You have heard about Flutterwave, Paystack, Esusu, and many other top startups in Nigeria by Nigerians to the world. But do you know we have some awesome products by Gen Z too? Here is a list of 10 startups founded in Nigeria by Gen Z. The list doesn’t follow any hierarchy but is random as the writer randomly arranged it.
Generation Z (GenZ) is basically the newest generation. These are those born between the year 1997 to 2012. They are currently between ages 10-26 years old.
GenZers (who are mostly teenagers) are majorly viewed as reckless, stubborn kids. And as such, they have mostly been shoved aside, dismissed, or not listened to. Honestly, adults shouldn’t be blamed for not trusting members of this generation or disregarding them.
In a typical Nigerian community, it is extremely difficult to find members of this generation thinking of innovation or how to change the world or things like that. I can’t tell if that’s a result of the mediocre community they find themselves in, or just a plain lack of passion, drive, and motivation.
But all that is gradually becoming yesterday’s problem.
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with social media. This world of advanced technology has proved to be extremely helpful, although hurtful to members of the age who do not make proper of the tech resources. Regardless, many GenZers have been able to take advantage of these resources into creating a more accessible, better, and evolved world to live in.
All over the world, GenZers are making waves. They are rising up to the occasion by getting involved in every sphere of life. We have quite a number of members of this generation not only getting involved but also actively participating in areas like entertainment, business, and tech, to name a few.
In Nigeria, the rate of involvement of GenZers in tech is increasing daily. With 25% of our population falling into this generation, it is not surprising that the percentage of GenZers getting involved in tech is massive.
Okay, so Nigerian GenZers are getting involved in tech, that’s good you might say. But, they are also changing the world one code, one web/mobile app, and one startup at a time.
Let’s look at some cool startups by Nigerian GenZers that you need to watch out for because they are taking the tech space by storm:
KLAS: Free Online Teaching Platform
Klas was co-founded by Nathan Nwachukwu in December 2021. Nathan is 18 years old and has been interested in tech, well according to him, since he was small. Nathan had an accident in his right eye a while after his 15th birthday and that kept him away from school for months.
This allowed him to take tech more seriously since well, he couldn’t go to school. During, this period he got bored and wanted to teach physics online but found no platform that could help him in doing this. Then came the idea for Klas.
Klas is a platform for basically anyone to start up a school online. The software has basically everything needed for online teaching. Ranging from scheduling to payments, video conferencing, and the like. It already has about 2,000 creators on the waitlist. It also recently secured funding of $130,000.
The startup recently partnered with Artickl (a UK-based startup that helps in application processes and job seeking) to better help learners to connect with job opportunities on a global level.
Creators on Klas can teach basically anything- languages, programming, designing, school subjects, musical instruments, and many more.
Klas will help in providing education remotely and can help professors and lecturers deliver their lectures using the platform.
FRELAPAY: Managing Freelance Process
Eniola Osabiya is a 17-year-old cloud engineer and full-stack developer. He is the creator of GenZ techies (an online community for GenZers in tech) as well as the co-founder of Frelapay.
Frelapay is a platform for freelancing. With Frelapay, you choose or design your templates, and set your working terms for projects. You also create contracts from your dashboard that you easily share with your clients.
You easily create your own invoices and you can get paid in multiple currencies and even in crypto. You get paid into your wallet and you can withdraw your money anytime.
Frelapay is the solution for clients and freelancers alike. As a freelancer or even as a client hiring, you’ve most likely experienced one problem or the other. You’ve probably had problems with late payments and the like.
Eniola and his co-founder have looked into all these and created a smart solution for all problems associated with freelancing in the form of Frelapay.
LAZERPAY: Get Paid Across Border
Lazerpay is founded by 19-year-old Njoku Emmanuel. Emmanuel is one of the most sought-after blockchain engineers in Nigeria.
Lazerpay is a gateway payment for cryptocurrency. Lazerpay helps to solve cross-border payments. With lazerpay, you don’t get to worry about receiving or making business payments from customers abroad. Even though our traditional currency can’t cross borders, crypto can.
It is an innovation that will speed up the adoption of crypto in Africa. It does not only help in solving business payments but also provides a pathway to Defi (decentralized finance) which is more secure, efficient, and transparent than traditional financial services.
With Defi, there will also be access to some features like lending and staking.
REVETPAY: Borderless Payment
Jonathan Olayinka founds Revetpay. He is a 17years old frontend developer.
Revetpay is a blockchain payment infrastructure company. It was designed for local and international payments. It helps to bridge the gap between crypto and fiat.
Revetpay helps you to get paid with crypto, fund a virtual with crypto or fiat and you can buy goods and services directly with cryptocurrency.
ZEDDPAY: Shop and make purchases online
Zeddpay is created by 16 years old Pleasant Balogun. Pleasant had the idea for Zeddpay when he had difficulty receiving and making payments because he doesn’t have a bank account due to age restrictions.
Zeddpay, one of the fintech startups in Nigeria is solving a major Gen Z problem of not being able to purchase anything online due to age restrictions in having a credit card. With Zeddpay, you don’t need a bank account to make online payments.
You just need to have a good amount of airtime and you start shopping.
With Zeddpay you can make countless transactions with one single app. You can convert your airtime to ZeddCoin and then with your ZeddCoin you can do basically anything.
You can convert it to crypto, pay it out to a bank account purchase airtime and data subscriptions (5% cheaper than what you get from your bank)and even make online purchases.
AEROSEEDS: Automate Reforestation
Aeroseeds is created by Pleasant Balogun (the 16-year-old creator of Zeddpay ). It is an afforestation company aimed at regenerating the ecosystem globally.
Pleasant is aiming at solving a problem that the majority didn’t even know existed.
The rate of release of carbon iv oxide increases as industrial growth increases. The effects of CO2 can be extremely dangerous to our ecosystem. Imagine CO2 as a warm blanket continually trapping heat in the atmosphere and thus warming up the earth.
This prevents the earth from cooling and eventually results in global warming. With the many problems, the world is faced with not a lot of people realize the effect of the release of CO2. The easiest and cheapest way to get rid of this problem is by planting trees.
Who will plant the trees? Manually planting trees will take so much time definitely but of course, this is the 21st century. Aeroseeds uses UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to plant trees at strategic locations.
Although this project is still in the early stage you can make donations to support Pleasant and his team in saving the planet.
ULTEREX: Future Powered by Nature
The 16years old John Oseni is the founder of UltereX (although previously called FutureX). John is recognized as a tech prodigy.
UltereX is a nature-powered company. It plans to produce machines that run on natural elements like solar energy, wind, and water instead of carbon-containing fuels to reduce the drastic increase in global carbon production and thus ensure a safer planet for us to live in.
The young CEO employs the help of foreign companies and a wide team of researchers and engineers. John envisions an improved Tesla because Tesla products emit toxic elements.
DEVTRANET: Network for Developers
Ibrahim Opeyemi Salami, 18 years web developer is the founder of Devtranet.
Devtranet is a network where developers and technologists can connect and build opportunities. With devtranet, you meet and connect with people, and you even get to show your work and get constructive feedback.
You can find jobs or compete in hackathons. Even as a beginner you can get mentored by more experienced developers.
Devtranet is a global village consisting of like-minded people in tech. If you need a co-founder, open source contributors, or even a little help, devtranet has got you covered.
EDDIFY: EdTech Startup
Eddify is an educational technology startup founded by Michael Nwuju (18 years old). It aims at improving the educational sector of Nigeria.
Eddify has everything a student needs. It provides JAMB-related services like uploading O’level results, printing admission letters, and even more, post UTME screening registrations, payment of school and acceptance fees, and the like. You can also get past questions and answers to aid in a good performance in exams. You can also get online tutoring from professionals.
You can also be a vendor on Eddify. You sell educational goods and services to students.
AFROWATCH: Watch African Movies
year-old Clinton Imaro, a web/blockchain developer, is the founder of Afrowatch.
Afrowatch is a live TV platform. With AfroWatch, you can watch over 100+ African and international channels for free. It enables you to watch more for fewer data.
AfroWatch Is a Netflix-like platform but more like Dstv Now because you watch live shows. The amazing thing about AfroWatch is that it is free and uses a reduced amount of data.
FEATURED STARTUP: Homesilo Africa
Homesilo is a prop-tech startup that is building a solution to connect vetted home seekers or potential property buyers directly with verified property owners and their vetted properties.
Homesilo Africa will let you avoid dubious agents who are ready to squeeze you dry financially. All you have to do is to register on the website either as a property owner, manager, or seeker and follow the onboarding process.
Check out what we are doing and join the waitlist to be informed when we launched. Go to www.homesilo.africa to get started.
Takeaway: Top 10 Startups in Nigeria by GenZ to Watch out for
These are all amazing startups that every Tom, Dick, and Harry should be excited about.
However, these are only some of the many startups in the cooking stage by Nigerian GenZers. That’s right we’re becoming more than just lazy Nigerian youths. Many more are on the way as we hope for a generation of potential leaders that will develop solutions to the many problems still available in Nigeria and the world at large.
This is only the beginning of what will be accomplished in technology even by the newest and youngest generation.
As a GenZ (or probably you’re not) there’s absolutely no excuse to not start doing something. No one should allow the age tag to hinder him/her from doing what they think you can or should start.
It is not uncommon to be told to lay off your dream till you get to a certain age or for accomplishments and success to be defined in a mediocre term to you. Those are normal things to be told but the abnormality in it is if you don’t take it up as a challenge to prove the notion wrong.
If you succumb to pressure from the masses you might not be doing yourself any favor. And if as a Nigerian your hands are folded in waiting for a change it is definitely not the best thing to do. Be the change you want to see. Build the world you want to live in. One step at a time.
You don’t need to write codes before you get into tech, not everybody has to do that. Just make sure you have digital and technological skills.
And yes, just in case you’ve been wondering you can add technology to whatever it is you’re passionate about. Who says you can’t be a baker and a techie at the same time? You don’t want to be left behind.
How to Apply for Google’s 2023 Black Founders Fund
If you’re a black founder and you need funding for your startup operation, Google Black Founders Fund is definitely one of the best investments you should check.
I joined the waitlist last year and yesterday, I received a mail from the marketing coordinator that the tech giant, Google is now accepting applications for its 2023 Black Founders Fund. The application is also open for Latinos founders and if you identified yourself as one, you can apply.
About Google’s Black Founders Fund
Google’s Black Founders Fund is aimed at empowering black entrepreneurs and startups which is part of Google’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry and beyond.
This fund is given out to selected founders without giving Google any equity. The Black Founders Fund was first launched in 2020, and since then, it has provided financial support and resources to Black-led startups in various stages of development.
Last year (2022), the fund awarded a total of $10 million in non-dilutive funding to 76 startups across the US, Canada, and Europe. The funding is intended to help these startups grow and scale their businesses, as well as to connect them with Google’s network of experts, resources, and technologies.
The application process for the 2023 Black Founders Fund is now open, and eligible Black-led startups are encouraged to apply even if you’ve raised pre-seed before now.
But kindly note that the non-dilutive capital is not for every Black Founders or startup, To be considered for funding, startups must meet some criteria and what are they?
Eligibility Criteria for Google’s Black Founders Fund
- Your company or startup must be based or headquartered in the United States. This simply means you must have incorporated your startup in the US.
- You have raised, but not more than $5M from Startup accelerators, investors, VCs, or any institution.
- Your product is already in Beta at least, not just a waitlist or an idea phase
- Your startup must have been making revenue, and you should be able to demonstrate your traction.
- The startup must have a full-time founder/ co-founder who’s black – no hobbyist (sorry).
- The startup must have at least 30% of its ownership retained at the time of application
- Again, you must be able to demonstrate your traction, i.e have a good pitch deck.
These criteria are very simple, they’re basically summarised into four, but for clear understanding, I have to break them into 7.
Startups that meet these criteria can apply for funding by filling out the online application form on the Black Founders Fund website. And here’s how;
How to Apply for Google’s Black Founders Fund
To apply for the 2023 Black Founders Fund, follow these steps:
Go to the official website here
- Enter your email address and click on “CONTINUE”
- Read the application guide carefully before deciding to continue
- Fill out the application form correctly, you’ll submit a pitch deck, a short video introduction, and a one-minute pitch video that explains your startup’s mission, vision, and how you plan to use the funding to grow your business.
- Review your application and finally SUBMIT
Once you submit your application, Google’s team of experts will review and select the finalist and if you’re among the finalists, you’ll receive non-dilutive funding up to $100,000 with some other perks.
Kindly attend to each question correctly because hundreds of startups will be competing for a spot in the finalist row, and the way you will present your startup idea and traction to them is the winning side.
Application Deadline for 2023 Black Founders Fund
The application deadline for the 2023 Black Founders Fund is March 26, 2023, and finalists will be announced in the fall of 2023. Selected startups will receive non-dilutive funding of up to $100,000, as well as access to Google’s network of experts, resources, and technologies which is even more than the $100k funding you’ll be given if selected.
If you’re a Black entrepreneur or startup founder looking for funding and support, the Black Founders Fund is an excellent opportunity to help take your business to the next level. With Google’s support and resources, you can build and scale your business while also promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry.
Good luck with your application!
You may also check Github for Startups
If you’re working on a business idea and you need a co-founder, here is a comprehensive guide to getting one
Microsoft Announces GitHub for Startups (It’s for the big guys)
Like co-pilot, GitHub for Startups is what startup founders need to build, collaborate and ship their product from idea to IPO. Let’s talk about the requirements and how you can apply.
Ever since Microsoft acquires Github, we’ve been seeing some features such as the GitHub co-pilot, the ReadMe project, and many other improvements. The company recently announced a new feature or let me say a new plan and they called it “GitHub for Startups”
In case you don’t know what is GitHub, It is the world’s largest Internet hosting service for software development and version control using Git. Developers in Nigeria can easily work with developers in the United States, India, Canada, and any part of the world.
The company which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 makes it easy for software developers to collaborate faster and more effectively. Currently, over 80 million developers across the world use GitHub.
Companies like Slack, Coinbase, Spotify, Stripe, and some unicorn startups in the world make use of GitHub for collaboration and most importantly, the enterprise plan because of features like security.
What is GitHub for Startups?
GitHub for Startups is simply GitHub’s enterprise plan for startups.
To understand this, GitHub is free for developers to use, but if you want to get more from using GitHub, you can subscribe to any of its premium plans. Currently, there are 3 pricing plans on GitHub, their pricing is as follows;
- Free – $0
- Team – $48/yr for each user
- Enterprise – $252/yr for each user
If you have 10 developers working in your startup, and you are using GitHub’s enterprise plan, you will be paying $2,520 per year. It increases as the number of developers in your startup increases.
But if you have a startup with a number of developers up to 20 but not more than that, this enterprise plan will be free for you courtesy of GitHub for Startups. It seems like good stuff, right? But don’t answer yet until you know the requirements.
GitHub partners with investors for GitHub for Startups
GitHub is a code-sharing and hosting platform, and now they are dealing with startups. So they partner with top investors, incubators, accelerators, and VCs to make this program more effective. Currently, the partners include;
- Y Combinator
- Andreessen Horowitz
These are five of the biggest startup accelerators in the world right now. GitHub is still accepting applications from those investors or startups who wish to be part of this.
If you have a tech hub, you run a startup ecosystem program, you are an incubator/accelerator, or you are a venture capitalist, click on apply to become a partner on this page.
Back to startup founders or representatives, the question you may have in mind right now is;
What are the Benefits of GitHub for Startups?
If your startup is eligible, you will enjoy all features contained in GitHub’s top premium (Enterprise) plan for up to 20 seats. Not only that, but because it’s for startups, you will also enjoy;
- Access to the best DevOps platform to build your startup with all the technical or developers’ tools you need.
- Also, product guidance for your startup is important to take your startup to the next level because writing code is not always enough.
The question you are asking yourself right now is; “Will my startup be eligible for this GitHub for Startups offer?” Well, I’m partially disappointed because most “startups” who are just starting out and can’t afford this will need to continue using their free organization feature on GitHub because of the requirements…
Requirements for GitHub for Startups
There are just two requirements;
Early-stage but funded startups
The term “early-stage” doesn’t mean “any startup that’s just growing”. If you are just building and you haven’t raised any funds, just forget about GitHub for Startups.
If you are smart enough to say you’ve been funded when you are not, you are just shooting yourself because GitHub has partnered with venture capitalists, investors, and accelerators. It’s very easy for GitHub to verify each application.
You haven’t received GitHub’s Enterprise credit
If by chance your organization has received GitHub enterprise credit before, then this offer is not for you because you’ve enjoyed the offers contained in the GitHub for Startups even before it is publicly released.
If you have been funded up to Series A (not pre-seed o), you can apply for this offer. Here is how to;
How to apply for GitHub for Startups
- Click on “Apply now” on this page to get started. A modal will appear, where you are to:
- Fill in your startup details and then,
- Fill in your billing details, that’s where they will deduct the subscription fee when the first year free plan expires. Then finally,
- Accept GitHub’s terms and Click the sign-up button.
That’s all, then wait for a response. If you have any questions, there is an email address you can contact on the page.
RECOMMENDED: How to find the perfect co-founder for your startup
A personal opinion on this GitHub for Startups
GitHub for Startups is for the big guys for startups who are really in the idea stage, this is what GitHub thinks is fair for them.
It’s like a marketing strategy, if they allow every nook and cranny of startups, it won’t be a good business because, at the end of the first year, many of these startups won’t be able to continue using the plan because they can’t afford it.
Even though the startups they are accepting can afford to spend $20,000 to subscribe for the next 5 years, GitHub still feels it’s better to onboard them first by allowing them to taste the good vibes that come with the enterprise plan because some funded startups use the free plan up till date.
If they see how amazing the enterprise plan is, they won’t be doubting maybe to start paying for it or not.
It’s just like when GitHub co-pilot was released, the AI is so amazing that it can help you write your code with just little editing from you. After a year of its free trial, GitHub started charging for it and I believe some developers will pay because they’ve seen how helpful it is.
Complete Guide to Finding the Right Co-Founder for Your Startup
Building a successful startup requires a lot of steps but a major one is finding the right co-founder or co-founders. Compared to marketing, financing and other particular factors in creating a successful business, finding the right co-founder is quite a herculean task.
If you are not lucky to find the right co-founder, then your startup is dead already unless you get the perfect one as soon as possible.
Some people are so selfish that they don’t want anybody to join hands with them as executives in building a business, they want to have 100% ownership of the startup. If you have this kind of mentality, you should rethink or start a small business and take full control of it.
But if you are thinking of building the next unicorn, then you need people to work with you.
In this blog post, you will learn how to can find the right co-founder that will help you build that idea in your head. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of finding the perfect co-founder, let’s answer these 3 important questions:
- Who is a co-founder?
- Why do I need a co-founder?
- What are the qualities of the right co-founder?
Who is a Co-Founder?
According to Indeed.com, a co-founder is a member of the executive team who played a role in the founding of a company. This person typically works with other founders to create and launch a business.
You know that a founder is someone with the idea of a business. But due to the fact that no one is an island of knowledge, oftentimes a founder may not have enough funds to finance the idea, or the human resources required to bring the idea to reality. That’s when the idea of having a co-founder comes in.
A co-founder works hand-in-hand with the founder to establish the business and make it successful.
This means that it is possible for a company to have both a founder and co-founder(s) if the business idea came from one person and the other just came later to implement it. In another light, if two or more people put their heads together to formulate the business idea, then they are all co-founders.
A co-founder Vs a CEO
A co-founder may or may not be the CEO. A CEO is the Chief Executive Officer, which means that a CEO is the acting leader of the organization. Most times a founder/co-founder is also the CEO but sometimes a more experienced CEO is hired. Also, a hired CEO does not necessarily take the title of the co-founder since they may not actually take part in building the platform.
The job of a CEO is to coordinate and lead the team, create goals and targets, communicate with other entities, and shareholders, access risks, and so on. So basically the roles of a co-founder and CEO matter but one person can still hold the same title.
Why Do I Need a Co-Founder?
In founding a startup, you can decide to do it solo but it is much better to have a helping hand. The following are a few reasons why you may need to consider having a co-founder:
Being a solo founder is stressful
Starting a business is not an easy task. You will experience a reasonable amount of pressure In trying to put everything in place. The process; ranging from writing code, down to marketing, is not going to be a piece of cake. Sure you might have other employees to share the workload with you but there is a limit to where employees can help you that’s why you need a partner.
“Two heads are better than one.” There will come a time when you might get stuck and need someone to help you up. Note that there is a difference between an advisor and a partner. You might get external advice, fine but you can’t expect someone that is not in it with you to actually know exactly what you need.
In starting up a business you’re in some kind of emotional roller-coaster due to the ups and downs. In this situation, you need someone to share the burden.
In this situation, a close friend or family member will not give you the kind of support you need at that time and to your employees, well you’re their boss and there’s a limit. So, you need a partner.
Think about finances and VCs
Building a startup can be pretty expensive and chances of raising funds or getting donations when you don’t have your product or the prototype ready yet are pretty low. The opportunity of working with a co-founder allows you to share the early costs of the business.
Recommended: YCombinator startup application guide
Besides, it’s very rare to find investors investing in a one-man business. If you’re concerned about your equity, think of this. Would you rather have 100% equity in a company worth $30,000 or 50% equity in a company worth $100,000?
The record of successful companies
Looking at a list of the most successful unicorns in the history of startups like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook, to mention a few. They all had co-founders when they first started. Although, many people forget this point because as time goes on the company gets associated with one particular person, especially the CEO who usually becomes prominent and famous.
For example when we think of Microsoft – Bill Gates, Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg. But, when we look into the earliest stages we would realize that they were co-founders. This should give a kind of insight into what pattern to follow as to choosing a co-founder or not.
What are the qualities of a good co-founder?
Now that you’re convinced you really need a co-founder, don’t stand jumping into the river without knowing how deep it is. I mean, you don’t select just anybody to be your co-founder.
There are some important criteria that the person you would want to consider as a co-founder must possess. Remember that you’re not aiming at a short-term relationship. Let’s take a look at some of them.
One of the mistakes people make in choosing a co-founder is choosing someone with the same skills they have. You should be looking for someone who is skilled in the areas you are not very skilled in.
If you’re good at building the product and writing the codes then ideally you should have a co-founder who is good at marketing, talking to users, and getting customers.
If you are going to have a team of co-founders you should be looking for varied skill sets not a group of duplicates.
Similar core values and vision
Your co-founder should be of a like mindset. If your vision is to take your business to the global stage then your co-founder has to understand and believe in it. If you have a can-do attitude and an always-ready spirit you most likely wouldn’t want someone who believes in taking things slowly and one at a time.
Although people have different ways of doing things that work differently for different people, you need a co-founder whose views go alongside yours or are at least very similar.
Your co-founder should be someone who understands how businesses work. Not someone who thinks you will start making profits immediately after you start the business. An unrealistic co-founder will lose interest quite easily when their fantasies are not met.
Other qualities the right co-founder should include:
- A co-founder should be trustworthy
- S/he should be committed to the goal as you
- The co-founder should always be ready to adapt to new changes
- Ability to handle conflict and stress
- Such co-founders should be creative with ideas
Now to the bigger question, “How can I find the right co-founder?”.
When looking for the right co-founder, the best place to start looking is among people you already know, your co-worker or your course-mate or close friends. That is of course if you can find someone with the skills you are looking for.
And even if you can’t find a suitable person in your social circle, it’s okay. Just check the steps align below to know how you can get the right partner for you.
5 Ways to Find the Right Co-founder for your Startup
Explore your social circle
If you don’t have someone who has the skills you are looking for in your social circle then why don’t you try expanding your circle? Who knows, someone you know might actually know someone, who probably knows someone with the skillset or experience you’re looking for.
You could make a list of your tech friends then ask each one of them if they know someone with some particular set of skills and then make a list of those people they tell you. If you still can’t find someone suitable ask those new people you’ve been introduced to if they know someone.
That way, if you only have ten people on your lists and each of them tells you about ten persons each, bingo you have one hundred people you can ask to be your co-founder. Gradually, you have a lot of choices of people to choose from.
You can also use social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to check for the type of co-founder you need and reach out to them.
Attend & Network at tech events
Another cool and popular way of finding co-founders is by attending events, meetups, and hackathons. Go out and actually meet people. You can look up these events where you think you’ll find a lot of relevant people that can have what you need.
This tech event includes the famous Google developer events, Open source communities like OSCA Fest, the tech seminars going on around you or you can look up Meetup.com. They have a website where you can find meetups all over the world and you can find the one close or relevant to you.
The essence of having a meetup or tech event is to learn together and network, but most time, people go to these events to snap pictures and have fun, and maybe you have been one of those people too. Well, the next tech event you will be attending should be to find a potential co-founder for your startup.
I know it’s not easy to network with a stranger especially if you are an introvert like me, but then, if you can’t talk or strike up a conversation with a person, how are you going to tell people about what you are building or build and why they need to use it?
So you have to start practicing now, imagine yourself pitching your startup idea to an investor, swallow the shyness and get that right co-founder!
Use co-founder matching platforms
There are quite a number of matchmaking platforms for startups out there. These platforms have nobody than those with ideas but looking for a co-founder, or someone without an idea but would like to become a co-founder to someone with a startup idea.
Some co-founder matching platforms to consider
- YC Cofounder Matching
- Techstars Startup Weekend
These platforms can be really helpful because they are majorly for finding co-founders so if you are looking for that perfect co-founder, then you should definitely check them out.
Forums may not actually be created for finding co-founders, but you can make use of ones that have a lot of traffic. For example, Reddit, Quora, and Discord have groups dedicated to finding co-founders and they are loaded with people which means you definitely should check them out.
Also, these forums are international and you tend to meet people from different geographical locations so if you are interested in finding a co-founder with a different background to probably expand your horizon or your business then you should definitely use these forums.
Universities (or colleges)
Maybe you’ve probably read online that Bill Gates met his co-founder, Paul Allen in the late 1960s at Seattle’s Lakeside School when he was in eighth grade, Mark Zuckerberg met Eduardo Saverin at Harvard university and they both launched Facebook in 2004.
If we come to Nigeria, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi who founded Paystack met in school. The three founders of Jobberman.com, the largest job listing website in Africa met each other at Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU
Another very helpful way of finding a co-founder is going to a college or university. This is actually very helpful in finding the perfect set of skills you need. For example, you need someone with business and marketing skills; go to a business school, attend their entrepreneur events and get to know people with the exact skill you need.
A piece of advice on finding the right co-founder
Watch before you leap, and not “surface watching”
In finding a co-founder it is important to note that you probably shouldn’t walk up to someone and say let’s start a company together. It is more advisable that if your potential co-founder isn’t someone you’re not sure you can work with, start by building probably a simple project together.
This way you get to see how devoted they are to work if you’re okay working with them and other basic stuff. It is also important not to rule out someone as a potential co-founder if they are only lacking simple learnable skills.
If you get someone who is ready to learn and open to improvement but lacks maybe that skill that can be learned easily, it is better to consider that person than someone who has all the skills but is not open to improvement or corrections.
Avoid future problems, agree on equity spilt immediately
Another important thing to do is the agree beforehand on the equity split. You both should agree on how the profit is going to be shared. Most times it’s 50:50 but you and your co-founder may have other plans.
Although sometimes you may have been working on the business idea before your co-founder comes on board but it’s still okay to make it 50:50 or something very close to that. But then, you guys must agree on it, either it should be 50/50 or 60/40 but a co-founder must have over 10% equity.
Agree on the titles
You should agree on who’s going to be the CEO of the company. The CEO title should be given to the person who would most likely be talking to customers and investors.
If you would like to be the CEO, then you absolutely shouldn’t co-found with someone who also wants to be the boss to definitely avoid future conflicts… Two captains can’t sail a ship unless you want to subscribe for an accident.
You might also be thinking, “if I have a nice business idea, should I wait till I find a co-founder or should I just really go for it?” The answer is yes. If you have the idea and you’re really confident about it then go ahead. You should start building and also be on the lookout for a co-founder while in the process.
Sometimes you might not even get anyone to be a co-founder if they don’t believe in your idea but the fact that you’re already building and they can actually see your plan in action is a good way of attracting the perfect co-founder.
Conclusion: Finding the right co-founder
Once you find the right person and you have both agreed on the important things that have been mentioned above, It is also important to legalize things. You definitely won’t do that at the start of your company but when things start becoming big, then you should definitely have a legal agreement.
With the helpful suggestions above, you have everything you need to know about finding the right co-founder, and good luck in building the next unicorn, we can’t wait to see what solution you’re bridging to the world.