My guess is as in most cases existing relationships and/or validated relevant past experiences are a great start, but wondering on a ad-hoc basis what the best way to evaluate startup co-founders based on testing their leanness and agility skills; think of it as speed dating format, or a standardized employee candidate test.
Just to be clear, by leanness I mean "lean startup ", and by agile, to keep it simple, I mean a SCRUM based product/service development life-cycle. That said, there's nothing new about how important it is to be able to learn and adapt, and it's my understanding that these skills and related experiences have always been valued within the greater start-up community.
Also, while a qualitative methods would be nice, quantitative methods might just be as good, if not better -- in part because this would make it easier to evaluate a wider pool of possible co-founders. I would also guess that this question applies to investors in startups too, since knowing how fast a team is able to learn and adapt is very important in most cases.
Forget speed dating and forget standardised employee candidate tests.
When you find someone you think you might want to work with, the only way to know if they're a good fit, is to work with them. And eat with them. And drink with them. Hopefully you'll disagree with them, maybe even have a fight too. Once you've done that lot, and you're still having fun - you found your co-founder/employee.
There is one fundamental problem that you will run into quantitatively and otherwise.
The interview is basically you describing yourself and unless you can see how person actually does what you want them to you will know nothing of whether or not the person just actually talks good game.
What you should be doing in an interview is telling the person that the company adheres to these principles and they should follow them as well. In which case people who don't want to or don't know will fall off your radar on their own.
You need to make some clear distinctions.
Your startup can definitely be built around some shared values. It sounds to me as though you're taking the attitudes of Lean Startup in that kind of way. Without taking yourself too seriously, maybe you should sketch out your project's manifesto - how you want to be and do what you intend to become. And, by and large, you should be building a team that shares those core values, because that will make it easier to pull together in the tough days.
And your startup is going to need a whole set of skills and methodologies. Skills can be evidenced, and they can be learned. Methodologies, too, can be evidenced, learned and adapted. Having skills you know are going to be important represented in a team is clearly smart, but it's no guarantee of success. So surround yourself with smart, motivated, adaptable people. And wherever possible, find opportunities to work together with intensity.
Finding out if you're compatible enough to work together, different enough that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and broad enough that you can make it, is the fun and frustration at the heart of startup life. And you de-risk that by building commitment slowly, and by biting the bullet fast when it isn't working out.
Good luck. I hope you find yourself part of a dream team!