and the vision to see it through. They’re also usually heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the company since they understand the technology better than anyone else.
CTOs, on the other hand, are more focused on the business side of things. They make sure that the technology is being used correctly and efficiently, and they work with other departments to make sure that everyone is integrating it properly. They may not be as involved in the day-to-day operations, but they still need to have a good understanding of the technology.
How to attract an efficient cofounder to your startup?
Plainly possessing a workable business idea will not fetch you a sound technical co-founder. An individual with sufficient technical talent will not be drawn to your business startup only for profit sharing or simply because you have the capital to start a business.
Instead, you will have to go all out and exhibit the complementary skills that are required to establish and run a business beyond its technical aspect.
Most technical people know where they lack interpersonal, marketing, or managerial skills. Thus, they would expect you to possess these qualities so that all the areas of the business can be taken care of jointly.
For a good and long-term partnership between the co-founders of a business, look for a technical co-founder possessing the willingness to work with you on transforming your idea into mutual profit.
Hiring a tech cofounder can be tricky, but if you follow these tips, you should be able to find the right person for the job. Look for someone with the same vision and values as you, make sure they have the skills required to do the job, and test their technical abilities. And above all else, trust your gut instinct!
If you enjoyed reading this post, here are some other related posts you might want to read.
- The ideal CEO and their roles & responsibilities
- Why do you need a Chief Marketing Officer and how to hire one?
- Why every business needs a Chief Productivity Officer?
- How to find a co-founder for your startup business?
- Assembling the ideal startup team
- How to build a tech startup team?
Are there any other areas you would like us to cover? Let us know.