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I know quite a few startup founders. I’d estimate that 95% of the hugely successful tech companies that I know of were founded by at least two people.

This debate will of course rage on forever, because plenty of great companies have obviously been founded by just one person.

So, Techstars will not “rule out” single founder companies from consideration. However, I do believe that there is a general bias among investors that startups are too hard for just one person, and that one person isn’t likely to be excellent at technology, sales, marketing, and running a business.

If your goal is to eventually raise money, my opinion is that you’re much better off finding a co-founder right away. Look for someone who compliments your skills. If you’re great at coding, find someone who’s great at selling or marketing (depending on the needs of your company).

So single founders – don’t be shy! Apply! Just know you’re probably at somewhat of a disadvantage. You can see our attitude towards this in that we’re providing seed funding based on the number of founders. There is probably some merit in the old saying “two (or three) heads are better than one…”

David Cohen
(@davidcohen) Founder & Managing Partner 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

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  • don_jonhnson

    One question – what about single founders who are planning on using the credibility of Techstars to get a better cofounder than they could pre-Techstars? For example, say I am an entrepreneur who needs a engineering PhD for my startup. I would have a much better chance of getting that person when already accepted to Techstars. On the contrary, I could get a less experienced engineer right now to satisfy this requirement, but it would be detrimental to the startup as he is not as experienced as the one I could get when I have already been accepted. Since picking founders is like marriage, I feel this is especially relevant. Would love to hear your thoughts.