What makes a great founder?

Identifying talent is not easy; however, in saying this, specific attributes have been defined that make a person more likely to be a great founder. Academic research, coupled with the experience of startup investors and founding teams, point to a set of critical traits and skills that great founders should comprise.

When identifying talent that embodies the potential to become great founders, we look for:

  • Leadership potential - Ability to manage a team and encourage and motivate those around them to always strive for more. Understanding of resource management and optimization, applying excellent people and communication skills.
  • Fast learner / quick thinker – Capacity to grasp new concepts quickly. Analytical and curious; with inner creativity to make connections between seemingly unrelated events or situations, with products or services that can be repurposed into new markets or industries.
  • Humble - Recognize that they do not know it all and, effectively seeks help and guidance when needed. Founders acknowledge that ideas are generated continuously, and so, they are flexible, open-minded and considerate of adjustments and advice from others.
  • Drive and Discipline - Have a strong passion for the work and the company. They exemplify a genuine love for their work and, do not give up when things are tough. Hard-working and confident that they will make their business succeed.
  • Technical or Domain expertise Subject matter expert, encompassing previous experience and knowledge from the field. Acutely aware of own ability and knowledge limitations and so effectively complements their skill set with that of other hires.