Checklist for Finding a Technical Co-Founder

By Sarah Mooney

Finding a technical co-founder is one of the first steps an entrepreneur should consider when starting a tech startup. Having a good knowledge base is key to any startup succeeding, and a founder ideally wants a very qualified tech team that can do more than just coding.

This blog will walk you through everything you need to know about technical co-founders, including who they are, what they do, and the best tips for finding one.

What Is a Technical Co-Founder?

A technical co-founder is the person responsible for the overall tech-related processes and strategy of your new startup. As a co-founder, he or she will own a percentage of equity in the business, meaning that they will share any of the company’s profits or losses. This is the person who takes charge of the tech side of the company, which is especially helpful if you don’t have any technical background. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Finding a co-founder can help other founders focus on their areas of expertise.
  • The best candidates for the role usually come from an engineering background and have a strong ability and appreciation for writing code. 
  • Your co-founder should be someone who is willing to invest their time, money, and ideas into the project addition to tech expertise.
  • It’s ideal to find a co-founder who deeply understands and is passionate about your business. You want to find someone who can dedicate themselves to your startup full-time.

The job is similar to that of a chief technology officer (CTO), but goes a step beyond in that the individual you choose becomes one of your founders and takes equity in your startup.

find a cofounder

How a Technical Co-Founder Impacts MVPs

The first goal of any founder is to develop a minimum viable product (MVP), which is essentially a barebones version of your software. It’s not necessarily supposed to be aesthetically pleasing or filled with every feature your product will eventually include, but the MVP should have the fewest number of features needed to offer your customers the core value add that you  want to provide. The MVP is there to prove that there’s demand for your product. Most investors want to see an MVP before they even consider investing in your startup.

This is where the co-founder comes into play.

Here’s 3 things you need to keep in mind when you’re looking for a technical co-founder

Choosing the right co-founder is crucial to any new startup. You need someone with not only the right expertise and background, but also a good team member with whom you will have a good personal and professional relationship. You’ll be spending loads of time together, so you need to make sure you get along. 

There are many factors that can go into choosing the right person for the job, and here are some things that you should keep top of mind.

1. You’re hiring a partner, not an employee.

Focus on potential partners with the following characteristics:

  • A team-first mentality
  • A similar long-term vision to you
  • Passion for and commitment to your business idea
  • Strengths that are complementary to yours, beyond technical knowledge 
2. Make yourself attractive to people you’re targeting.

Remember that a co-founder relationship goes two ways. That means you’ll have to pitch yourself to prospective partners, so you should keep these things in mind:

  • Be an expert in your niche so potential co-founders know you have strong industry knowledge.
  • Excel in at least one skill that is important to growing companies, such as sales or marketing.
  • Have a well-defined project vision so you can talk your candidates through every step of your thinking and future roadmap. This will enable them to visualize expectations.

Your technical co-founder will need to feel as good about you as you do about them, otherwise they will not opt to join your project.

technical cofounder

3. Use your existing networks.

One of the easiest ways to help you find potential partners is to take advantage of your existing networks. All those years of networking come handy here.

Work with the Experts

Finding a technical co-founder is important. The position is going to help build out your software to its final version and assist you in developing your business plan. Finding the right person to join your team critical for your company’s success. 

Contact MassLight today, we’ll take care of all the tech work, solely for equity. We’ve been around for over 20 years building software for some of the biggest names, you can trust us to build yours. 

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