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STARTUP

Where to Find Terrific Team Players

Need a few good business partners? Sometimes the best recruits are the ones you already know.

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Launching a business is hard, so it's no wonder the majority of entrepreneurs refuse to go it alone. 

Some find their partner at school or at work, while others look in more unusual places. 

We asked a few entrepreneurs to share where they found their talent and how it worked out. Here's what they told us. 

Sports teams 

Launching a business is a lot like sports, says Jeff Salter, founder of Caring Senior Service, who found his future business partners while playing rugby. 

“When out on the field, I felt I was able to see the players’ true leadership potential,” he said. “Whether it was seeing how they handled and learned from constructive criticism or that they thrived under stressful conditions, I was certain that the members I chose would work well with one another and bring the drive needed to make my business a success.”

Singing groups 

When Ted Fienning and his wife, Molly, were planning to launch Babiators, a line of aviator sunglasses for babies, they turned to Fienning's a cappella partner Matthew Guard and his wife Carolyn. 

“Live performance is a lot like business: You execute according to a plan, but you have to be prepared for contingencies," Fienning said of their a cappella group, the Kroks. 

"In the Kroks, just like in business, we relied on each other to perform an individual part but to also be prepared to improvise, adapt, and keep things running smoothly. Matthew was actually our music director and he was an expert at this--he could feel problems developing and guide individual singers in the group to correct an issue without the audience knowing the difference. All the audience saw was a seamless, professional performance that is exactly what we do together as partners in business.”

Craigslist

Craigslist is where most people turn when searching for roommates, so why not use it for business? 

The classifieds site worked for Nathan Blecharczyk, a co-founder of Airbnb. He met Joe Gebbia while looking for a roommate and an apartment in 2007. 

Gina Lujan, co-founder of Hacker's Lab, also turned to Craigslist with a post that read, "Seeking all hackers and enthusiasts--where are you?" She found two partners, Charles Blas and Eric Ullrich.

"I got a few weird responses," Lujan admitted to Reuters. But "it was the founder at first sight. The minute we met each other we said, 'Let's do this.'" 

IMAGE: Shutterstock
Last updated: Jun 21, 2013

JANA KASPERKEVIC is a graduate of Baruch College, City University of New York, where she earned a bachelors degree in Journalism and Political Science. She covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurship for Inc. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, InvestmentNews, Business Insider, and Houston Chronicle, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.
@kasperka




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