14 Hot Gifts For Your Co-founder


We don’t demand much in the startup world. Pizza. Coffee. $1 billion exit. Really, we’re very easy to please.

But come Christmas you might want to find a little something special for your ever-present pain-in-the-ass. Er, co-founder. I mean, you’ve put them through a lot in the last year. Late night meltdowns, last minute product changes, schizophrenic phone calls that are both wildly jubilant and overwhelmingly depressed. (I know, y’all are feeling a little sorry for Nick right now, aren’t ya?)

Anyway, here are a few things to consider when picking a gift for the people who got you here:

  1. Is it cheap? The exception, of course, is if you just closed a huge funding round. Then it’s time to pony up, cheapskate.
  2. Is it personal? You know these people as well as–or better than?–their spouses do. Generic gifts won’t cut it.
  3. Is it funny? A few laughs will always lighten the mood, and funny gifts will keep giving throughout the year.

Okay, with those guidelines in mind, here are our 12 gift ideas for your co-founders:

1. Coupons–Real, actual coupons or the homemade “good for a bottle of Scotch when we hit it big” variety. Cheap, and you can make them as personal or funny as you like!

2. Startup t-shirts from weBRANDMy personal favorite is here. They have lots of pithy sayings about startup life that will have you all nodding your heads.

WeBrand StartupLife

3. Access to VoozaYeah, this is totally free, but remove the hassle by putting in your co-founder’s email address for them. They’ll thank you, I promise.

4. Everywhere Else Memphis tickets–Sign up for our newsletter to get first dibs on discounted tickets. It’ll be the best thing you do for your startup in 2014.

5. A flask–These vary in price, but they’re easily personalized and made funny. And, what better accessory for spring break SXSW?

6. A good bottle of bourbon–For that flask, y’all. Alternately, you can just have a company party and finish off the bourbon. That’ll make some memories.

7. iTunes gift cards–While gift cards may not seem personal, they can often be the best gifts. If you have some spare cash, throw in a new pair of ear buds so you don’t have to listen to their crappy music anymore.

8. A new whiteboard–This one’s obvious, right?

9. Equity

10. Or a paycheck might be nice.

11. A surprise meeting with Fred Wilson–You’ll be the favorite co-founder for all eternity.

12. Forget your co-founder and give a lavish gift to their significant other. Let’s face it. You kinda owe them, don’t you?

13. Your favorite startup audiobook they’ve been refusing to listen to. It probably won’t come off as passive-aggressive…

14. Therapy–So, this ain’t cheap, but let’s face it. It’s one of those gifts they really need and won’t get for themselves.

The actual gift doesn’t really matter, though. The most important thing this time of year is to let your co-founders know how awesome you think they are and how you couldn’t do this without them. That way, hopefully, they’ll stick around next year, too!

While y’all are at it, can someone please let Nick know he can’t go wrong with jewelry or bourbon? Thanks!


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