How to build the right founding team for your Startup

While it is beneficial to have a sound founding team, it comes with its own risks too.

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By Vikram Upadhyaya

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We all are aware of this old African proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

While this holds true for our personal lives, it has its own significance for startups as well. There is enough data and surveys done that support how working with a good founding team improves a startup's chances to succeed. While it is beneficial to have a sound founding team, it comes with its own risks too. One of the most common reasons why startup fail is the differences or conflicts among co-founders or the founding partners. Therefore, it is extremely important to exercise caution when choosing a founding team.

Another challenge is to get people interested to come on-board at the pre-revenue stage because of the degree of uncertainty involved.

Here are few things to keep in mind:

Keep your objective and vision clear

Despite a great idea, many startup founders lack a clear vision about what problem they are solving for customers. Getting your vision clear about these important aspects are critical not just attracts a great co-founder or founding team but also to know whether they share the vision and belief that you have for your startup.

Bring diverse skill set

Your co-founder or founding team's skills should complement yours that would not just help you with a great start but even attract investors who look for diverse talent in the team and their ability to find solutions to problems. Nonetheless, the candidate's work experience, industry expertise, intelligence, credibility, communication, personality, and most importantly passion or fire in their belly can't be ignored.

Use your personal network

The best bet to locate the desired talent is your personal network. Try to find out who can help you with the referrals you need and tell them what you are building and what qualities you are looking for in a co-founder. Vouch for people that can personally recommend the candidate to you..

Look beyond your network

Find out peers in the start-up community and network with them. This is possible if you are spending time in a co-working space, attending any start-up-meet or are part of start-up forums on social media. Networking, whether online or offline, can put you in touch with like-minded people and help develop meaningful relations to eventually come across the right partner.

Know the person well before the wedlock

Know your partner before mutually agreeing to this professional tie-up. Go on several dates before you decide to enter into a formal marriage. Over the time you might realize that they don't share the same ideologies or complementary style of working. To avoid any clashes later, its best to ensure that you share long-term compatibility or else the marriage will fail, thereby putting the start-up's future in jeopardy.

Vikram Upadhyaya

Chief Mentor & Accelerator Evangelist, GHV Accelerator

Vikram is also the Founding Board Member of the Indian Angel Network Incubator and an advisor to projects being undertaken through the Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE).

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