Assaf Ben-DavidMentor, Entrepreneur, Lawyer, Public Speaker
Bio

Experienced Startup Mentor, Commercial lawyer, Lecturer & public speaker. I've helped over 300 entrepreneurs & 100+ startups. Taught tens of courses and given hundreds of talks. Founder of the Legal Clinic for Startups.



Recent Answers


Hi
First of all, the fact that you're asking this question is very good (stage one of the solution).
Second, without hearing more details, it is very difficult to provide an educated answer. Therefore, I am willing to offer you the following:
1. Send me more details of your business + what you think the problem is + what you think could be a solution (I intentionally want to hear YOUR take on things since business owners usually have good insights to their own industry).
2. I will then probably follow up with 2-3 clarifications questions.
3. Then, if I feel that I can be of value, I will suggest a short call during which I will give you my advice. If I don't think I have any valuable advice, I'll just give you my humble opinion by email, and all the above is free of charge (except for the few minutes that you have to invest in writing the emails).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and I'd be happy to try and help you.
Best of luck


Hi,
Before giving you the practical tips, it is important to first point out 3 things:
A) You should be 100% sure that you really need a co-founder (versus using a freelancer or employee which may be sufficient).
B) Investors usually take a deep look into the team and prefer founders that have worked together for some time and/or know each other for a minimum period (preferably those who’ve already experienced difficulties together before).
C) There is a reason that CBInsights found that the third most common reason cited for startup failure is “not the right team” and that the most common agreement that I draft as a startup lawyer/mentor is a ‘separation agreement’. The reason being that most co-founders eventually split – and not under nice terms.
In most cases, freelancers/employees can do what you need (perhaps the only exception is having a CTO when trying to raise capital from VC’s – and even this depends on the type of startup).
Regarding a limited budget, I am not sure why you feel that you need money to find a co-founder? If you have an idea/business that you truly believe in, and it has potential, you should be able to pursuad people to join you (in exchange for share/equity and/or future profits).

How to find a co-founder:
1. Go to networking events - some of which are dedicated to “co-founders dating/matching” - try www.meetup.com for this.
You can also try www.founderdating.com or www.cofounderslab.com or http://www.founders-nation.com or www.founder2be.com
2. Take part in chats in relevant forums (depending on the type of co-founder you’re looking for).
3. Consider joining accelerator/incubator programs for startups/entrepreneurs - some of them connect between founders.
4. Contact head of programs at universities and tell them what you’re looking for. Today, many universities and cities have startup programs with a lot of talented participants (or speakers) who might be the perfect co-founder for you.
5. Talk to friends and family and let them know that you’re looking. This helps expand your network. Post a message on www.LinkedIn.com .
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs. I'd be happy to help you. Good luck


Hi
First, I must give some credit to your expert as I agree with most of what he said.
What you are describing is a common dilemma, and indeed your chances are much higher if you have one of the three elements the expert mentioned. Companies are reluctant to pay / purchase / invest only in an idea. Additionally, even if they do show interest, you will have to expose the idea to them, at which stage they may decide to make use of it without your involvement (an NDA/confidentiality agreement can only protect you so much, and most companies won't agree to sign one).
Bottom line:
1. if you only want to sell the idea, your pitch email needs to be really good, and your NDA needs to be airtight.
2. I would consider offering that they develop it, and you get a commission in return.
3. You have a better chance if you validate the idea and collect some data. You don't have to develop the actual product in order to do this.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and I'd be happy to help you with the email or in validating the product/service.
Good luck


My answer might seem a bit too simple, but anyway: why not put both - your direct number for people who prefer to first 'get to know you' before scheduling a consult, and the Clarity widget for people who already know what they want, and just need some quick advice.
Just take into account that if you add the clarity widget, and you don't have any reviews yet (or have reviews but they're negative), then maybe it would be less wise to add the widget.
If you are new to clarity and want to get some reviews, you could use your VIP code to offer free calls - this way you get happy clients, and you build your reputation on clarity by getting more reviews.
I hope this helped.
Good luck


Hi,
My answer is based on my experience with clients in this field. Nevertheless, seeing how this question is about the future, I wouldn't presume it to be 100% accurate.
In the near future (5 years): an increase in the amount of 'players' offering online courses and increased growth of the existing ones (in most subjects, except for those which are already saturated).
Later on (7-10 years): the closing of the smaller players and/or the buying out of smaller players by bigger ones (or companies not in that field but who provide complementary services).
Good luck


In order to avoid a deadlock (tie) situation, it is preferred that there not be an equal allocation of shares. In this case, it isn't exactly equal seeing how the only situation of a deadlock would be if 1 'tech guy' and 1 'business guy' vote against the other two.
You can solve this by deciding, in the founders agreement, that the chairman of the board of directors (in the company or in the venture), or the CEO, has an extra vote in the event of a deadlock situation. Another option is to appoint an external professional (lawyer/businessman who is familiar with your startups field/market), and he decides if a deadlock arises (for this option you need someone neutral who you can all agree on).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and I'd be happy to help you. Good luck


Hi
The terms that you are describing our much more common in a founders/partnership agreement, and less common to an NDA.
Either way, there are a few issues missing in the conditions that you described, 3 of the most important ones being (1) the waiver of Intellectual Property rights, (2) the separating/firing of a founder/contributor and (3) the fact that there is no such thing (in most countries) as a "volunteer" (unless your business is an old age home and the volunteer comes more or less when he wants).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and I would be happy to help you. Good luck


Hi,
This is a very broad question, and some crucial information is missing - this means that any practical answer given won't be accurate enough for your needs (I'll explain):
There is a different marketing strategy for each of the services that you provide, and for each of your target market groups (types of users). For example, I assume that some people are only looking for help with the Visa aspect, and others want the private tour guide service.
My advice would be for you to first check:
1. Which service is the most expensive/costly to market (cost per user)?
2. Which of your services are most profitable (per user, after marketing expenses)?
3. Which of your services is the most sought after/requested (not specifically from you, but in the market in general)? and by which type of user (for example, the most sought after service is assistance with Visas and the target market is usually 30-45 year olds from US)? Knowing the age group, for example, helps you determine where to market your service (for example you would prefer to not advertise this specific service on Instagram).
You can check all the above with a fairly low marketing budget.
Only after you have the above information should you start marketing, because this way you will market the most profitable service to the best suited target market. After you start with this, you can market your other services (if you choose to).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and I'd be happy to help you. Good luck


I apologize in advance for the long answer, but I wanted to give you the full picture.
There are 3 parts to the answer: 1. Do you really need a co-founder? 2. Why haven’t you been able to find one, and 3. How to find a co-founder.
Do you really need a co-founder?
A) You should be 100% sure that you really need a co-founder (versus using a freelancer or employee which may be sufficient).
B) Investors usually take a deep look into the team and prefer founders that have worked together for some time and/or know each other for a minimum period.
C) Based on research done by CBInsights, the 3rd most common reason for startup failure is: “not the right team”. The most common agreement that I draft as a startup lawyer/mentor is a ‘separation agreement’. The reason being that most co-founders eventually split – and usually not as friends.
In most cases, freelancers/employees can do what you need (the only exception is having a CTO when trying to raise capital from VC’s - and even this depends on the type of startup).
Analyzing the problem - why haven't you been able to find a co-founder?
a) Is it because the idea isn't 'good' enough? That you're not presenting it well? Or maybe that you're not pitching to the right people? If it's a pitching problem, I can help you improve your pitch. If it's the wrong people, you can network in other areas/groups. If it's the idea, I’m happy to try help you refine it.
If you can't recruit a co-founder, you may have similar difficulties raising capital from investors - the reason being that pitching to a potential co-founder is very similar to pitching to investors. Co-founders invest time, efforts & money. Investors invest money. Both take a risk and therefore have to fall in love with the idea or the potential for profits.
How to find a co-founder:
1. Go to networking events - some of which are dedicated to “co-founders dating/matching” - try www.meetup.com for this. You can also try www.founderdating.com or www.cofounderslab.com or http://www.founders-nation.com or www.founder2be.com
2. Take part in chats in relevant forums (depending on the type of co-founder you’re looking for).
3. Consider joining accelerator/incubator programs for startups/entrepreneurs - some of them connect between founders.
4. Contact head of programs at universities and tell them what you’re looking for. Today, many universities and cities have startup programs with a lot of talented participants (or speakers) who might be the perfect co-founder for you.
5. Talk to friends and family and let them know that you’re looking. This helps expand your network. Post a message on www.LinkedIn.com .
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs. I'd be happy to help you. Good luck


Before giving you the practical tips, it is important to first point out 3 things:
A) You should be 100% sure that you really need a co-founder (versus using a freelancer or employee which may be sufficient).
B) Investors usually take a deep look into the team and prefer founders that have worked together for some time and/or know each other for a minimum period (preferably those who’ve already experienced difficulties together before).
C) There is a reason that CBInsights found that the third most common reason cited for startup failure is “not the right team” and that the most common agreement that I draft as a startup lawyer/mentor is a ‘separation agreement’. The reason being that most co-founders eventually split – and not under nice terms.
In most cases, freelancers/employees can do what you need (perhaps the only exception is having a CTO when trying to raise capital from VC’s – and even this depends on the type of startup).
How to find a co-founder:
1. Go to networking events - some of which are dedicated to “co-founders dating/matching” - try www.meetup.com for this.
You can also try www.founderdating.com or www.cofounderslab.com or http://www.founders-nation.com or www.founder2be.com
2. Take part in chats in relevant forums (depending on the type of co-founder you’re looking for).
3. Consider joining accelerator/incubator programs for startups/entrepreneurs - some of them connect between founders.
4. Contact head of programs at universities and tell them what you’re looking for. Today, many universities and cities have startup programs with a lot of talented participants (or speakers) who might be the perfect co-founder for you.
5. Talk to friends and family and let them know that you’re looking. This helps expand your network. Post a message on www.LinkedIn.com .
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs. I'd be happy to help you. Good luck


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