Recently, I received a request to join FounderDating. The request came from someone I respect in the business world so I decided to check it out. Interesting concept, FounderDating is set up to connect entrepreneurs with potential partners and advisors. The theory is that those looking for funding, advice, partners, and mentors can explore the membership database and find what they are looking for.
It appears that a main goal of the site is to help entrepreneurs find their ‘cofounder;’ when they are looking for someone to partner with to start and build a business. They can use FounderDating to explore and discover.
The Nuts and Bolts of FounderDating
The approval process for becoming an advisor has a couple of layers. It’s not enough to be recommended by someone already in the community. You have to provide other people who can vouch for you. Like so many sites this one is connected to LinkedIn. This makes it pretty easy to identify the people who you want to ask to vouch for you.
Some people respond right away, and others ask if the email actually came from you. This points to an interesting thing. It might be better for FounderDating to allow the applicant to format the subject line themselves, something that could possibly sound more authentic. Having said that, I had no problem assuring these people that it was, indeed, me asking for the help and they willingly posted a recommendation.
Once in, you can select industries you’re interested in and topics you have expertise in. On the entrepreneur side you can provide a lot of information in your profile so that funders can find you.
Like most sites, you can follow people or request to connect with them. One issue I see is that there are people who have signed up for the service for reasons other than what the site intends. It’s not uncommon to receive an email that someone is interested in meeting you only to find they have been removed due to violating the TOS.
When an entrepreneur finds an advisor who they trust they can enter into an official relationship with them. The advisor gains equity in the company as a means of compensation.
The entrepreneurs, as well as the advisors, come from all over the world. There isn’t a lot of explanation on the site about how to best use it. Because of this it seems a little awkward when trying to connect.
The best part of the site, as I have seen it, is the discussion section. There is a wide range of topics that are discussed and a variety of answers provided to the person who poses the question. This is the part of the program that seems to really have legs. Anyone can ask a question about something going on in their business in the moment and get input and feedback.
Overall, it looks like the site is building an ecosystem of entrepreneurs and advisors. Whether you are looking for someone to enter into business with you or you are just looking for answers and advice, FounderDating can help you get where you want to go. And if you are looking for a way to pay it forward, help someone out, or give for the sake of giving, check it out.