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Co-founder love stories

BY JULIA STEELE, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, IFUNDWOMEN

 

 

FEBRUARY 13, 2020

 

Here at IFundWomen, we’re all about giving you access to the capital, coaching, and community you need to turn your passion project into a real business.

One of the ways we see entrepreneurs utilizing our IFundWomen community is to do “co-founder dating,” i.e. to find the perfect partner for their business that they can commit to.

There are many scenarios in which an entrepreneur brings on a co-founder:

  • The creative visionary founder brings on a technical co-founder to spec and build the actual product
  • The solo founder brings on a co-founder to share in the highs, the lows, the panic, and the success of running a startup
  • A tech-minded founder brings on a sales whiz co-founder to facilitate growth

And the benefits of having multiple co-founders are well documented.

In honor of Galentine’s Day, we talked to four co-founder teams from the IFundWomen community with solid relationships. Take notes, ladies.

And if you’re looking for a co-founder, join IFundWomen’s Slack community. Hopefully you’ll find the one you’re looking for.

 

 

What has been the greatest benefit of having a co-founder?

Having someone to lean on at times. Someone who you can share your deepest fears with, and someone to set you straight lol. And because she’s also my best friend, we can turn off the business stuff and just hang out too. It’s an amazing balance that I think just adds to our magic.

How have you and your co-founder learned to work best with each other?

One of the great things about our relationship is that we had worked together previously, so we already had a solid working-relationship-base. But in this new evolution, we’ve been really intentional and honest about what works and doesn’t work for us. We value our friendship above anything else, and I think that really helps put everything in perspective. It makes us want to nip things in the bud early, so it doesn’t get out of hand later.

What should entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

I would consider someone who complements your skills and personality. From a business perspective, you don’t need 2 of the same person. You need someone who can excel in ways that might not be your strength. And together you can create something beyond what you could even imagine.

 

How did you know you needed to bring on a co-founder?

Before launching, I knew that I needed a co-founder with a complementary skill set. I had eCommerce and start-up experience, but wanted to partner with someone who knew the ins and outs of distributing perishable product, with access to warehousing and trucking infrastructure.

How did you find your co-founder — or how did she find you?

I took advantage of sick day and cold called every major produce distributor in the New York City metro area, which ultimately got me in contact with Stefanie!

What should entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

Look for someone with a complementary skill set or access to different resources. For example, if you excel at quantitative analysis but are less comfortable pitching your concept, get a salesperson on board. If you run a product company and have a huge network of potential customers, recruit a co-founder that has relationships with manufacturing partnerships. This approach ensures that your company has a well rounded leadership team at the helm.

 

 

How did you know you needed to bring on a co-founder?

In 2018, I felt to strengthen the Cirque-It Fitness brand and position ourselves as an industry leader, I needed the help of someone who has already envisioned and created life-changing moments for an audience, both in fitness and in aerial movement.

How did you find your co-founder — or how did she find you?

I started at the top! Dreya Weber is THE most sought-after name in aerial choreography (she choreographed and trained Pink for her aerial Grammy performances), and many recognize her from her work in fitness. I reached out to her via a Facebook message and asked to follow-up with a phone call.

What has been the greatest benefit of having a co-founder by your side on your entrepreneurial journey?

Must I list only one?! Dreya is a Cirque-It Fitness champion. She truly wants to help people live more joyful, healthy lives. Dreya has a wealth of knowledge she is eager to share. I think we have complementary skill sets and Cirque-It Fitness is much stronger with us collaborating as a team.

 

 

How did you know you needed to bring on a co-founder?

It was 2017 and I realized that I can’t build the technology that I need for my platform. I could barely finish a course in HTML + CSS. The main point was that I could try to learn all the coding but it would be very difficult and time consuming. After realizing this, I also realized that sharing the experience of building a company with another person seemed desirable. Therefore, after a few years of struggling to find a co-founder, I finally found a few in 2019.

How did you find your co-founder — or how did he find you?

I found my co-founder through the first accelerator program I went through. There was a portal that linked students seeking startup opportunities with startups. After a long conversation in the Science building on campus, we became co-founders.

How have you and your co-founder learned to work best with each other?

Having open and radically transparent conversations. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable because those conversations are needed in order to find the optimal nature of your personal and working relationship.

 

 

Looking for a co-founder for your startup? What are you waiting for?! Join IFundWomen’s Slack community today!