How to find potential co-founders for a startup?


I've been working on a bootstrapped startup for about 2 years now. I've been working on it solo to this point, but I feel I'm starting to run out of gas. I need fresh ideas, money and assistance in development and promotions. I'm considering taking on one or two co-founders to help move things forward.

What would be the best way to go about finding potential candidates for this?

Bootstrapped Co-Founder Partnerships

asked Jun 10 '11 at 11:02
Sterling Nichols
148 points
  • Where are you located... it makes a big difference. – Long Winter 13 years ago

6 Answers


You should consider a Startup Weekend. They bring together the actual production side, the management (sales and administration) and financial sides of business.

They are cheap to participate in and potentially help you access great people.

answered Jun 10 '11 at 13:51
Rafferty Pendery
466 points
  • Having participated in one, I can only highly recommend it. The mentors present were of great value, and it helped our project develop by great leaps. – Tomeduarte 13 years ago


Shameless plug:

May I suggest for you?

You could post a small project and then see if there are some of those candidates that might be interested in partnering up. It's a good way to meet people and see if you work well together.

Currently I have 5000 subscribers both developers and designers.

answered Jun 13 '11 at 02:02
Thom Pete
1,296 points


If you havent tried it, check out You can see others have posted ads for co-founders etc..

Anyway these are just tools to find people. But more important than the tool is how you are going to know the right candidate when you meet them... I dont claim to know the answer to this.

They have to be so passionate about your idea that they should make it theirs.
They have to wake up in the morning thinking about this first and then everything else.
They have to be willing to roll up sleeves and do whatever it takes.
The two of you have to gel... really well

Unfortunately, it is difficult to know all of this from a few conversations. SO make sure you bring them in with a 1 or 2 month trial for both of you. Be open and say you want to see if you two will work out.

Good luck!

answered Jul 21 '11 at 13:47
381 points


one way would be to check with your customers (if any). another is to open source the platform and benefit that way.

also (added this as an edit, because probably you would not ask a question here if this was an option), friends, colleagues, family that can help?

answered Jun 10 '11 at 11:15
316 points


Get out there and share you idea with people. The people who are the most excited are good candidates to become customers, and if you're lucky, a good co-founder who shares your ambition.

answered Jun 10 '11 at 21:05
Jeremy Heiler
138 points


I am kinda in a similar boat. But unfortunately, I am yet to get a prototype working and hence find it difficult to attract potential co-founders.
I'd say may be you should start visiting meetup groups related to your industry and start talking about your hunt for co-founders. It will take a while to match a perfect fit but I think it will be fun.
Your app looks good. Try to push it on iPad or something. Me and many others would love that.

answered Jun 12 '11 at 18:04
365 points

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Bootstrapped Co-Founder Partnerships