With the new event series LikeMinded, Bluelion wants to foster the matching of startup founders and potential co-founders. To kick off the series, we asked several founders about their experiences building a team.
Silvan, you are an entrepreneur yourself and have already worked in many different teams. What do you look out for when you join or are building a new team?
I look for shared values and complimentary skillsets. For me there are 5 core values that I follow: Honesty, Transparency, Openness, Team and Motivation. When looking for new hires or co-founders I always test them on these core values and look for a complimentary skillset to my sales and vision driven assets.
In your opinion, what does an ideal startup team look like?
It consists of 2-4 co-founders with shared values and complimentary skillsets. You need a sales & marketing person, a technical person and someone who’s good at finance & processes.
Many entrepreneurs struggle to find the right co-founders for their company. What is your advice to identify and convince the right people to join your start-up?
Don’t look too far and think about co-workers, students or friends you enjoy spending time with and where you feel an alignment in terms of values. If they offer a complimentary skillset on top of yours and are enthusiastic about the problem you want to solve with your startup, you have a great match.
How can newly formed teams find out if they really have a match?
Spend time together, working but also doing some fun stuff. If you still enjoy spending time with each other and feel aligned in terms of values, you’re good to go. Don’t overthink this part and listen to your gut. You can protect your company against everything else with clear vesting schedules for your shares and good and bad leaver clauses in your contracts.
What is the most important skill if I want to be an entrepreneur?
In the early days it’s sales. If you can sell your product or service, you can figure out everything else. Later on, it’s about becoming really good at hiring the right people. If you can solve this puzzle you will probably build a very successful company.
Silvan is an entrepreneur, startup enthusiast and sports lover. After successfully establishing various ventures, Silvan is now acting as Head of Business Development at myClubs AG. He is also on a mission to promote and advance entrepreneurship as host of Swisspreneur, Switzerland’s largest podcast about entrepreneurship.