Finding a start-up partner as a developer


I have been coding solutions since like the dawn of time, at least that's how it feels, and I love it so now I want to help found a new start up or help an existing start up that needs a technical director or CTO.

I have the entrepreneurial spirit and I have the technical skills but I can't seem to locate any place on the web to hook up my skill sets with a business idea. Granted I just started looking but I was wondering if there was a brokering site that listed potential ideas or start up companies that I could peruse to see if there would be a fit. If I can't find one then maybe I should build it?

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asked Dec 9 '11 at 01:32
670 points
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  • Do you know Java? Want to work for equity only? I have 1 and 1/2 coders, could use another Java person... – Paul Cezanne 12 years ago
  • Paul, yes I know Java. I would love to hear your idea. – Tim 12 years ago
  • ok, lets take this off line. Hopefully you can figure out my email address: moc.sbaltniopgnol@luap – Paul Cezanne 12 years ago
  • Whoever you choose, make sure you trust them completely. Meet them enough to establish that trust. – Clay Nichols 12 years ago

5 Answers


Maybe you can try this site to find a co-founder

answered Dec 9 '11 at 01:44
Nestor Sanchez A
690 points
  • Great suggestion on this site, This is what I was looking for. Thanks for the post. – Tim 12 years ago


I would also suggest looking offline. Use any existing networks you have (current colleagues, friends and family). You might be surprised how many people you know are also interesting in founding a startup. Plus search online for any local entrepreneur meetups.

Also try going to a Startup Weekend if there is one nearby to you. You'll get to meet loads of great people (developers, designers, business people and experienced entrepreneurs) and get a chance to see what it's actually like to work with them.

answered Dec 11 '11 at 05:08
John Te Slade
123 points


Try focusing on what you want to do and what your role would be in a startup first, and let that guide your path. Are you an idea person full of great ideas? Start coding on one while you look for a partner. Are you a technological genius that just loves thrill of building something great? Find a startup that is just a couple guys and is in the idea stage.

Whatever the case try participating in groups on LinkedIn. Make yourself visible while seeking out opportunities and potential partners that share your vision.

answered Dec 9 '11 at 17:56
Joe A
1,196 points
  • Thank you Joe, I think your advice is right on. I will put myself on the market so to speak while diligently looking for an opportunity. I just recently built a web service for a niche market but I find that I am not very adept in the marketing field. With code I can easily look at an issue and attack it from different angles but when it comes to marketing and selling my service I feel like a dear in the headlights. I've read books and blogs and have gotten some ideas but nothing seems to be the solution. It's frustrating to say the least. – Tim 12 years ago
  • I'm in the same boat as you. I've alrealy learned the hard way that I suck at marketing. I just love to code, but I'm not a closet developer. I also enjoy working with customers. So I see those as strengths as I think about my next opportunity. – Joe A 12 years ago
  • @Tim did you ever look into HackStars? It's essentially a site where TechStars companies can recruit developers to their startup. You get the benefit of joining a startup in its early stage while bypassing the pain of raising money (cause they already did). – Joe A 12 years ago


The problem here is, from a technical perspective, it's very rare than technical folks who are startup-oriented and generally so because they're created something useful and want to get it out there. They're not interested in your idea and will be looking for a business person who'll go along with their idea. i.e. people come to this position mostly with their idea for the first time.

I'd suggest looking at which startups have executed their exit strategy within the past 0-6 months and see whether the engineers in there are looking to exit at some point. If I get to exit on my current attempt, I can imagine I'd be happy to have go as not the key founder next time, but a member of a core 4-5 team working on someone else's idea.

answered Dec 11 '11 at 06:24
David Benson
2,166 points
  • That is an interesting perspective David. I definitely have that magnetic draw to wanting to be in business for myself but I hesitate to make any major moves without a full marketing plan, business plan and exit strategy. Maybe I just need to get more organized. Thanks for the post, I appreciate your input. – Tim 12 years ago


Some great sites for finding cofounders are: and friend of mine found her technical cofounder on the latter. The former holds networking events in partner cities where entrepreneurs can mix and mingle.

Another resource is It's a site that connects top freelance developers and dev shops with entrepreneurs that want to build MVPs, software, mobile apps, etc...There's no equity involved but often for those entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time trying to find a technical person, having a freelance developer build an MVP to prove out the initial concept can be a better use of time/resources.

answered Aug 23 '13 at 04:09
11 points
  • Stella - you should disclose that you are the CEO and cofounder of – Jim Galley 11 years ago

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