There is no ‘I’ in ‘startup team’

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, the idea of creating a start-up team or even finding a co-founder has probably passed through your mind.

Speaking at this week’s Entrepreneurship Unplugged event, serial entrepreneur Shahab Kaviani said if you want to build a large company with lots of employees, investors have a stronger preference for funding companies with founding teams than ones without.

shahab kaviani“Because your business needs your full attention,” said Kaviani, “you have to find someone who understands the nuances and the art of the craft that you offer and respect that.”

In the midst of his entrepreneurship adventures, Kaviani realized he needed to be able to find his perfect co-founder for every new venture. But finding that perfect match was not easy. So he launched CoFoundersLab in 2012, what he considers “the LinkedIn of entrepreneurs.” CoFoundersLab allows entrepreneurs of all ages to connect with other entrepreneurs online and create meaningful business relationships.

When Kaviani founded CoFoundersLab, the idea of forming meaningful business relationships online was unheard of, but when following through with his vision, he changed the game. Today, online connections are widely accepted, and Kaviani believes this way of discovering co-founders makes finding the most compatible business partner easier than before.

Just like a romantic relationship, Kaviani suggested, you need to first be objective and then build trust when searching for a co-founder before diving into any serious venture. By connecting first online through an objective source, CoFoundersLab provides a safer and faster way to get to know who’s right for your business and who is not.

“A co-founder [is the] second most important relationship” in your life, Kaviani said.

Kaviani answered questions at the end of his talk and gave personalized advice to students. He also shared a plethora of resources with interested students.


Next week’s Entrepreneurship Unplugged event will be held at March 14 at Hawkins Hall in room 113.