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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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5 Keys to Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

After working for Google France as a digital coach the past 2 years, I have met hundreds of entrepreneurs and SME owners. Some of them understood the importance of digital transition in their business, some of them didn’t – mostly because of a lack of time or knowledge. Above all however, they often don’t have a good mindset about the value and purpose of digital marketing. Most of them find themselves going digital just because they feel that they have to, but not because they truly understand the results they could get.

The 5 keys to build an efficient digital ecosystem:

1) Social media: Build your community first

If you wanted to create a startup even just a few years ago, you would have to work on it out of your garage and wait patiently until it’s done to show it to the world. Today the vision of entrepreneurship has totally changed. You shouldn’t waste your time on building something that no one may want and wait until your launch to acquire customers.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Fake it until you make it

Even if you just have an idea, create a social media account on each platform you think your potentials customers are present on. Start sharing content you know they will enjoy, which relates to your future offerings. You can use tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule posts in order to gain time and create valuable content to engage them through blog posts or visuals.

In this way, you can build your offer while receiving feedback from your community. The day you launch it, you will already be confident of your first sales. Why? You would have already created a relationship with your community – they’ll like you, support you and will be impatient to use what you have to offer.

This community will also be a perfect way to help you spread the word when you launch your product. You can use them to join a thunderclap campaign or also to support you in a crowdfunding campaign.

2) Optimize your website to get leads

A website shouldn’t only be a showcase of your value proposition. Imagine you are the owner of a physical shop and you have a hundred visitors everyday. Yet, nobody speaks to you, nobody buys anything. How frustrating would that be? This won’t happen however, because you would engage with your visitors, act friendly and try to understand their needs in order to sell them your products.

The concept is almost identical for your website. If you have a hundred visitors per day, you should provide the best user experience possible and attempt to engage them. It can be through contacting you, filling out a form, subscribing to your newsletter or even sharing your content. In almost each case, you might not make a sale but at least you’ll get a lead – their email.

As you can see on NUMA Bengaluru’s home page, we allow our visitors to apply for our acceleration program and we offer them the option to follow us by subscribing.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Your landing page should be efficient as well. This means that your visitors should understand in less than 5 seconds what the benefits of your offer are. One of the best ways to do so is to break the top of your landing page into 3 parts:

  1. A headline that explains the main benefit/goal of your offer. It’s possible to add a small text under it to ensure clarity.
  2. A powerful and explicit Call to Action
  3. A step by step explanation of the process to ensure that your potential customers quickly understand what their user experience entails.

WordPress and Squarespace are good plateform to start.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

However, to give the best user experience to your potential customers, your website should be a 100% responsive and fast. You can use this Google tool in order to check: https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

For free, it will give your website a score for speed and responsivity. It will also tell you what to fix in order to improve your given score and thus, your overall user experience.

Finally, the better way to optimize your website is to get datas analytics. It’s pretty simple to setup Google Analytics for free which will give you a good a vision of what your website is doing:

  • Who are your visitors?
  • How do you acquire them?
  • What are they doing on your website?
  • Do you get conversion?

In order to improve your conversion rate, you should get this 3 step mindset:

  1. Measure
  2. Analyze
  3. Optimize

Tips: Have a look at your Exit rate. If one of your pages has an Exit rate more than 70%, and it’s not your “thank you page” for purchasing, you should probably try to improve it. It’s also possible to use complementary tools as Hotjar and Mixpanel to more deeply understand your visitor journey.

3) Blog: Content is the key

Developing a blog is the best way to display your expertise to your community. Too many people think that it is unnecessary or that it requires too much time. You need to understand that before to ask, you need to give. Sharing your experiences, experiments, tips and advice is a good way to show your community that you are effective at what you do and that you have real value to offer.

To find topics on which to write, you can ask yourself: what problems are my potential customers facing? An article is often an answer to a question. Help your potential customers reduce their pain point and have the possibility to receive a  great outcome in terms of engagement. Neil Patel is known as the content marketing Guru, take time to read his articles, it will help you. 

Moreover, writing blog posts will aid your website in ranking better on Google thus leading to more free traffic. If you use WordPress, Yoast SEO is a free plugin that assists in improving your SEO. Here is a screenshot of the list Yoast SEO provides to do so:
Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Finally, finding the right keyword is easier with bunch of free tools such as Google Trends. It shows you which keywords are widely searched on Google and thus which ones drive traffic.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

4) Emailing is branding

Emailing is still one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach customers. While it’s a great way to acquire users, it is also extremely valuable in increasing retention. A human brain cannot remember all the information it receives in a single day. A lot of people might land on your website and like what you do, but will not have the time to read all of your content. They will still be very interested in what you can offer them, though.

In this case, it is vital reach out to them through email. Sending them a monthly/weekly newsletter is one way to do it but if you really want to improve your retention, you should create a mail automation funnel. This is a serie of 5 or 10 mails, which provides value and knowledge in a logical order. The goal is to create relationship built on trust, showing that you are not simply a spammer but an expert who is happy to help his community to grow. You could become the industry reference for them. This will hopefully lead to a good-word-of-mouth with an increase in sales of your product. Even if your opening rate is low, your subscriber will see your name on the mail – this still counts as branding.

To build your list through which you send newsletters and automation mails, I would advise you to use Mailchimp. It’s the most commonly used, free at first and simple to set up. To reach someone, you can use hunter.io to find a mail using the domain name of the company.
Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

5) Growth Hacking

Before using various methods to acquire traffic, understand that Growth Hacking is a mindset. One begins by grasping user psychology, how to delve into your target audience, figure out what motivates them, what they like, what they fear, what is their real pain point. You need to view every channel you use on a daily basis in different ways. How can you best leverage them to drive traffic and entice users to your website.

If you want to learn more about Growth Hacking, have a look to Hackisition, Startup Marketing, Coelevate, and Startupfood.

Here is the AARRR, the growth hacking funnel from Dave McClure:

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Acquisition: How do you acquire visitors to your website?

Example: By creating your digital ecosystem

Activation: How do you activate them?

Example: By ensuring they understand your benefits, thus leading to taking action.

Retention: How do you make sure they come back?

Example: By developing your digital ecosystem

Revenue: How do you make money?

Referral: How do you make them spread the word and become an evangelist?

Example: By creating the best value and user experience for them.

 

To conclude, I’ll give you 3 tips to increase your number of followers for free:

20% creation / 80% distribution

  1. Facebook: Search the facebook groups you believe contain potential customers and share your facebook page in them with a short text explaining the benefits of following you. If you share within 15 well targeted groups per day, you’ll get 50+ followers a day.
  2. Twitter: Go to your competitors accounts and follow all their followers. You should be able to follow a minimum of 500 accounts per day and 10% will follow you back. To improve your distribution, you can try a tool like Statusbrew and use Post Recycler to schedule and more effectively post random content during timings that have the most impact.
  3. Instagram: Go to your competitors accounts and follow all their followers. You should be able to follow a minimum of 500 accounts per day and 20% will follow you back.

Don’t wait anymore, it’s time to build your digital ecosystem!

Pierre GUILBAUD, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru.

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