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Finding a Cofounder: More than a colleague

Last night at VeloCity’s Great Hall, VeloCity students had the opportunity to hear Devon Galloway (VidYard) discuss what to look for when finding a cofounder. As a cofounder of VidYard, Redwoods Media, and a VeloCity mentor, he had a lot of great information to share from his experience.

One of his most emphasized points was the importance of having a personal relationship with whomever you choose to be your cofounder – you will be spending a lot of time with them. He even compared the relationship between cofounders to the closest thing you’ll ever get to a marriage (without  actually getting married). Devon also specified how important it is for your cofounder to be someone whom you trust. They have to be honest with you and be able to challenge you when necessary; your cofounder can’t be a “yes man”. It’s also essential for you and your cofounder to be able to discuss things logically, especially because it’s so easy to get emotional about ideas you’ve put a lot of time and effort into. You both have to be the kind of people who can take a step back and spend some time to think about any conflicts you may have.

Additionally, Devon spoke about how important it is for cofounders to be equally excited and passionate about their business. Running a startup is extremely difficult, and if you’re not really interested in what you’re doing, it will be even harder. Both you and your cofounder have to be able to create an environment that you love to work in. Even more importantly, you need that passion in order to be fully committed to your startup. When looking for a cofounder, you are looking for someone who is committed to doing whatever it takes.

Lastly, Devon underlined the importance of finding a cofounder who is skilled and capable because cofounders are the ones who do everything. Both of you will have to be able to learn how to do things for yourself because, in a startup, you won’t necessarily be able to hire someone else. With the right amount of skill, as well as a strong relationship, you and your cofounder have the potential to begin a successful startup.

We hope to hear Devon Galloway speak again soon – good luck finding your cofounders!