"I have a great startup idea but I don't know how to build it. Where do I find a technical co-founder?"
"I have a cool product but I can't get users. Where can I find a growth hacker?"
Meetups are a nice and casual way to meet people. The benefit is that you can find people with similar interests — want to find other fintech people? There's probably a meetup for that.
Most major cities have hundreds of meetups happening every day, so go out and meet some awesome people!
Hackathons are great because, similar to a meetup, you can find people who have an interest in a particular industry/field. The benefit of hackathons is that you actually get to try to work together. Hackathons allow you to share ideas, meet people who can help, and develop minimal viable products.
Although I've seen cool products built from hackathons, most have a focus on the "demo day" presentation so there's less product building than you would think.
A big concern of hackathons is that it can open you to legal liability if your company becomes successful. Most founders/operators/investors see ideas as worthless and execution as key, but the law doesn't always see it that way.
3. Startup / Coding Bootcamps
Why find a developer when you can learn to code yourself? Programs like Startup Institute and the hundreds of coding bootcamps are a nice way to meet people who might be interested in working with you.
The benefit is that you (hopefully) learn the skills you were looking for and you get to work on micro-projects with interesting people.
Like school, you’re spending so much time with these people that you’ll be able to see whether you get along and have similar views.
4. Hacker Houses
Hacker houses or co-living spaces, like Krash allow you to meet other hackers and makers in a (potentially closer than you like) environment.
The benefit? You get to live with people and see them at their worse.
One of the biggest problems for startups is when they face a meltdown when, “sh*t hits the fan.” Have you ever lived with a friend and then hate them afterwards? It’s because you see the worst side of them.
Co-living spaces allows you to see the worst and grow from there.
Where did you find your co-founders? Let me know on Twitter (@sebfung).
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