When Shahab Kaviani sat down and had some time to reflect about his previous startup, HyperOffice he quickly realized that the cofounding team behind that startup drove it’s success. He admits that they bootstrapped almost the entire project. He also says in hindsight their timing was lousy, but the cofounding team kept the startup together.
Finding the right cofounders should actually be at the top of the priority list in any startup. CoFounders lab is one of many startups that look to match people with cofounders. FounderSync is one of those startups that uses an online approach. FounderDating uses a hybrid online offline approach merging an online community with in person events.
CoFounders lab also blends online and offline through in person events. We hope that he’s not too late to this party as well. Of course we all know that when the Dodge brothers went to build cars they weren’t worried that Ford was already doing the exact same thing.
Kaviani was fortunate enough to get selected into the Fort accelerator in Washington DC. After graduating from the program the company moved to Rockville Maryland where they are currently based now. They recently pitched the “Pitch Across Maryland” bus as part of Startup Maryland back in September.
We got a chance to talk with Kaviani. Check out our interview below.
* What is CoFoundersLab
- We help entrepreneurs through one of the toughest and first challenges of launching a new business – finding a co-founder. We do this in two ways.
- Through in-person Co-Founder matching Meetups for entrepreneurs (organized and finely tuned over two years)
- complimented with our online matching portal at www.CoFoundersLab.com (or visa versa). Both components are completely FREE.
- We take great care in making matching recommendations. Currently we match on half a dozen criteria; think match.com for entrepreneurs.
Video on how we add value to founders in Technology industry
How it works Video
* When did you start? Where are you based?
We held our first Co-Founder matching event in November 2010. I actually met my co-founder there, Culin Tate. We released our online matching platform in January 2011. We were accepted into DC’s first accelerator called The Fort (more info about co-founders here too) and graduated after 6 month program in July. We are now based out of Rockville, MD (suburb of DC)
*How did you come up with the idea for CoFoundersLab?
- I was exiting my last startup after about 7 years, and was trying to think about my next venture. I reflected my success at HyperOffice, and realized the single biggest factor that led to our success was the founding team. Our timing (in hindsight) was lousy and we practically bootstrapped it, so it was clear to me the team was the biggest factor of success. Then I realized that going to friends and family to find my next co-founder was not necessarily going to help me find the best partner – who rounded me out to build the management foundation upon. Then asked around and realized how others were struggling with this. So I did an experiment to see if I could organize a Meetup and find my co-founder. I did. Finally, I thought, it would be really rewarding if I could help others get into entrepreneurship by helping them matchup. I was at a time in my career where I wanted to give back to the entrepreneur community, and this project just slowly turned into a viable business.
* What makes you different?
- We’ve teamed up with the top startup brands in the country, in addition to helping attract entrepreneurs to grow our pool founders, they help inform our strategy and improve our service. i.e. in NY we’ve teamed up with NYU Stern, in Boston with Harvard iLab and MassChallenge, in LA with Cross Campus, in Chicago with 1871, and in Boulder with TechStars.
- CoFoundersLab has both in-person events coupled with our online matching platform.
- While some others have an application process, anyone can use CoFoundersLab.
- We’re free.
- We focus on the N. American market, and are building the largest pool of entrepreneurs to choose from.
- We’re conducting the first ever R&D around co-founder relationships and developing algorithms to help predict and recommend matches. We’re doing this in cooperation with some of the top experts in entrepreneurship and matching systems.