Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

A meeting with potential co-founder (business) is coming. How to be prepared?

I have a meeting scheduled with a potential co-founder/partner. He says he can bring his business acumen, connections and experiences ( three co-founded start-ups). He sounds serious and seem credible. He wants to discuss legal structure, business plan and rather confident on technical side, even though he haven't seen my technical proposal. We are talking very early funding and founding stage. I have to add he has advanced technical degree and MBA.

On my side, i have technical plan to develop prototype, business plan and industry connections, including potential feasibility proof (tba next month). I did a lot of leg-work trying to bring funding in, a lot of feedback, little funds. This is not a software project. It's all about nano-measurements. I am very passionate about it.

What do you suggest me to look out for? concerns? questions? expectations?

your insights are welcome,
Nataliya

19 Replies

Andrew Lockley
4
0
Andrew Lockley Advisor
Investor and strategy consultant
Go and have a beer and see if you get on. It's more important than anything else. A
3
0
X
Entrepreneur
Think of this as a date. Team risk is probably the highest risk factor in a new venture: you'll need to share a lot with this person in the years to come. Get the sense that you can trust him above all. And fail fast: if he doesn't seem right, he probably isn't. (For you, that is.)
Mike Moyer
1
0
Mike Moyer Entrepreneur • Advisor
Managing Director at Lake Shark Ventures, LLC
Beware of valuations and fixed-splits!

Valuations at this stage are futile. They wild guesses about the future that will never be true (you'll either fall short or surpass your expectations).

Similarly, a fixed equity split will set you up for future problems. A fixed split is when chunks of equity are doled out at the outset of the venture. For instance, he might propose a 50/50 split. This is fine when nothing has happened, but what if you do all the work? What if you want to bring in another partner? What if he expects you to pony up the cash? What if you do pony up the cash and you spend it all?

Every time something changes, you will have to go through a painful renegotiation of your split.

Use the Slicing Pie model instead. The Slicing Pie model ensures that each person's % ownership of the equity is equal to that person's % of the risk taken.

Slicing Pie is a dynamic model that guarantees each participant has exactly what they deserve.

I've written a book about how it works. Contact me through SlicingPie.com and I'll send you a copy. Read it before your meeting!
Rob Enderle
0
0
Rob Enderle Advisor
Owner, Enderle Group
There are a lot of scams out there and what red flagged for me is "he hasn't seen the technical proposal yet". All of the rest tends to come after whether he even likes theconcept. For instance how do you get into a business plan untilhe understands the product? Like Igor said, this is a first date, play it like that, don't jump to the marriage on the first date.

You'll want to take a hard look at the other startups,red flag if hewants moneyup front,and be really sureof his credentials. Good luck!
Michael Leeds
2
0
Michael Leeds Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO & Founder
I would keep it very simple at this point with an agenda of determining whether he can add value to the team and whether you would want to work with him. Tell him what you are up to, why you are passionate about it, and the areas where you need help. Ask him to tell you about what he likes, what he's good at, and what he thinks he can bring to THIS venture at this stage. I think you will learn more from this than anything you will learn from a comparison of degrees. --ml ---------- Automating Video Creation @ http://www.r3lish.com/
Ken Anderson
1
0
Ken Anderson Advisor
Director, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development, Delaware Economic Development Office
Treat this like a blind date set up by your over zealous girlfriend and she has promised never to do it again without your permission.

Keep it light, make no irrevocable commitments, and trust your God given instincts.

Is this person who he says he is and can you easily verify it. Use referrals but don't rely on them. Do your own due diligence.

Is this someone to whom you will be connected to the hip doing one of the hardest things you have ever done in your life?

Rob Gropper
0
0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Nataliya, hopefully you are seeing a pattern here. This stage (as many meetings as it takes) is to get to know each other until you are comfortable. Treat this as much or more about you evaluating him and his experience than him evaluating your potential product or business. resist the temptation to make the discussion about your idea/product. that will come later. Ask him about his experience - not degrees or plans, but what he has actually achieved for whom and how. When the time comes to talk about the product, i personally would execute a mutual NDA prior to getting into details, but that's just me.
Bill Johnson
1
0
Bill Johnson Entrepreneur
CEO at Basin Energy Group
Don't jump into any agreements until you are satisfied that you are compatible. Make sure you have him sign a non disclosure agreement before sharing detailed technical information.
Ema Chuku
3
0
Ema Chuku Entrepreneur
Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad
Not sure what his college credentials has to do with his natural ability to make a good partner. That said, keep it natural and talk about life stuff.. Business topics later. If you are going to have a cofounder better be someone you can connect with on personal terms, not just on paper terms..

Like @Andrew said, go have a beer. Save the excitement for later.

Jerome Peloquin
0
0
Jerome Peloquin Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Family Fish Farms Network, Inc.
If you have not done so already, prepare a one page concept paper. Also create a talking points outline ...keep it simple and use it to guide the conversation. Remember , you both are interviewing each other ... DO NOT TALK TOO MUCH. ... a common mistake made by passionate and engaged experts ...also avoid TMI keep appropriate to his technical level. Stay focused (the talking points will help ...) Remember, you are interviewing each other. Make certain you get hard information you can verify. Many so called investors actually are finders and do not have the funds themselves ... find out his level of risk etc, etc. That's all for now. ? Jerome Peloquin President The Family Fish Farms Network, Inc. 717 Lawrence Street, NE Washington, DC, 20017 cell: (410) 227-0498 (Skype) fishfarms1 LinkedIn Profile email: [removed to protect privacy] website: www.thefamilyfishfarmsnetwork.com We grow healthy local food ... save fresh clean water ... create decent paying jobs.
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?