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Ask HN: How do you find a Business Partner?
23 points by thomasreggi on July 9, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments
I am a graphic designer / programmer looking for a Business Partner and friend. I'm 20 and I live in New York City. I've had problem networking and I go to a crappy community college. I can't find any aspiring entrepreneurs, anyone who knows what a "startup" is or how they work. Why am I so alone?

Most rag tag groups of hacker / entrepreneurs meet in college, but what if thats not an option?

I'm interning now, and no one there is my age or has my mind set.

I'm just looking for someone my age and with basic computer / hacking / programming skills, why is that so hard to find?

I launched my company alone. My partner read about it in a magazine article.

If you have the gumption to go it alone, you may be able to attract a partner more easily down the road; traction has a way of turning heads and opening doors :)

This. I launched Windy Citizen alone. My partner's friend read about it on Hacker news and put us in touch.

Theres a huge NYC startup scene that exists and continues to develop. You should definitely come out to hackers and founders. During the summer we meet up at shake shack in Madison Square Park around 6pm on the last Thursday of every month. The crowd there is mainly people who have startups or want to be involved with one. Really solid group of smart people. A healty mix of business folks and developers. Almost never any media or sales people. I personally have made excellent contacts there and even some friends.


Check out meetup.com for tech and entrepreneurship events. Don't worry if the specific topics don't interest you 100% because the point is to network. Go to as many as you can and introduce yourself to people, join conversations, take their business cards, follow up the next day and get involved.

You don't want to partner with someone you haven't met so get out there and say hello.

You can start with me if you like. My email is in my profile so feel free to drop me an email and stay in touch.

I don't think you can go searching for your –first- business partner in the sense you are looking for. I would suggest putting together a few ideas (at least 3 very different ideas) of what type of business you would like to start. Once you have a good grasp of where you would like to go then figure out what skill sets are needed to get there and the level of capital resources it will take to do it on your own. After this you will be able to see what you 'bring to the table' and what is missing. Take this information and start becoming a social butterfly at as many entrepreneur style events as possible. To be frank, my first real 'business partner' and I met online many years ago when we were both looking at doing similar things within a large online community. We started chatting and realized that each party had the skills / assets the other was lacking. Do not be afraid to share your ideas with others as that will only help you find those who have similar interest. In the same light do not take rejection, or the inability of one to understand your idea, as a sign that what you believe is wrong.

Most of the comments here are completely right. Meetups are the best way to meet people. Here are a few I'd suggest that I think are good for young people / college students involved in tech: * NY Tech Meetup's NY Tech Student Mingle (posted individually on Anyvite each time; the first Tuesday of every month) * Hackers and Founders NYC

Startup Digest (thestartupdigest.com) is a great rundown of events going on weekly - if you're a student, I'd subscribe to the NYC, Tech@NYU, and Columbia lists to get events that are relevant to students.

Find someone that you can trust. I've worked with family in the past. They tend to be more on the up and up. Friends can be good if you are both committed to the same goal. As for finding a stranger I would attempt to cultivate a relationship first before committing to becoming partners.

You should probably attend this event in NYC later this month: "Find a co-founder Night II" http://www.eroundtable.net/2010/07/07/find-a-co-founder-nigh...

On the flip side, I'm a developer looking for someone similar as well. So I'd be interested to know the answer as well.

My luck has been fairly decent - my friends are in some form of graphic design but I haven't truly found someone who can hack it up with me either.

One I went to high school with, another I found at TechStars for a Day, another was a designer I worked with on another and the final one I knew through a blogging network from when I was like 12 and we recently connected in the past few years.

Here are some of my random ideas:

On your reggi.com site, make it into a blog (Wordpress is simple) about yourself and some aspect of tech that you are interested in.

Add some personal pics to the blog of your workspace, your pets and yourself so people know who you are. Let people add comments to your blog. Maybe add a short video of yourself to the blog.

Go to a tech conference in your area and just try to make friends with a people. You never who will know who, but it never hurts to have people know you.

We know you in here. Maybe if you were more visible online pics, etc..., maybe you will find the business partner you're looking for in here.

Does anyone live in a small town in the middle of no-where (Iowa)?

How do you find people who you can bounce ideas off of?

Is the best thing to do start a blog and build a reader base to bounce ideas off of?

middle of no-where.... geez :)

I live in Iowa. Des Moines to be specific. And our start-up community, IMO, is rock solid. We have a number of organizations who host regular events (http://www.technologyiowa.org/, http://smcdsm.ning.com/, etc...) along with a very good supply of technology user groups covering all of the major techs (.Net, Ruby, Java, etc).

As for finding people to bounce ideas off of, attending those events, meeting new people, and just talking about what you're doing has worked well for me.

We also have two (that I'm aware of) co-working locations. These are great because it groups together like minded people who are always willing to listen to ideas you want to bounce.

Starting a blog to bounce ideas off of your users doesn't sound like a very good way to go to me. It would take a really long time, and would be a lot more work. I'm not saying it can't, and shouldn't be done. I'm just saying getting out and meeting people will be better.

We're also in close proximity to larger cities too, so we often get talent coming in to work for start-ups here.

And we have a news site to keep tabs on all of this, http://www.siliconprairienews.com/. This basically allows a one stop shop for seeing what's going on, and where you might be able to meet new like-minded people.

I guess this turned into more of a pro-Iowa post, but I think it gives you some answers :)

Awesome! This is just what I was looking for.

There are enough NY tech-related events and meetups each week that you could be networking just about every single day if you wanted to.

Conferences. I found my current partner at a Barcamp. He was pitching an idea I liked but which had many flaws. I explained him the flaws I saw, convinced him to change & now we're building the product together. He's the hustler, I'm the hacker.

I'm building a bootstrapped start-up, and we need a designer with a start-up building mindset. I'm not in NY, but would be interested in at least chatting and seeing what you can do.

contact me @ levi@scoreyard.com when you have time.

I should clarify that, if we find the right person, we are looking for a graphic / UI designer to partner with. The option of revenue or equity sharing is on the table for the right person.

Being able to write code is a step in the right direction.

you may not like this answer, but working in the tech industry is probably the best way to meet great people. you need to be in a trust relationship with people to start a company.

You live in NYC? Go to hacker/startup meetups. Easy.

Since you're designer / programmer, you need a great salesman as your business partner.

I like other people like me designers and programmers. I know enough business to get by.

Any pointers for people who live in Europe?


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