Hoping to meet your cofounder? As a followup to my post about getting a technical cofounder, I thought I'd offer a near-exhaustive list of places where you can find potential cofounders — technical or no. Let's get right into it.
Meeting cofounders in person
- Friends, family, acquaintances, friends of friends, etc.: This is the obvious place to start. It's where I've found literally every cofounder I've ever had (~11 and counting).
- Old colleagues: Yes, this could go in the "acquaintances" bucket above but colleagues might be an even safer bet. After all, you have experience working together and they're (presumably) in your industry.
- Co-working spaces: What better place to meet other entrepreneurs? Check out WeWork. Even better, find your local indie co-working space like @alexhillman's Indie Hall in Philadelphia (currently online) or @charlierward's online co-working group, Weekend Club.
- Startup Weekend: Speaking of weekends, Techstars Startup Weekend is a worldwide, three-day event where entrepreneurs, pitch, validate, build, and demo their prototypes. It is a perfect place to meet like-minded people eager to start new businesses.
- Meetups: This is a no-brainer. Find meetups in your industry and strike up some conversations.
- Hackathons: If you're looking for a technical cofounder, these are good places to be. Here's a list of sites to keep an eye on for upcoming hackathons.
- Conferences: These can cost a pretty penny but if it's a niche conference, you can definitely find good candidates. Check out MicroConf, for one.
- Local university entrepreneur activities: I spent a lot of time at these in college. I also acted as a panelist for a competition after graduating. I can tell you that I met a lot of interesting people this way.
- Networking: It can be scary but it can also be worth it. Target networking events in your niche or for a specific skill set (like marketing events).
- Incubators: If you get into an incubator, you'll meet lots of people with that entrepreneurial spirit. And if you're not quite that far along, many have communities for early-stage folks to communicate. Here's a list of some of the best.
- Founder dating events: I've never been to one but some places offer speed-dating for founders from time to time. Keep your ear to the ground.
Meeting cofounders online
- Indie Hackers: Obviously this is a great place to do it. And you're already here, so that's convenient. Get active, and check out the Looking to Partner Up group, which has nearly 16,000 members.
- Building in public: This shows people who you are and what you're made of. Boost your signal by building in public, and either cofounders will come to you or you can put out the call when you're ready.
- LinkedIn: Your personal network on LinkedIn is an asset. But you can also check out LinkedIn groups like On Startups - The Community for Entrepreneurs, CoFounder, and Ideas Seeking Co Founder.
- Freelancers: Many of us have worked as freelancers at some point. If you hire someone to work on your MVP, who's to say that they won't want to join in on the indie hacking fun? It wouldn't be the first time.
- CoFoundersLab: This is a free platform specifically designed for connecting entrepreneurs.
- Founders Nation: This is another free platform that connects people with cofounders.
- Pozi.io: This is a platform currently in Beta that aims to connect and inspire entrepreneurs.
- FoundersBeta: This is a paid platform for finding startup jobs, cofounders, events, and ultimately growing your network.
- StartHawk: This is essentially a dating app for cofounders. Sign up for free and search cofounders using their algorithm, then chat to see if it's a good fit.
- F6S: A free platform with over 4 million users. F6S lets you connect with accelerators, funds, investors — you name it. More to the point, they'll let you post a position at your startup.
- Lead Candy: Lead Candy is a paid platform that helps you search out entrepreneurs, cofounders, industry leaders, etc., but it's a little different from the rest in that it lets you connect with them via their socials and verified email addresses.
- AngelList: You’ve probably already heard of it. It’s not specifically designed for finding cofounders but, like F6S, you can just register as a recruiter and post a position.
- reddit: reddit is a place you'll definitely want to check out. And with 23,000 members looking for cofounders, it's well worth joining r/cofounder. Also worth checking out: r/startups, r/Entrepreneur, r/EntrepreneurRideAlong, and r/SideProject
- Slack: You're probably familiar with this messaging platform and its many business channels. Here's a list of 400 channels to get you started.
- Discord: Check out Discord too, and specifically their #cofounding channel in /r/startups.
- And then, of course, there's social media. Don’t underestimate the power of a good ol’ tweet.
Hopefully, that serves as a good jumping-off point for anyone trying to partner up. You could literally find your cofounder anywhere, but these are some of your best bets. Let me know in the comments if I missed any.