As you scroll through these resources and read further you will see a consensus emerge: new ventures live or die by their founding team. The value held by each founding member must be considerable in order to address every core function and every issue that arises. This month we’re bringing together advice and other resources on how to think about building your founding team, where to find your co-founders, and more. Check out the books, articles, websites, twitter accounts, and videos below, and look around the TakingITGlobal community to start building your founding team.
Big Ideas Summary
This video features two partners from new company, and they share some key insights into building a founding team of a software development startup.
In this video, a young entrepreneur from Yale shares three elements that contribute to a well-functioning startup team.
Sean Griffin, CEO of StartUp Cup, brings us this 5-minute lecture about startup team development. Sean Griffin emphasizes the capabilities and responsibilities that are essential to have in your core team.
This video discusses the value of an Advisory Board for a startup. While much of the advice you will find about building your founding team refers to the core staff, it is important to remember the role a board plays in helping the development of a young company and entrepreneur.
This article is by Steve Blank, an experienced tech entrepreneur and writer who teaches at some of the best business schools in the United States. This article was circulated widely by blogs like Young Entrepreneur soon after it was first published. The title is “Building Great Founding Teams” and it is about just that, so it is perfectly suited reading for this month’s topic.
In this article, How to Build an Insanely Great Founding Team, writer Jenn Houser summarizes her talk at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, about leadership traits to look for in co-founders when you start a business.
In this article for the Globe and Mail, Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo, tells us about “Three keys to building the best team possible”.
Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman. Read the publisher’s description of the book, here: “In a perfect world, software engineers who produce the best code are the most successful. But in our perfectly messy world, success also depends on how you work with people to get your job done.” If you want to read more, here’s a free excerpt in a .pdf file.
Websites: Find a Co-Founder
Start with Innovate for Good! This community is composed of over 2,000 young people selected by Microsoft for their potential to engage, collaborate and start their own ventures. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet people you can work with to create something new. You can visit the member page and search by country, or you can look through over 170 ideas to see what interests you and who you want to work with.
FounderDating – is a leading site for founders and co-founders
CoFoundersLab – is where you can find a co-founder in any city
Stanford Business School Interns – this is a place to hire an intern from Stanford Graduate School of Business
FoundersHookUp – this group matches high caliber, Internet co-founder prospects together. There is a competitive application process to participate. You can get started by using a Linkedin account.
Foundrs – At some stage in your venture, you might come across the issue of equity and how it should be distributed. This co-founder equity calculator will estimate suggested equity based on a series of questions.
Meetup- go to a Meetup! This is a great way to connect with people who share your interest in starting something new, and often you can do so cheaply or for free.
Yammer - Yammer is a good option for online collaboration within your organization, whether it’s with small startup teams or large corporations. Yammer is similar to Twitter, except comment feeds are exclusive to your organization – only people with your organizational email account can join the same feeds – and there is no 140-character limitation. It’s an effective alternative to having conversations over email within your organization.
Twitter Accounts to Follow
@SGBlank Steve Blank, Customer Development & Secret History, Teaching at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia
@KaufmannFDN The Kaufmann Foundation is among the largest foundations in the United States and is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs. With their twitter account you will find some sage advice, like this recent tweet: “It's better to start even if you don't have the right team because along the way you'll get the right team.” Well said!
@YoungTrepA large online entrepreneur community, and a resource for all startup CEOs, founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors. Here, you will often find good advice about founding teams. Also worth a visit, at youngentrepreneur.com