No one tells you how lonely it can be when you’re starting a business. It’s a full-time job and then some, making it easy to feel overwhelmed, and even easier to give up when things get tough. While it’s totally possible to go it alone and be successful, most entrepreneurs look for a business partner or co-founder. Someone with complementary expertise can take on some of the workload, stress and responsibility, as well as help with initial startup costs. It’s also amazing to have someone there for support, motivation and objectivity, something you’ll need to keep your business moving forward. But, as you may have already experienced, finding the right business partner or co-founder, especially a technical savvy one, is much easier said than done.


Think of a business partnership like a marriage or long-term relationship. Would you commit to the first person you meet? Probably, not. This situation is no different. While the benefits of having a business partner or co-founder can be huge, the wrong partner can just as easily torpedo the business and make you miserable. Expertise and experience are important, but so are things like people skills. As you’re getting to know potential candidates, ask yourself these questions.

  • Do they have complementary skills and experience that make sense for the business?
  • Do you think there’s potential for building mutual respect?
  • Are you both on the same page about the business mission?
  • Are they open-minded and flexible?
  • Are they a good communicator and listener?
  • How well do they take constructive criticism and feedback?
  • Can they think on their feet?
  • Are they honest? Do they have integrity?
  • How do think they will react when things get tough?
  • Is this someone you could spend countless hours with?


There are plenty of places online to connect with other entrepreneurial types. A few good places to start are Founder Dating, Cofounders Lab, or Founder2Be. If you’re looking for someone technical, in particular, Cofounders Lab acquired a website called TechCofounder a few years ago. If you’re based in India, I also came across

If the idea of finding someone online makes you cringe a little, the old fashioned route also has great potential. Tap into your existing network of family, friends and colleagues by mentioning that you’re looking for someone with skills A,B and C, and to let you know if they know someone who may fit the bill. Post it on the social media channels you use and ask people to share it. You can also start looking for entrepreneurial or business events in your area to help you meet like-minded people. A few websites to get you started are Meetup, Startup Grind, or StartupWeekend, for example.


Any quality candidate you meet will want to know what you bring to the table, so be prepared! You already know what skills and experience you have. Now try applying the above questions to yourself and see how you do. This Forbes article, in addition to this Tech Republic article, provide great tips for starting the partnership off on the right foot.


Finding the right co-founder or business partner is tricky, but it will be just one of many obstacles you’ll have to get past. When looking for the perfect person, think of the advice you get/give for other relationships. You don’t have to rush into things. Date first and get to know each other. You also don’t have to settle for just anyone. Mr./Miss Right is out there. It may take some time, but by putting yourself out there, you will find them.