I need a cofounder, am i wrong?

Brainy Swaibu Founder & CEO@LEHAPCBO2013

Last updated on February 1st, 2018

I have an apiary agribusiness in Uganda but iam failing to get funding to scale it. I thought a cofounder with like-minds could be my next option. My enterprise is my first project affiliated to a nonprofit Org which i founded myself in 2016 called LEHAP. The cofounder who has interest in charity work would help me. Thats my thinking. Advise me please. Thank you.

David M

January 27th, 2018

Taking on a co-founder to impress investors is absurd unless that co-founder has the needed experience in your field. Taking on an investor to prove you are easy to work with is as absurd because having a co-founder does not prove one is easy to work with. Furthermore, having co-founders does not prove that the founders are easy to work with externally. Taking on a co-founder to play games whether that is "good cop, bad cop" or any other game is even more absurd.

There are good reasons to take on co founders. All of the above are probably some of the worst reasons to do so.

Taking on a co-founder is serious business. You are entrusting your company with that individual, and more importantly your livelihood. A few good reasons to take on a co-founder.

1. To bridge a gap in the function of your company. Ex: You create computer software, but do not have experience in creating a solid business plan. You are a great marketer, but lack the ability to operate the company, so you bring in a COO to help you create operational strategy. You are a great CEO, or COO, and while you have a general competence about finance, you bring in an experienced CFO who has needed experience and relationships he can leverage for your company.

2. To be able to build the company. There is only so much time in the day, and starting a company is time consuming. Often times, you need a co founder to share the work load.

3. To compliment or complete your own abilities. This relates back to the first reason.

On the note of number 3, I think "like minds" can be extremely beneficial if you are talking in terms ideas about life and the world or an industry. Example "We both greatly value non profits, and are passionate about using agriculture to help impoverished individuals." That often fuels the entrepreneurial process. And in my subjective viewpoint, that has to be there in more cases than not. At the same time, the ideal cofounder is one who is like minded but has a completely different yet complimentary skill set that bridges a current gap.

Jana Nevrlka Cofounding Strategist

February 1st, 2018

Dear Brainy - what a good question. I believe it is originally an african proverb: "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." so it might be indeed the answer for you. Working with many cofounding teams, i would advise you to go step further and specify which resources, skills, attitudes... you are looking for for your project. Good luck with it!

Sean Laird Passionate and Active looking to start a business

January 27th, 2018

I find myself in a comparable situation: wondering if I truly need a co-worker. As David said below, a good co-founder can help share the load of the work and bring balance to decision making. I would like to find one to help share the load and bounce ideas off of but bringing in the wrong person could be disaster.

Like-minded may not be necessary as much as similar goals/vision, that's the most important part in my opinion. Good luck with your business.

Siddhartha Sen Leading the Openflow v1.3 development at Brocade

January 26th, 2018

There are three reasons you need a co-founder.

(a) convince the investors that your idea is sold to another person. [The idea is validated]

(b) convince the investors that you are easy to work with. [The person is validated]

(c) play the good cop/bad cop game with investors, vendors, customers etc etc.

Wally Barr Business Owner at Undrnu Management

January 28th, 2018

I would be happy to help you without co-founder status. The issue that is most relevant is splitting time between the charity and the business. While I applaud the effort your time is not being spent where it needs to be. I can help with either because I am a marketer and will design (have it) a system that can help both areas. I am involved in small based insect and odd or alternative farms. I have access to some very good resources to expand. The apiary business earns more revenue from pollination then honey production. The honey is just a benefit of the business. Focusing on honey sales is not the right area. As for your charity creating business plans for small scale alternative farms using creatures like crickets, earthworms, snails and meal worms provide a solid base to grow the non-profit. hit me back

A Brown Entrepreneal Minded

January 28th, 2018

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