The search for a startup cofounder has been likened to the search for a romantic partner. You try out person after person, hoping that this one will finally be the one. You go out to dinner, talk over coffee, get a feel for them. Do your values align? Do you have the same vision? Could you spend years of your life with this person?
Finding a cofounder is so much like dating, in fact, that my father – an entrepreneur of the non-internet variety – still refers to his first business partner as his “heterosexual life mate,” even years after they both moved on to other ventures. They go out dancing, drink champagne over the campfire, and are generally best friends.
With all of that in mind, it’s no surprise that – just like with romantic dating – an app has popped up to facilitate the pairing off of “single” entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. Called CoFoundersDating, the app aims to be the go-to spot for startup founders in Asia’s burgeoning tech scene to find each other. Eventually, they hope to expand worldwide.
This is the point where normally I’d tell you about the onboarding process of the app and what I found when I did a little poking around. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get past the registration screen, as the app kept bringing me back to the password section when I tried to change the gender from “male” to “female.” I thought maybe my passwords didn’t match and tried to change them but was unable to do that either.
After a couple more tries, I decided that the struggle wasn’t worth it. Should I have kept trying? Nope, sorry CoFoundersDating – that’s the reality of your customer. If your onboarding process is glitchy, you’re not going to get many signups. Harsh reality, but there it is.
I have to say, however, that I think this is a great idea, especially for folks who live in current or burgeoning startup cities like (obviously) San Francisco, New York, or the founder’s hometown of Singapore. There are hubs all over the world where folks are flocking to start up online companies and they need partners to do it with.
While I’m still a pretty firm believer of IRL meetings (just can’t get the same sense of chemistry online), I think a digital solution to matching like-minded people would not only be welcome but also potentially really helpful. Just like with romantic dating, shortcutting the process of finding a cofounder by plugging in all your info (who you are, your values, what you’re company is about, etc.) could do some of the initial sifting for you. Finding a “love match” is hard; let a digital matchmaker do some of the work for you.
CoFoundersDating – you’re on the right track. You have a very good idea. Fix that on boarding process and (please) get someone to clean up your copy a bit and I think you could be on to something. Good luck!
mrhayata | CoFoundersDating.com