Some of the best success stories stem from the combination of two already existing ideas or platforms designed to solve a problem. Oliver Bremer created Founder2be or, “Match.com meets LinkedIn,” to connect entrepreneurs with ideas to others who want to see those ideas come to life. Simply put, Bremer connects co-founders.
Bremer said that one day he had an idea for a startup and needed to find a co-founder with a complementary skill set. “Serendipitously,” he said, “I never found a co-founder. I ditched that idea and created Founder2be to solve the co-founder finding problem instead. And I found a co-founder for this!”
Founder2be was founded by Bremer on January 1st, 2011 with friend Frank Haubenschild and launched the first version exactly one month later. The Founder2be team now numbers three with the addition of Wolfgang Bremer. “I think 2-3 people is the ideal co-founding team,” said Bremer. “With the right co-founders, you can have all the skills you need to start making a dent in the universe.”
Founder2be is already found success internationally; co-founders have found matches in all corners of the globe, from the United States to Europe all the way to Australia. “Entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon. And while the epicenters of start-ups are, of course, Silicon Valley and New York City, vibrant start-up communities have sprung up all over the world,” Bremer said.
Besides the usual site changes over time, Founder2be has kept true to its main purpose to find co-founders online. Bremer told SBN about the hurdles, successes, and the best site feature of the company. See his answers below:
Why is finding a co-founder online better than a more traditional approach?
Founder2be helps you to greatly expand your connections and being able to choose from a wider pool of co-founder candidates increases the likelihood of finding the right match. You are no longer limited to your own friends.
A lot of our members that tell us that they have tried meeting co-founders at start-up events but ultimately gave up because everyone was looking for someone to join them, rather than skilled individuals that are free to join others. Founder2be provides a balanced pool of talent from developers to designers to people with sales and marketing background (remember, building your product is just the first step) who are looking to start but also join start-ups.
In addition, Founder2be doesn’t require you to be in the same place at the same time. You can browse co-founder candidates at your own pace, regardless of location, and make contact with who you think is a good fit. You can do so from the comfort of your home, office or a Starbucks. Also, success is a lot about exposing yourself to opportunities. Being present on Founder2be gives you a lot of exposure to talent, creativity and seed stage funding. You never know when opportunity comes knocking on your door.
Have you received any funding to date?
No, we have neither sought nor taken any outside funding as of today. We decided to build this business entirely on our own and prove significant traction first. Now that we have done so and increasingly many people around the world know about us, we are being approached once in awhile by people looking to get involved also financially. Given the right investor match, we may decide to accept a financial investment from someone who can also contribute otherwise.
How do you define success for Founder2be?
Success comes in many shapes and forms.
The ultimate level of success for us will be to have brought together teams of co-founders who then went on to build a great business, raise funding, and ultimately achieve their own goals. For most start-ups this will most likely be to profitably exit the business they founded (thanks to having met on Founder2be.) Obviously, this process is incredibly difficult and can take a bit of time. And many parts of this process are outside of Founder2be itself.
A level of success that is within our control is to have a vibrant community of people interested in starting and joining start-ups. People that connect online, then meet and get to know each other, and ultimately start building businesses together. We are very fortunate to already have achieved this level of success with successful matches all around the globe. We now keep building on top of this success to bring about more, high quality matches and establish Founder2be as the best way to find a co-founder.
Who coined the term, “match.com meets LinkedIn?”
I did. “Founder2be is match.com meets LinkedIn” is the perfect way to describe Founder2be’s way of co-founder finding. It is similar to online dating which was pretty much defined by match.com. And just as online dating was initially looked upon as impossible and nothing more than a crazy idea, so was Founder2be.
Of course, people don’t co-found purely online, just like people don’t click on a button ‘I do’ and get married online. Match.com andFounder2be both simply broaden your potential reach and let you meet people that you otherwise never would. And that’s the key point: People invest in teams. And when they do so, they don’t invest in how long the co-founders have known each other. They invest in what the team can achieve, what the members have achieved in the past, their skills, etc. By expanding your search for a co-founder to Founder2be, you simply broaden your reach to get the best possible team together to build the best possible start-up you can.
Are people ever nervous about putting ideas on the site?
Not really. There are over 1800 ideas people share and it’s up to the individual how much they want to share. After all, it’s more about the execution rather than just the idea itself. The idea is as much part of what you want to do as your own profile. Personally, I believe if you have an idea for which you are looking for a co-founder, you should provide at least a bit of information.
What type of privacy protection is in place?
It’s up to the individual to decide. You can remain completely anonymous and disclose your identity only to who you feel comfortable doing so. Or you can use your real name from day one so everybody knows who you are right away. The same goes for ideas. You can share as much or as little as you want.
What negatives or hurdles have you come across so far?
The biggest hurdle was that in the beginning, most people did not believe co-founders could meet online. We have already overcome this hurdle with multiple successful matches having been made around the world.
What is the most successful company to come out of the site?
Cureeo is probably the most prominent example in the U.S. today by co-founders who met on Founder2be. Maida and Adib got into TechStars and are well on their way of building a successful company.
What is the best site feature?
The most important part of Founder2be is all the members that are looking for co-founders. That’s the clear number one.
Features are just features. A product is great not when there is nothing left to be added. A product is great when you can’t take away from it anymore. We always strive to make things as simple as possible and put in the center what matters most: our members.
With talent attracting talent, Founder2be’s roster of top-notch co-founder candidates is expanding constantly. Already now, you will find former and current employees at Apple, Google and other tech titans that are hungry for more and looking for co-founders to start and join start-ups. As, of course, you have scores of people who worked at other start-ups before or skipped college altogether.
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