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How to find the right Co founder?

Finding the right co-founder is a struggle for many startup founders. It’s hard to find someone that fits with your project, with you and the problem you are solving. At NUMA, we receive emails every week with the same question: I don’t have co-founder, how can I find one? There are no perfect solutions for solving this problem, but there are processes to build a successful partnership. When you’re looking for a co-founder, you’re looking for someone that will share your daily life, same as the person you’ll marry. So keep in mind that you would not find them in one day.This business marriage is based on a long term relation built on trust and shared experiences.

In this article, we will see why you need a co-founder, who they should be and where to find them.

Why do you need a co-founder ?

At NUMA, we have seen many people ask for investment in their startups. They are only at the ideation stage and they want cash to pay employees for developing their product or even selling it. You don’t need money for that. Your original team should have enough skills to build a prototype and gain initial traction. Put yourself in the shoes of an investor. Would you invest in a business where the product is not developed yet? Without any proof of concept and a random team?

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t pay an employee to achieve what you’re not able to do, at least at the beginning. That’s why it’s important to find a complementary partner who can develop the side of the startup you cannot handle yourself. A co-founder will be involved at the same level as you for free, in exchange for the startup’s equity. While this is the cheapest way for you, this is also the most motivational way for them. The better the results of your startup, the better are the outcomes and the motivation!

In addition to that, a co-founder will bring new insights and patterns to your startup. Brainstorming and sharing ideas can lead to a wide range of solutions that you may not think of. After developing many experimentations together, seeing what are the most efficient – you’ll be able to grow faster. Generally, startups composed of a tech and a business co-founder raise more money and have more user growth.

find the right co founder

Who is the right co-founder ?

As we said before, the right co-founder is someone who believes in your vision and who you can trust completely. That means placing a blind confidence in them, which is something that you can’t do with everyone. The solution can be an old friend, it’s often the simplest but more realistic answer.

You know them better than anyone; their strengths and weakness, their life and experiences – and they know the same about you. If you don’t have this chance, you can review your previous experiences to contact great people you have worked with. Or create new one to build strong relations.

Before officializing your relationship, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we agree 100% on the long term vision?
  • Are we going to be involved at the same level?
  • Do we share the same values?
  • Can we trust each other?
  • What skills are we individually bringing to the project?

In addition, a co-founder, whatever their role and skills are, should be ready to help you in several tasks such as finance, product design, customer acquisition, and so on.

Great partners are people that you can rely on, whatever the situation is. They have to be able to support you during company’s ups and downs. Of course, the latter is part of the adventure.

find the right co founder

Where to find the right co-founder ?

This week, some startups’ founders asked us where they can find a co-founder. In most cases, they asked for a tech co-founder as they don’t have the knowledge to build their apps or hardware.

As we said before – look at your friends, but be sure that you can work with them. Indeed, sharing an entrepreneurial journey with a friend is an amazing experience but your judgement can be biased by your friendship.

Another way to find one is to look into your network. Enhance your network as much as possible. Nowadays, there are loads of events focus on startup networking.

These kinds of events are perfect to meet new people and explore new opportunities for your project:

  • Hackathon: One of the most interesting ways to find your partner. The aim is to develop a startup during a weekend with a team of 3-4 people who have complementary skills. You can pitch in front of everyone and through that build a team to kickstart your idea. This event like a Startup weekend is intense and can definitely lead to great relationships.
  • Meetup: These gathering events are tailor-made for networking. Entrepreneurs join them to enhance their networks and discuss about a specific topic.
  • Conference: These big events are focused on a trend subject. You will attend several panel talks conducted by experts in their fields, and networking sessions dedicated to create opportunities and potential partnerships.

There are also some useful tools for finding a co-founder such as CoFoundersLab or Shapr, which connects you with other entrepreneurs.

find the right co founder

Finding the right partner is a long term process. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas, to get feedback and get people involved in your journey. It will also help you to find a mentor as well as build a strong community. Meet, Share & Grow together.

Alexandre, Business Program Associate & Pierre, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru



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Five People Essential to your Startup Success

Jim Rohn once said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” In terms of the startup ecosystem, if you want to find success, surround yourselves with people who want you to succeed and who share the same goals.

The five types of people essential to your startup success:

1) A Co-founder

Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest jobs in the world. You will feel overwhelmed, lost, close to giving up, and that’s normal. It can take 10 years to find overnight success and lot of people may not understand that struggle. Don’t get me wrong though, being an entrepreneur is also one of the greatest adventures you can undertake. If your entrepreneurial dream is driven by your passion and not by the goal of becoming rich, it will bring you fulfilment and ignite a fire in you. One of the most important things in this rollercoaster journey is having people who share in this with you. Working with a team increases the stimulation and the emulation. They can help you bypass roadblocks and provide you the support you need when you face doubts and choices. Alone we go faster, together we go further.

Five People Essential to your Startup Success
2) Your Early Adopters

Early adopters are your number one fans (after your family of course). Your product is still not perfect nor totally complete, yet they already understand and love it. Don’t make the mistake of leaving them by the wayside, as they are invaluable. It is your job to build a strong relationship with them. Ask them for feedback as often as you need to, get them involved and make them feel as if they are a part of the journey. If you manage this, you will be amazed by the outcomes. Building a product without regular feedback is like stumbling around in the darkness, you won’t have any idea of the results. Maybe you will succeed, maybe you will fail. There is no point in letting luck decide for you. Develop your solution step by step, with constant validation from your future customers.

3) An Entrepreneur

If you want to achieve something, what better way to emulate that success than to seek advice from someone who has already achieved it? Don’t be afraid to approach them, you will be able to dodge so many avoidable mistakes and wastes of your time. Entrepreneurs can be easily contacted on Linkedin or found in coworking spaces, or also as a part of an accelerator program. For each new step that you have to take, try to find the best person who has already walked the same path before you. Every entrepreneur who has been successful will want to give back. Sharing knowledge and helping people with their projects is what most people derive pleasure from. So, when you achieve a milestone in your journey, it will be your turn to give back. This is what makes entrepreneurship beautiful.

4) A Mentor

A mentor should be someone who has a lot of experiences in business, entrepreneurship and in a particular industry. The establishment of this relationship should be born from mutual consent, he or she chose you and you chose them. They can be at your side from the beginning, always there to listen and impart the best advice for most situations. They should be disinterested by the money and give you their time because they believe in you and what you are trying to achieve. After what you will go through on your journey, they should almost become a part of the family.

Five People Essential to your Startup Success

5) Others startups

Growing your startup in an Accelerator or Incubator will make a huge difference. Being surrounded by like-minded people, living and building their dreams is powerful. Several startups working hard side by side to make an impact, to improve the daily life of thousands of people, to change the world will give you the support, great connections and instant feedback you need. This is an extremely effective way to go from 0 to 1.

At NUMA Bengaluru, this is what we do. We surround our startups with Experts, Mentors and Entrepreneurs dedicated to their success. We create a healthy ecosystem that allows them to focus on what matters – their growth.

If you are a tech-enabled early-stage startup who wants to solve a pain point problem, it’s your chance to make it happen. Apply here:

 Pierre GUILBAUD, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru



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Apply for NUMA Season 3 Acceleration Program: Fast-track your Access to Seed Funding

Join our 5-month intense acceleration program in Bengaluru to take your startup to the next level.

It has been more than a year now since we launched NUMA global acceleration program in India. We have run two successful seasons and supported the growth of 16 startups from a large range of industries. After 2 seasons, we felt the urge to rethink our program. It was time to step back and inject what we’ve learned from the feedback we received from our entrepreneurs, mentors and investors into a new powerful formula.

Now our new execution-focus acceleration program is reloaded! Today, we are super excited to announce the call for application for Season 3. If you are an early-stage startup looking to accelerate your product development and gain access to seed funding, apply to our acceleration program in Bengaluru by 24th April 2017.

Our program was restructured to propose the best support to grow your startup:

  • Increased in-house resources: Everyday, you will be surrounded by in-house experts. In addition to our NUMA team, an Entrepreneur in Residence, Growth Hacker, UI/UX Designer, Visual Designer and much more will support you to execute your product and growth strategy. We are committed to adding as many resources as we can to help you.
  • Strong bootcamps: We will run bootcamps on the various core functions of startups including Design, Technology/Product, Finance/Legal and Sales & Marketing to help you strengthen your product and build a business strategy.
  • Mentorship-driven execution program: The program will last 5 months from mid-May to mid-October 2017 in our Open Space in NUMA Bengaluru. You will be focusing on executing your strategy and roadmap through KPI-based weekly roadmap meetings, curated mentoring office hours, workshops and one-on-one sessions. You will also get access to our corporate network and client portfolio to explore business opportunities and synergies with them.
  • Manage your cash burn: You will get €2500 Bootstrapping cash and more than €700K worth of Perks from 70+ partners, along with other resources such as office space for 7 months (5-month program + 2-month free office space).
  • Go global with NUMA: You will get actionable global market access by leveraging NUMA’s sites (Paris, Moscow, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Casablanca, Mexico), GAN (Global Accelerator Network)’s and Google For Entrepreneurs’ networks.

All this in exchange for your commitment and a 4% of stake in your startup. Do what it takes to succeed, take all the chances!

“The biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful accelerators relates to how heavily mentors engage with participants”
– 2015 Global Best Practices Report on Incubation and Acceleration

Fast-track Access Seed Funding
Our Season 1 & Season 2 startups with NUMA team, mentors and partners.

5-month intense program focused on execution

An early stage startup is an underfunded team, trying to solve a significant problem by building an amazing product and struggling with getting resources such as developers, marketing and designers. This is where NUMA plays a role, we help entrepreneurs accelerate their startups in three major steps:

1. Build the strategy:

To be ready for growth acceleration, your first month in our program includes participation in design thinking, product strategies and roadmap building activities. These activities include bootcamps, team building, mentor madness (speed dating with mentors to find your lead mentor) and more. We will assess your startup and understand your strengths, weaknesses and needs through these programs. The next 3 months of growth acceleration can then be planned with a set roadmap and determined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

2. Get traction and grow:

During these next 3 months, we aim at helping and supporting you in executing the roadmap created in the first month. We have various structured programs to do so. You will go through weekly focus workshops, curated expert & mentor office hours, one-on-one sessions with international experts, SCRUM and Roadmap meetings, and fortnightly CEO breakfasts (where successful entrepreneurs will share their insights). You will also be introduced to our corporate networks, experts pool, and NUMA networks.

3. Access seed financing:

In the last month of the acceleration program, we will prepare you for scaling and raising seed funding. We will organise pitch building activities such as coaching and training, preparation of pitch decks, executive summaries, terms sheets and more. You will also be put in touch with investors to get their feedback and perspectives (examples include our Angel Sneak Peek and Shark Tank programs). Our program will conclude with a Demo Day and an Investor Day hosted at NUMA. This is what you have worked towards: you will pitch in front of investors, potential clients, corporates, partners, and the ecosystem.

It doesn’t end there though as we offer continuous support and a specific international engagement program for our Alumni startups. We will continue to introduce you to investors and corporates, and you will have access to our mentors’ networks and perks even after the program. You can opt to expand your business into other markets by leveraging NUMA’s networks and landing zones (Paris & New York)

Selection of startups for the program

We are looking for tech-enabled, MVP-ready, early-stage startups solving a real problem addressing a sizeable market. Each application is evaluated by complementary profiles: 1 investor, 1 industry expert, 1 entrepreneur and the NUMA team. You will receive constructive feedback from them at the end of April 2017. So take your time to fill it out and give your best to maximise your chances to join our program.

We will select the 50 best startups to pitch in front of our jury in the first week of May 2017. It will be followed by a final pitch for 20 to 25 shortlisted startups. Finally, we will select 10 to 12 startups for our next season’s acceleration program. Season 3 acceleration program will start on the 15th of May, 2017 in the heart of Bengaluru.

Apply now:

Do you have more questions? See our FAQ

If you still have further questions, contact us at [email protected] or attend one of our Open Forums happening every Friday, 3 PM at the NUMA Bangalore office (Info Session about the program, application and selection process, Q&A and a NUMA Tour with high tea) – RSVP here.

We are running a survey on the Startup Acceleration program, please take some time to fill it out! Your inputs and suggestions will be very useful for future programs.

Farish CV, Lead Program Manager of Accelerator at NUMA Bengaluru