Graduate Entrepreneurs help resolve the painful Co-Founder Search
1) Tell us about The Founders Hive and where the idea come from?
We believe that nothing beats organic human face-to-face interaction. We also believe in a world where identifying your co-founding team members should be a simplified process.
The Founders Hives is a concept that aims to solve the problem of finding the right co-founding team members for your start up. Locating the right team to build a startup is often a painful and occasionally inefficient process. We want to change this by using a social online platform and running interactive events that bring together the talent & resources required to turn ideas into reality.
Sean Obedih came up with the idea for The Founders Hive out of personal frustration. After graduating from University of Buckingham he could not find the right co-founders for his start-up businesses. He realised that unless you belong to certain clubs, went to certain schools or mingled with certain crowds, your chances of finding good talent was limited. Sean then shared his idea with two other entrepreneurs, Simon Tefula & Emmanuel Ruhumuliza, with the aim of being able to develop the concept, refine the idea and launch the model. All of whom are entrepreneurs and founders of their individual business ventures. “The three of us had been through the frustrating process of searching for the right team members (co-founders). Amongst many other things we have in common, this challenge was inhibiting the growth of our Startups.”
The Founders Hive plays a crucial role because it’s common knowledge that Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors prefer investing in teams rather in a single individual. It’s also important to note that a recent study by Pawan Tamvada; a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Economics at Aston University found that diverse teams consisting of three or four team members tend to outperform those with a single Founder.
2) Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your background?
Emmanuel is the Founder & Managing Director of IDRAWWITHLIGHT, a Branding and Communications Agency. He’s an immensely Creative Professional. A Branding and Marketing enthusiast, with a diverse and growing portfolio of work, ranging from Concept Photography, consultancy of commercial creative projects to brand activation consultancy.
Simon is a Law Graduate from the University of Manchester & holds a Masters Degree in HR & Business. He’s passionate about working on disruptive projects that have a positive impact on the society. He’s also the Founder of TRENDiPEOPLE, a Fashion Startup that enables anyone regardless of body shape, size, colour or location to kick-start a Fashion Trend simply by sharing their fashion photos. Think of it as Twitter but for Fashion.
“By launching The Founders Hive together, the three of us demonstrate how this concept works. We are the personification of what the Founders Hive aims to achieve.” More recently, Simon & Emmanuel have both teamed up to become Co-Founders of each other’s startups. This is because they identified complimentary skills, which were missing while working solo.
3) What steps did you take when the idea came to you, and what’s the end goal?
The first step was to build a minimum viable product. This consisted of writing up two pages of content that conveyed the objectives, values & vision. This document was sent to about 40 people for feedback, especially regarding whether they could see themselves using such a service. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that we quickly realised the potential of the opportunity we had at hand. The end goal is to create a relaxed and informal environment where any potential Startup Founder can explore, discuss their idea and get instant feedback. Crucially 'The Founders Hive' is a place where you could potentially meet your Co-founders and even Angel Investors that could give your ideas the boost they need to take off. At the moment there are various websites that one could use for the search process. However we believe that hiring people is best done face to face because it enables one to gauge their passion and cultivate trust. Nothing beats organic human interaction.
4) What’s been the biggest struggle with getting the founders hive up and running?
The biggest struggle was from people who kept on saying that it was too big of a problem to solve. However we knew from our previous personal experiences that it was worth tackling. We are glad to report that our first event was a success because many of the attendees were able to meet potential team members for their startups.
5) Would you advise graduates/students to look towards entrepreneurship as a viable career path?
It must be stressed that taking this path is will be extremely demanding on your time, money and health. It’s probably the hardest and riskiest path to take straight after Graduation. However, considering the current economic climate, there isn’t much to lose. As a matter of fact the experience you gain from your initiative and drive while setting up or working in Startup, will provide opportunities way beyond reach of the average graduate. In our experience depending on how well you execute your ventures, chances are that you will get headhunted by traditional employers or even other Startup Founders more so, than if you were never involved in a Startup. Now is a great time to start a business with, David Cameron & the Coalition Government launching the Startup Scheme over the next three years, where ministers will put £82m aside, providing loans worth on average £2,500 to young people aged 18 to 24 who can show that they have a robust business plan.
6) If so, what is the best piece of advice you would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Get as much free help as you possibly can. There are plenty of Business Incubators, Accelerators run privately, by the government or in conjunction with regional Colleges & Universities. These offer business skills training sessions, legal, HR & accountancy services to name but a few. All these are great, especially because they enable you to save on costs and more importantly create contacts from networking. According to a recent study, Startups that crop out of these clusters tend to fare better than those that started in an isolated environment. Also attend one of our events at The Founders Hive. It’s a very informal setting where you can discuss your idea(s), meet potential co-founders and probably investors who will help drive your ventures forward.
7) What’s next?
The Founders Hive is going to expand nationally & Internationally. We aim to make our approach, networking forum and school of thought accessible globally. We are also in the process of updating our website to more of a social networking platform that enables individuals to interact online with potential co-founders & investors.
Be sure to check out The Founders Hive