ENTREPRENEUR'S TOOLKIT

Topic 13. Navigate Co-Founder Relationships

One of the biggest factors that break-up a company is the co-founder relationship going south. Featured Thought Leader Nicole Glaros, Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Techstars, has helped co-founders develop a strong communication framework to get through difficult times and build a healthy relationship as the company grows. From talking about the elephant in the room to setting clear goals, these seven steps to founder communication success can help save your relationship and company.

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What's Included in this Guide:

Avoid Co-Founder Relationship Fails

Get Your House in Order

Understand Your Co-Founders

Set Clear Roles

Discuss the Elephant in the Room

Build Trust With Your Co-Founder

Co-Founder Conversation Exercise




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Part 1.

Avoid Co-Founder Relationship Fails

About 65% of startups will break-up due to people issues. In this section, you’ll learn about the three main co-founder fail categories that cause a majority of people issues and why you need to start paying attention to this relationship..

Part 2.

Get Your House in Order

Getting your co-founder and investor agreements in order can help you navigate through growth and tough times. In this section, you’ll learn about key business items to get in order in case a co-founder decides to leave.

Part 3.

Understand Your Co-Founder

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses, goals, and needs of your co-founder can help avoid the wear and tear on the relationship. In this section, you’ll learn how to develop a healthy rhythm of communication to keep your company moving forward.

Part 4.

Set Clear Roles

Co-founder roles will change over time. And identifying who does what and how you make decisions for the company is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship. In this section, you’ll learn how to set clear roles with your co-founder as the stakes get higher.

Part 5.

Discuss the Elephant in the Room

If there’s something your co-founder is doing that bothers you, it’s best to communicate these concerns early-on, and in a respectful way. In this section, you’ll learn key tactics to having difficult conversations and managing disagreements before the relationship blows up.

Part 6.

Build Trust With Your Co-Founder

Without co-founder trust, your company could be headed for break-up. In this section, you’ll learn how to build a foundation of trust with your co-founder in good and difficult times through honest and clear communication.

Part 7.

Co-Founder Conversation Exercise

Making sure you’re aligned with your co-founder can help mitigate problems while building a business. This exercise is designed to help you craft conversation starters with your co-founder and strengthen your relationship.