It is a well known fact that entrepreneurs often need co-founders to help get their idea off the ground. Finding a person that has the essential skills and talents for starting a business that you do not can mean the difference between succeeding and failing in business ventures. And according to a recent report on Forbes (2013):
“You should be practicing the art of finding a cofounder early on and regularly, even if you don’t have a potential startup idea”.
That seems to be pretty solid advice, but sometimes entrepreneurs do not know where to start to find a person that is ideally suited to working with them. And that’s where FoundersHookup may come in. FoundersHookup is an up and coming matching website for entrepreneurial people with great ideas that want to find other potential co-founders to help them to launch their business.
To that end, FoundersHookup claims to match “high calibre, Internet co-founder prospects together”. Getting the organization’s attention is not easy however, and only a third of the applications that are received are actually progressed to become a part of the FoundersHookup organization.
The company’s mission is: “To connect you with GREAT people to seed high quality DNA into your venture from Day One”.
That explains the tough application process. Such a heavy focus on quality requires it to maintain the interest of those that already use the site. FoundersHookup were to drop the quality of participants then those already involved would be likely to walk away. Once you are on board you have a chance to get matched with co-founders that are highly suited to working in your business, so for most would-be entrepreneurs it is definitely worth the time spent seeing if you can get accepted.
There are five steps to the process of signing up. You’ll have to have a LinkedIn account as this is how you login during step one. You then complete the requested profile information in step two. After that in step three you’ll be able to review other members on the website and create a “Candidate List” by adding favourites that are of interest to it. At that point you are ready to apply to become a member if you want to take things forward with favourite matches. To do this you have to pay $45 for a premium membership for access for one month. Then you can attend events as well in the evenings where you can meet some of your favourites. Finally in step five you get matched when someone signs up that has mutual interests. FoundersHookup then connects the pair of you via emails and recommended forums.
The matching system utilized is explained in more depth by FoundersHookup as follows:
“We match the lowest-ranked pairs based on a residency-match system (made popular by medical residency programs). If you ranked someone else as your top choice, and they ranked you as well as their top choice, the pairing of you two would get a score of “2”. If you ranked them 20th, and they ranked you 1st, your pair matching would have a score of “21.” The lowest ranked pairs are matched until a founder has 5 matched pairs”.
Not everyone gets matched right away, and it is worth being patient and taking time to see if a potential co-founder comes up that is suitable for you to work with. The system is updated weekly which means that there are new options being brought in all of the time, and it is likely that if you persist you will potentially be able to find someone.
Some potential users of FoundersHookup may be concerned about confidentiality and privacy. On this note, though FoundersHookup utilizes LinkedIn, members are able to control what can be seen by other members. In fact you can even stop other people from seeing anything of your LinkedIn profile if you want. The reason for this is a good one – often members may have excellent entrepreneurial ideas but are still working in jobs in prestigious companies, so there is a definite need to preserve their anonymity in these cases.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.