If you’re wondering where to look for a business partner for your startup, the answer is pretty much anywhere. Entrepreneurs have met their cofounders in coffee shops, on Reddit forums, and even at church. Here are some places you may not have thought to search for your next cofounder.
If you’re wondering where to look for a business partner, the Internet is a great place to start. Social media sites like Reddit and Facebook have groups where you can connect with other entrepreneurs.
My favorite business-related forums on Reddit are Entrepreneur and Cofounder. You can also use Facebook groups like Find Your Cofounders or Investors to network. There are even entire websites that are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs find a cofounder, including CoFoundersLab and IdeasVoice.
Another great resource is LinkedIn. If you know which skills you’re looking for in a cofounder, you can use the search bar to find relevant profiles. Say you’re looking for a software engineer who knows Python. You can look up those two search terms and set location parameters to find software engineers near you who might be a good fit.
If you have mutual connections, someone in your network might be able to introduce you. But otherwise, you can send the people you might be interested in working with an InMail message to connect.
Attend Conferences and Networking Events
Because of the pandemic, most conferences and networking events are virtual. Although it’s harder to form connections with people over Zoom, it’s still possible to meet potential cofounders digitally.
Consider signing up for online conferences in your industry and ones geared toward startups like TechCrunch Early Stage and Startup Grind. Even if you don’t end up meeting your business partner at one of these events, you’ll still get lots of tips on how to grow your startup from expert speakers.
When it’s safe to meet in person again, you can look for networking events on websites like Meetup and Eventbrite. If you still live near your alma mater, they may host networking events where you can meet like-minded professionals. Co-working spaces, your local library or Chamber of Commerce, and even your church are great places to make connections.
Don’t Rule Out Family and Friends
Many people believe that you should avoid doing business with friends and family because it can complicate your relationship. While it’s true that partnering with family has its challenges, lots of entrepreneurs make it work. Over five million businesses in the United States alone are family-owned.
One of your family members or friends may have valuable professional experience that can propel your business forward. So don’t rule out working with your loved ones entirely.
Let People Know You’re Looking for a Business Partner
Another way to find a business partner is through word of mouth. Let people in your professional and personal network know about the cofounder role and its requirements. One of your contacts might be able to connect you with someone who’s a perfect fit for the job.
It takes a little luck and patience to find a business partner. But if you keep searching, you’ll meet someone who’s a great match for your startup.