The Difference between a Founder and a Co-founder

Roles, Responsibility and Compensation — Answered

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Founders are the first people to take a serious risk and invest in their ideas. They believe in themselves, their product, and its potential to make an impact.

Co-founders are equally important but their involvement is not at the same level as that of a founder.

Co-founders are responsible for bringing their specific expertise to the table and for taking ownership of a particular area of the business.

How do I know if I need a co-founder?

If you’re in the beginning stages of your startup, you should have a strong understanding of what you want to do and why. You should also have an idea of how you are going to get there.

Remember, your co-founder is responsible for helping execute on your vision and for bringing their specific expertise to the table. They aren’t just investors.

What if I don’t have a co-founder?

If no one is willing to invest in your idea or if there is no one else who can bring their expertise to the table, then start building it yourself. This is not ideal but it is possible.

Can co-founders be equals?

Yes, co-founders can be equals. You just need to decide what the structure of your business will be. There are many different ways to go about this but I recommend doing it from the beginning because it will make things a lot easier down the road.

Should Founders and Co-founders be rewarded the same?

It depends on what you decide at the beginning. If you decide that everyone is going to be equal, then yes, they should be rewarded the same. However, if you decide that one person is going to be in charge of sales and marketing while the other is in charge of product development, then the person who does sales and marketing should be rewarded more because they are responsible for bringing in revenue.

Don’t just bring on co-founders because you think you need them.

Make sure that they can bring something to the table that will help grow your business. You might be able to do it all yourself but having a co-founder who can help you execute on your vision is going to make things a lot easier down the road.

Founder of Cudy Technologies (, a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.