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We recently held an AMA with Techstars’ Co-CEO, David Cohen, where he answered commonly asked questions from founders about topics such as forming a team, developing an MVP and applying to an accelerator program.

This post is the fourth in a series of five which includes a transcript of David’s answers to these questions in this AMA. To sign up for our next AMA, check out the schedule here!

What is the best place to put one’s idea out there in order to expose it to like-minded entrepreneurs in hopes of forming a team?

I get this question a lot. It’s always the, “I want to find co-founders” or “I’m very business oriented and do not have a technical team” or “how can I find people and get them excited about this?” or the, “Do I need to be super worried about exposing my idea? I saw the Facebook movie and how the idea got stolen and I don’t want that to happen to me.” (Which, by the way, it turned out okay for the people whose idea got stolen in that scenario).

We are all very fearful of this and it’s irrational. The people you are talking to and sharing your ideas with are high-reputation people. Maybe they are investors in the community that depend on their reputation, or even experienced entrepreneurs, versus just any stranger. Getting out there and building relationships with people and being a thought leader in your space is a great way to do it.

Start a blog or some account on your favorite social platform and start talking about your issue.

Being a thought leader attracts like-minded people.

People will then share those posts with people that they know are also interested in the issue. “Hey Mary, maybe you should go join Joe and start a company and do this together.”

It is much easier if you are on the engineering side to find the business help, and it is still, even today, much harder if you are on the business side to find the tech help. The thought leadership aspect is key, as well as just living in the communities where the type of people you are looking for hang out. It could be universities, engineering groups, online forums, etc.

You can share a little bit of your idea, but wait for people to engage with you on the idea and then have more of a one-on-one offline. It is a great way to build real relationships.

Interested in meeting other entrepreneurs and getting a head start on your own entrepreneurial journey? Check out a Startup Weekend near you!

At Techstars, we fully believe in the idea that no one is “too far along” for Techstars. Inversely, nothing is too early. Techstars has a program for every step of the entrepreneurial journey – from startup programs like Startup DigestStartup WeekStartup Weekend and Startup Next to later stage offerings, including the accelerator program and venture capital for add-on funding.


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David Cohen
(@davidcohen) Co-founder & Co-CEO of Techstars, previously founder of several technology companies. David is an active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at DavidGCohen.com