CoFounders Lab: The app that finds your cofounder. This business helps entrepreneurs build better.
Building a business on your own is a tough job and one reason why many startups look for someone to partner with. Many entrepreneurs will tell you that finding a cofounder is like finding a spouse. You will have to work well together, solve conflicts, manage money, and build a life (or business) together. These days it’s hard just to meet people and even tougher to find someone that shares your passion and brings skills to the table. It’s no wonder 50 million Americans have turned to dating apps for help, but what is out there for the 27 million Americans starting a new business?
CoFounders Lab recognizes how hard it is to start a new business and succeed at building it. They want to connect people and also give them the tools to succeed in business. Their first offering is essentially a “dating app for founders” that functions very much like popular dating apps. A user builds a profile by answering a series of questions, uploads a photo and marks the traits they seek in a potential cofounder. The app then links founders at any stage in the startup phase to a community of entrepreneurs who are also looking to start and run a business.
Starting a business takes patience and hard core dedication. “On average it takes a user 6-12 months to find their cofounder, and they typically reach out to at least 300 contacts,” CoFounders Lab President Joshua Wenner said. That might mean setting aside an hour or two every weekend to reach out to a couple dozen people. They aim to streamline this process and bring people together.
CoFounders Lab is currently the largest online community for cofounders with over 350,000 users, and they are just getting started. But, in addition to linking entrepreneurs, they are also harnessing their database and online presence to build an online business accelerator. They launched the accelerator beta in November 2018 and have since taken about 100 individuals through the process
The first business accelerator to hit the industry was Y Combinator in 2005. As of 2016 there were 178 accelerators in the US and Canada according to Global Accelerator Report. Business accelerators are groups that offer tools and know-how to help accelerate the growth curve of fledgling businesses. They have traditionally been set up by venture capitalists looking for the next big thing–think Shark Tank. You had better have a great idea and a great pitch to get noticed, and of course they are going to want equity in your company. They also have a very limited capacity for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest limitations is simply location. A startup usually has to be near an accelerator, and most accelerators are in big cities near big capital. This leaves out a lot of very promising startups, particularly those in rural areas. It is also costly to set up in LA, New York, Boston or San Fran, especially if you live in Des Moines! But even if you live next door to an accelerator you have to get your foot in the door, and do you really want to give up your precious equity?
By setting up a virtual accelerator, CoFounders Lab is removing the limitations of geography and the need to give up equity. They have a fixed fee, and they open the door to anyone with an internet connection and an idea. CoFounders Lab accelerator helps participants with business plan writing, minimal viable product (MVP) analysis, marketing, finance, fundraising, pitch coaching and even IP and legal.
This accelerator is much more than an online curriculum; it’s a community, and it’s valuable connections. Participants can call in for one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and pitch practices. They also have access to the rest of the community to build much needed camaraderie and contacts.
CoFounders Lab not only helps prep their participants for the perfect pitch; they also have a program that connects them to a massive network of investors itching to support the next big thing. Their 1000 Angels program gives members an opportunity to pitch their ideas directly to investors.
If you are looking to accelerate your business or find someone to join your business, CoFounders Lab has an app for that. They are eager to connect you to their community and excited about helping you succeed.