Building Your Founding Team

By Generational Equity


Let’s say you’ve taken a great idea and developed it into a terrific product offering, all while building your start-up company. How do you make sure your nascent company survives, and even thrives, to reach its full potential with you still at the helm?

The key, says Steve Blank of Kaufmann Founders School, is to become more than the product genius. You need to develop yourself as well as build a founding leadership team that’s an operational powerhouse.

You’re looking for the people who can help you grow from a start-up entrepreneur with revenues of $2 million a year to $100 million a year and more.

The people who can help you scale up your young company meet the following criteria:

  • Share your values and mission
  • Bring overlapping skills to the table
  • Balance skills between sales, marketing, supply chain management, finance, and manufacturing
  • Offer complementary temperaments to help your company weather extreme stress
  • Respect other team members

Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of building a monoculture of all software engineers or all product designers, says Blank. To really succeed long-term, you need a rock-solid foundation built around a founding team.

You are what you hire, stresses Michael Skok of North Bridge Venture Partners. Particularly for a start-up, even losing one key employee represents a significant loss in knowledge, customer connections and manpower, which makes the creation of your founding team critical.

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