For any startup founder, how to find a co-founder is a challenge that needs to be overcome. Very few can, or should, go it alone as a founder. A co-founder is an essential co-pilot, and often the key to any startup’s success within the creator economy landscape.
Web3 is an exciting, high-growth sector. It’s the future of the Internet. In 2021, over $30 billion was invested in Web3 startups across thousands of deals, according to Crunchbase data.
World-famous VC firms creator economy investors, such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Tiger, Paradigm, and Sequoia are betting huge funds on Web3 startups that are based on novel blockchain business ideas. a16z has raised a $2.2 billion fund. Paradigm has raised a fund worth $2.5 billion. Even more is expected to be raised and go into Web3 funds in 2022.
For early-stage web3 founders, getting in on this exciting sector means having the right idea and bringing on board the most effective, reliable co-founder possible. In this article, we review how and where to find a Web3 co-founder for your startup.
Why do you need a Web3 startup co-founder?
VC investors, and almost anyone with any experience building startups, recommends recruiting a co-founder. If you’ve ever built a startup, you know why.
Founders get more done with someone to share the load, the mental and physical heavy lifting of building a company. It’s not just the amount of work, it’s the quality of the ideas, the solutions to difficult problems, and a way of keeping yourself and other co-founders accountable to one another.
Investors are also much more likely to invest in startups with co-founders than startups with only one founder. Partly because, as YC Partner Harj Taggar says in this video/article: “Startups are an incredibly intense and taxing journey.”
Y Combinator is arguably the most successful startup accelerator in the world. So, as Taggar says, “It’s great to have someone you can lean on for support during the tough times. And what I’ve noticed about the best co-founder relationships is they have this dynamic where both co-founders kind of balance each other out.”
Whether you are building a Web2 or Web3 startup, the fundamental principles and challenges are the same. Founders need support: moral, mental, technical, physical. Founders need others with complementary skills; someone who can do something you can’t. If you’re more technical, then you need co-founder(s) with marketing or sales skills, for example, and vice versa.
At the end of the day, whether you are bootstrapping or raising $100 million, having a web3 co-founder contributes to the overall success of the company. As Taggar points out: “If you look at a list of the most successful startups in history, think of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, they all had co-founders when they started.”
Let’s consider how to solve this problem, especially for those either new to startups, or new to Web3, and creator economy companies and are currently searching for a Web3 co-founder.
Find a Web3 co-founder: things to consider
There are numerous places to find a co-founder, both online and in the real world.
However, there are a few things you need to consider first. Working with a co-founder is a lot like getting into a relationship. At the end of the day, you’ll need to be able to get along for the foreseeable future. There are ups and downs but it’s exciting and you both see great potential in what you are doing.
It’s crucial for your peace of mind, and the overall success of the company, that you see how a co-founder performs under pressure. And at the same time, how strong the support is when you’re under the pump. Much like a successful relationship.
If co-founders can’t work well together during times of stress then there’s a good chance any startup, no matter how promising, well-intentioned, or funded, is going to fail. You also need to know that this is something that could take years. Ask yourself, can I work with my new potential co-founder, and probably be in contact with them, every day for several years?
Assuming the aim for VCs, creator economy investors, and founders are to exit – to generate a return on investment – then that process can take years. Given the relative newness of the Web3 ecosystem, there are very few exits as examples, so it’s unknown how long it may take in this environment.
Where to find a Web3 startup co-founder?
Start with people you know. Friends, people you went to school with, colleagues, and former colleagues. Friends of friends, ideally those already active in the creator economy companies and Web3 communities. Trust is essential, so if you can start searching in places where trust is already established then it makes the search for a co-founder easier.
However, if you don’t know someone that well, then don’t pick the first potential co-founder based on a tenuous link. “Well, he/she went to the same school, we’re friends on Facebook, connected on LinkedIn, and they worked at X with my friend Y”, isn’t the sort of reasoning you want to found a company on. Given how important this choice is, you need other reasons to work with someone as a co-founder.
Expand your search. Play an active role in Web3 communities across numerous channels. Start telling people about your idea, what you are working on. Building in public is the best way to find Web3 co-founders, partners, investors, even customers.
Web3 startups need the support of a community. Make sure to engage early on with communities on Twitter, Telegram, Discord, and start your marketing on Medium, even LinkedIn, and other channels. This could be crucial in the search for a Web3 co-founder.
Accelerators & networking groups
Beyond web-based communities, there’s a good chance you could meet a potential Web3 co-founder through accelerators, blockchain consulting companies, and business networking groups, for example, on LinkedIn.
Got your Web3 co-founder?
Once you’ve found a Web3 co-founder, and seen how well you work together, it’s time to start building the next creator economy trends. One way to do this is using DEIP, a creator economy protocol exclusively for intangible assets, derivatives, and Web3-based projects. Our Casimir tool is a Web3 startup builder, giving founders everything they need to start building and scaling Web3 startups.