Answers to our most asked question | How do I find a technical co-founder?

Here at Startup Edmonton, we're in the unique position of working with all kinds of founders - technical, non-technical, serial entrepreneurs, first-timers, students, side hustles. It makes our days dynamic & challenging, but we wouldn't change it for the world. Founders of all stripes are driven by the same unrelenting desire to solve a problem with a solution they can see on the horizon. 

We hear a pair of questions more than any others: 

How do i find a technical co-founder?

Don't I need someone with an MBA before I start? 

We're going to tackle how do I find a technical co-founder? today and circle back next week to help answer don't I need someone with an MBA before I start working on my idea? 

Our friend Dan Martell,  an award-winning Canadian entrepreneur and founder of Clarity & past Edmonton Startup Week speaker, shares his advice on how to find a technical co-founder on his weekly Growth Stacking Podcast.  

Dan Martell

In his experience, the search for a great technical partner-in-crime is relevant even if you know how to program. The truth of the matter is there likely is someone more technically brilliant than you just around the corner. Being flexible as you build out your team is a massive advantage & allows you to recruit the best to make your team skillset more powerful together than it would ever be on the shoulders of just one person. We know this advice works just as well if you're on the business side of the equation! 

Dan offers three practical ways to find a technical co-founder: 

  1. Go to events. It's time to think beyond traditional networking events - go to the places where people passionate and skilled in your area of interest gather. User groups, meetups, and conferences are a great way to hear about trends in technology and meet the people in your city that know a specific programming language or industry application inside-and-out. Handily, we're active with more than 285 meetups a year. Shout out to the awesome volunteers that make this possible!
  2. Go back to school - but not the way you think. Students in Edmonton are hungry to learn about the opportunities to connect with founders in town. They hear about awesome opportunities from the big players (like Google, Microsoft and more) all the time, but they don't always know how their careers could play out as members of startup teams. Dan recommends going to talk to the schools in your area directly. We look after that for you - connect with Tiffany about opportunities to connect with students from all the major post-secondary schools in town with job mixers, coffee & doughnut chat sessions on campus, and integration into hackathons. 
  3. Online communities like Github are a great place to see passionate people who see the opportunities to solve problems & publish their projects and code for everyone to see & use. You might connect with someone right off the bat, or they could know just the right person that is passionate about the same problem you are. Start exploring and make yourself more familiar with how our technical friends sort information, approach problems & share details with the community. 

No matter where you find a potential technical co-founder, Dan reminds us to come to the table prepared with the three Ps: prototype, presales, passion. It shows you've put in the hard work and you're looking for someone to build with, not just give marching orders to.

Take a listen to the entire chat over at DanMartell.com. You can also meet lots of awesome technical folks as they demo their products at DemoCamp 37 on September 27 at CCIS at the University of Alberta.