Recapping our First Find-a-Cofounder Event

Over 50 people attended our first (and quickly organized) Find-a-Cofounder event on Tuesday night, bringing in and matching hopeful entrepreneurs in the region through a "speed dating" format.

Three weeks ago when our IPO’s and IPA’s crowd was initially planning Baltimore’s first Find-a-Cofounder entrepreneur matchmaking event, I don’t think anyone would have predicted the incredible turnout we had! Hats off to the entire Startup Baltimore community and the fantastic job they did in promoting the event in such a short amount of time.
We were on a time crunch to do the event on Tuesday and had set a reasonably ambitious goal to get 20 entrepreneurs to participate. When the final count started to creep over 50 we knew something exciting was starting to happen in Baltimore. Clearly there is a need for more of these entrepreneurial events around our city that will promote and connect current and prospective entrepreneurs and startups. We’re planning on organizing these cofounder matchmaking events at least 3 or 4 times a year.

The Format of the Event

We provided everyone that came in the door a name badge that included their chosen level of seriousness (ie. ‘Do or die’, ‘On the fence’, or ‘Toying’) and their ideal role(s) as a founder (ie. designer, developer, or business person). Each person was also given a 8×10 “notes” card that had everyone’s name and email address and a blank next to each name to jot down notes about that person.
We paired people that “Have a Startup Idea” across the table from those that were “Wanting to Hear / Possibly Work on a Startup Idea” and each pair had 2 minutes to quickly make an introduction. Following the speed dates we opened up the format to a social hour where participants could follow up with interesting opportunities.

The Turnout

We had asked that everyone RSVP online beforehand (and will probably require it next time). This helped for some so they could do their homework and start potentially matching up beforehand. You can view the full list of all the registered attendees here. Some of the entrepreneurs that attended already had a web presence for their startup, including all these guys:

Post-event Survey

Shortly after the event we sent out a survey to all those that participated in the event. While we’re still encouraging those that attended to fill out the survey, we’ve gotten a fantastic response so far:

  • Majority of people found out about the event from word of mouth.
  • Location wasn’t a perfect fit for focused conversation.
  • “Speed dates” of only 2 mins were good but not great.
  • Most importantly, majority of people definitely want to attend the next event.

A big thanks to everyone that supported, promoted and attended the event. Please join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter to hear about our next Find-a-Cofounder event and other related entrepreneurial things going on in the area. Also, any feedback anyone wants to provide, please feel free to use the comments form below!

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