They’re setting out on a long journey together, giving birth to something they will care for and nurture for years to come. They need to have the right understanding, need to complement each others’ qualities and shortcomings, have the same shared values and have a shared dream. Yes, we’re talking about Co-Founders and their ambitious startup! So where does one find a “perfect” partner in business?
Today, on OK, Intrnt, we speak to Tzachi Davidovich, the cofounder of Founders-Nation, a platform that lets you find your perfect cofounder. Originally from Israel, now based in London, Tzachi is also the COO at City Socializer, a platform to meet likeminded people.
When did Founders-Nation begin and how?
We started four years ago in Israel. In fact, we had a need for ourselves and we tried to build a community in the beginning. It was purely out of personal need. So we built a platform to connect people with other people as co-founders. I found one of my co-founders via the community myself.
We started as an online platform, then we opened meetups in Israel, London and New York. We started startup weekends, pitch nights etc.. They’re all free by the way. We have sponsors that help us but we’re mainly self sustained by means of partners and sponsors.
How does it work?
You can use the platform if you have an idea and you need a cofounder or if you wish to join someone who has an idea already. The website asks you about your skills and matches you with a member that meets the skills and needs. It’s like a dating website for cofounders, really.
How many people using FN as of now?
I’d say a couple of hundred people log in everyday. There are hundreds of messages that are sent across each day.
For the moment, are there more technical co-founders seeking business partners or is it the other way around?
Well, we really invested a lot in trying to publish to engineering schools and computer science schools to bring more technical co-founders. But even in real life, there are more people looking for technical co-founders and it’s pretty much the same online. A person has to be worthy and convincing to be a technical co-founder.
We’ve done specific activities to increase the number of technical members. We partnered with a few institutions and units that deal with developers and associations and partnerships with those organizations was really beneficial.
How many people have found cofounders via Founders-Nation? Any particular success story that you have to share?
It’s hard to track exactly. Everyone that finds a cofounder, we give them free advice from our partners – so that helps us get some information. Some of them find each other offline and do not tell us which is fine too. But people who do approach us, we connect them to investors and partners free of charge. Eight successful startups have been founded through Founders Nation.
One such notable venture is Mobilize who just raised 1.2 million dollars for their startup.
What do people look for when looking for a cofounder? What are the things that could go wrong?
Trust is the key factor. What one needs is someone close by, someone with the right skillset and most importantly, shared values. What they see as the future of the company, their vision about the business is important. Then, the kind of fit between two people is important too. They first start a “dating period” and usually only then they start the partnership.
Who do people prefer to startup with – friends or strangers?
Friends, certainly. Like everything in life – if you have a friend you can start with, it’s definitely a good thing. But again, like in dating- if you don’t have a friend you can date, you go out and look! Not everyone in your surroundings is willing to startup and not everyone has the right skillset. We’re trying to give the possibility to scale the search and trying to find the right cofounder.
I started with friends and we’ve built great relationships. Like I already said, shared values and understanding are more important than anything else.
Do people also collaborate remotely, across different countries?
Most partnerships are local. You want to meet someone, get to know them. Like dating in the beginning, right? How do you find someone with a similar vision and shared values? And dating co-founders isn’t very easy either.
Messaging on the site makes it easy to communicate and after a while they usually meet. From this point, they take it offline. I believe it is very crucial to meet and know your cofounder. After all it’s going to be your baby. A remote partnership isn’t impossible but you need to build a relationship before you can start with a remote partnership.
Do you see this growing to other, newer markets?
We’re always searching to go to new countries and cities but we need local ambassadors. We would love to take this wherever we can if we find the right ambassadors!
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As part of OK, Intrnt’s efforts to connect people, we asked Tzachi if he would like to speak to some of our readers directly and he happily agreed! Write to us and we will get back to you and tell you how you can reach him!
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