If you’ve had an idea and have been diligently Googling the range of pre-seed and seed stage investment options available to you, you’ll have seen that many of the investment firms only offer funding to those with a minimum of two founders and sometimes cap it up to six founders. At pre-seed stage having two to six founders is actually a red flag of concern to Startup Giants… we know we buck the trend in having this opinion; here’s why…

Ideas come essentially from one person, yes other people can pitch in on the idea and help it to grow but that crucial idea is yours.

Experience has shown us that Founders who rush to bring in more people whilst the concept is still at the pre-seed stage, normally do so solely to impress investors with numbers of a team. This is the worst methodology to hiring staff or bringing people into a project. Out of 400 applications in our last accelerator round, we walked away from a number of them because the tension and discord between the Founders was tangible. At the interview stage the following came across:

  • Lack of agreement on priorities
  • Unclear road map to journey forwards
  • Miscommunication
  • Poor management
  • Division of tasks may not pertain to skill sets
  • Lack of division of tasks
  • Lack of training on one side
  • Lack of appreciation for roles

All of these elements compound and lead to negative emotions. Now ‘emotions’ at this point should only be a word that’s used in terms of plotting the emotional journey of your end-user.

Let’s switch this situation around, if you’re a founder and someone has been involved with cultivating your idea from the very start and you decide that they bring a whole lot of positivity to your concept then it’s highly likely that you will act like this:

  • Inspire each other
  • Share the same common goals
  • Have a clear road map
  • Highly communicative and systems in place to ensure that transparency is there
  • Both have proven industry experience or knowledge of your niche
  • Passionate
  • Committed
  • Hard working
  • Diligent
  • Willing to learn
  • Able to take criticism constructively in order to grow the business
  • Ability to expand the business into areas that we might be able to make open for you

These are the most desirable co-founder attributes to get.

GOLDEN RULE: Only have people on your team that add real, creditable value. If not, apply on your own.

As discussed by CEO and Founder Jeb Buckler in his piece on risk management, the second largest part of the three risk sections from an investment standpoint is the Founder.

There’s a specific mindset that we’re looking for and looking to cultivate within each Founder that we invest into.

How can we be this way when other investment companies are not?

Because we’re unique in funding startups at the concept, pre-seed stage. At this point potential Founders are coming to us with very often little more than an idea and a rough working of how their idea fills a gap in their marketplace.

They have no need for HR, accounting, marketing teams at this point. All they want to see if their idea is a viable one which is what we want too. We want to strength test the idea and find out if the Founder has the resilience to learn, manage and grow the idea to bring it to market.

So when you’re bringing YOUR idea to us and you bring an extra person into the mix, that’s just one more person who will go into our funnel to be strength and resilience checked. If they don’t pass the tests, you don’t. We need to see 100% reason and value for every member of the team.

Don’t dilute your strength at the start. Apply and get stronger with our input.

Cherry has worked in branding, copywriting, communications, and PR for over 14 years, and is Chief Wordsmith at Startup Giants and our main point of contact for journalists and editors.

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