3 Tips for Founders


StartUp Founding as a team - start together

Teamwork is one of the keywords of the modern working world. The German Startup Monitor shows that three out of four startups are formed in a team (DSM 2017). As a result, a number of successful start-ups have been launched as a team, which are now well-known companies from Silicon Valley.

But what makes teamwork so successful? In teams, people with different levels of knowledge, skills, experiences, interests and characteristics meet. Optimally, these characteristics complement and interlink so that a start-up team can have all the skills required for a value-adding company. However, teamwork is depending on the personal type and therefore not always a guarantee of success.

Solopreneur or Co-Founder?

It is a rarity that a single person has all the skills and competencies to successfully implement a start-up idea. Therefore it seems obvious to bet on the variety and diversity within a team. Nevertheless, teamwork is also depending on personality: not every entrepreneur feels comfortable in a team. It may happen that the opinion and knowledge of others is confused and diverted from one's own ideas. The basis for the cooperation is therefore in any case that all team members are convinced of the founding idea and pursue it as a common goal. Not every business idea can be implemented without a team - and this yields many advantages: The exchange with co-founders can fuel creative potential and promote progress in implementing the start-up idea. Decisions are usually made more slowly, consulting with teammates, but the participants benefit from each other in this process. Within this procedure it is quite possible that competences are transferred to other team members and at the same time internalized. An exchange is also possible with external, neutral contact persons, such as mentors and consultants. These can occur as so-called "sparring partners" and support solopreneures, e.g. regarding relevant decisions or technical solutions.

On the way to establishing one's own company, one must overcome the ups and downs and constantly be motivated - perseverance is required. Most founders would confirm, that this works better in a team. A team can provide certainty and stability in certain phases that would not be obtained from other constellations. In addition, the personal environment and contacts within the start-up scene can help.

How do I create a basis for good teamwork?

An idea matures only through good cooperation. The external impact of a company, which, among other things, is crucial for the success of the company, also reflects the relationships in the team. The better the cooperation, the better the implementation of the start-up idea will work.

The diversity of a founding team offers potential that, when fully utilised, increases the efficiency of collaboration and the overall productivity of a team. In this way, subtasks can be assigned according to the respective subject-specific expertise, for certain areas - and here the size of the team is decisive - it may make sense for tasks to overlap. Constant communication between all team members is a basic requirement. To avoid disagreements and conflicts, a definition of roles, goals (and subgoals), and decision-making is indispensable. In regular team meetings, tasks are coordinated and problems discussed.

„We get together on the basis of our similarities; we grow on the basis of our differences“ (Virginia Satir)

In addition to a technical basis, a personal basis is needed: In order to work effectively in a team, mutual trust should be present. Especially in the early stages of a foundation in which the financial situation is difficult and the motivation for one's own work results above all from the conviction about one's own idea, conscientiousness and individual responsibility play an important role. There are also conflict potentials here, for example if the expectations of the team members differ or if the commitment varies.

Where and how do I find co-founders?

Before looking for a founding team or individual co-founders, it makes sense to become aware of one's own strengths and weaknesses. On the basis of the own profile a requirement profile can be created for future team colleagues, which considers both professional and personal criteria. Especially with a start-up, the conviction is crucial for the idea: only one person who is convinced of the idea is willing to invest time and energy in the implementation. Nevertheless, a certain openness and willingness to compromise should be maintained in the search and selection of the team.

A suitable place for finding co-founders are founding events, e.g. in the form of MeetUps or founder regulars tables. In addition to the co-founders search, such events offer the opportunity to network and a good opportunity for an exchange of experience within the local start-up scene. In this way, it is also possible to get in touch quickly with experts from specific areas. Other options include so-called hackathons, practice-oriented seminars at the university or topic-specific workshops for founders, where the chance to meet like-minded people is clearly high. There are also numerous startup platforms online, and social networks and job portals are also suitable for finding colleagues, e.g. within thematic groups.

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