How to Find the Right Co-Founder: Check These Top 10 Qualities

How to Find the Right Co-Founder: Check These Top 10 Qualities | Entrepreneurship | Emeritus

A study on the relationship between founding members reveals that a startup’s survival rate increases when its founders have diverse experiences. The combination of their experiences and knowledge facilitates innovation. Therefore, finding the right co-founder that supplements their experiences and skill sets is necessary for startup founders. This blog delves into how entrepreneurs can find a co-founder to ensure a successful beginning to their startups.

strip banner

What Qualities Should I Look for in a Potential Co-Founder?

The relationship between co-founders determines the success or failure of a startup. Therefore, it is important to find a co-founder who is a great fit. Here are the top 10 characteristics of a good co-founder to look for:

1. Alignment With Goals and Vision

Lack of alignment in vision can cause conflicts and slow down business growth. Therefore, partnering for startups requires compatibility and alignment with the goals and vision of the company.

2. Passion

In addition to having a similar vision, great partnering for startups also requires passion to work toward those goals. Co-founders should be equally committed and proactive to scale the business.

3. Accountability

Co-founders often have defined roles and responsibilities. Therefore, accountability increases trust among co-founders, resulting in better performance.

4. Technical Skills

Another requirement to find a co-founder is to look for industry-specific technical skills. Such skills facilitate informed decision-making and faster growth.

5. Adaptability 

Co-founders should be adaptable to leverage changing industry trends and drive innovation. Moreover, they should be resilient enough to face any setbacks that might occur.

6. Communication

Needless to say, excellent communication is the pillar of a strong co-founder partnership. It builds trust and transparency and helps solve conflicts amicably.

7. Leadership

This is one of the key traits of an excellent co-founder. They should be able to motivate and inspire their team and lead people successfully through uncertainties.

8. Complementary Skill Set

Co-founders with a complementary skill set strengthen the team by making up for any weaknesses in their partner.

9. Integrity 

Honesty and integrity are the two key characteristics of a good co-founder. Since a co-founder leads the team and sets an example for them, they should have excellent business ethics and personal values. 

10. Entrepreneurial Spirit 

The startup journey is full of ups and downs. Therefore, a co-founder should motivate their partners and have faith during difficult times instead of bailing out. This also requires an entrepreneurial spirit, making it the most important factor to check for when you find a co-founder.

ALSO READ: 5 Essential Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs to Inculcate

How Can I Find a Co-Founder for My Startup?

The following are some tips to consider when choosing the right business partner:

1. Look for Previous Colleagues

The best way to find a co-founder is to look for ex-colleagues with whom you have a great professional relationship and understanding.

2. Find Professionals in Your Network

Look for like-minded people in your professional network who inspire you.

3. Startup Communities

Join startup communities on LinkedIn or other platforms to connect with experienced professionals and engage in discussions.

4. Networking Events

Entrepreneur meetups, events, and conferences are also an excellent way to connect with more professionals and find a co-founder.

5. Co-Founder Matching Platforms 

Finally, there are co-founder matching platforms such as CoFoundersLab and FoundersList that you can turn to.

ALSO READ: Who is an Incubation Manager and Why All Startups Need One

What are the Challenges of Finding a Co-Founder, and How Can I Overcome Them?

Here are the two most common challenges entrepreneurs face while finding a co-founder. 

1. Different Ideologies

Finding a co-founder who aligns with your thought processes and working style is often difficult. Therefore, it’s best to find a co-founder among the pool of former colleagues, those you have worked with previously, and even fellow college mates to avoid conflicts later.

2. Ownership 

Another difficulty when entrepreneurs want to find a co-founder is disagreement on ownership or equity split. Founders can overcome this challenge by identifying the contributions of each founder, such as business investment, expertise, and intellectual property, and dividing the ownership accordingly.

Should I Look for a Co-Founder With Complementary Skills or Similar Skills?

It is recommended to look for co-founders with a complementary skill set. The purpose of finding a co-founder is to find a partner who can help you successfully run and build a business. Since this requires a diverse range of skills, co-founders should have a complementary skill set to fill in each other’s gaps and strengthen the team. For example, consider an entrepreneur who is building a tech startup without marketing and branding skills. Therefore, they will ideally need to find a co-founder with business development, marketing, and branding skills to grow their startup. 

Similarly, creative founders who lack organizational skills need process-oriented business partners. Moreover, entrepreneurs who excel at product management can find co-founders with financial management skills. This requires a thorough self-assessment before you find a co-founder

What Steps Can I Take to Ensure a Successful Partnership With a Co-Founder?

Co-founder relationships are often compared to marriages. Therefore, a strong and successful partnership between co-founders is based on mutual trust, respect, and effective communication. Here are a few ways to establish a strong business partnership with your co-founder:

1. Doing Activities Together 

This is similar to the “spend quality time” advice for couples. Co-founders should spend some time doing activities beyond the professional setup, such as playing pool. This helps co-founders understand each other better and develop mutual admiration.

2. Talk to a Business Coach

The best way to strengthen a business partnership for co-founders struggling to communicate well or playing the blame game is to talk to a business coach. They help co-founders become self-aware, understand the other person’s perspective, and resolve misunderstandings. 

3. Ask Questions

Building a successful co-founder relationship requires understanding your business partner, their likes and dislikes, and the values they believe in. Asking questions is the best way for co-founders to learn about each other. These questions can include, “What is your definition of success?” and “Whom do you admire the most in a professional and personal setup?” 

ALSO READ: Top 5 Strategies to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Grow

Choosing the right business partner is the defining moment for any entrepreneur because it shapes your startup’s growth. However, other factors such as industry know-how, innovation, and decision-making ability also matter. Online courses can help you upskill and learn new trends to facilitate faster business growth. Explore Emeritus’ online entrepreneurship courses today to learn all about business management, launching a startup, and building a unicorn. 

Write to us at


About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Sneha is a content marketing professional with over four years of experience in helping brands achieve their marketing goals. She crafts research-based, engaging content, making sure to showcase a bit of her creative side in every piece she writes. Sneha spends most of her time writing, reading, or drinking coffee. You will often find her practicing headstands or inversions to clear her mind.
Read More About the Author

Courses on Entrepreneurship Category

US +1-606-268-4575
US +1-606-268-4575