Interview of Paolo Piffaretti, managing partner at Cofoundme

What’s Cofoundme ?

We are a Swiss based network accelerator; we support start-ups from right after the idea generation up until seed investment or market launch. Our core service is our “Founder Matching”. Based on artificial intelligence in order to form founding teams and staff start-ups consisting of complementary skills and personalities.

For example, if you’re founder and have an idea but no skill to develop that idea you can go on the platform and find people with a particular set of skills. But it also works the other way around: if you’re cofounder, don’t really have an idea for a start-up and have useful skills you can register on the platform and browse through ideas. We believe and have experienced that the founding team is one if not THE key success factor when founding any start-up.

Who’s behind this project?

We’re a spinoff from the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), we work with the ETH Entrepreneur Club. We were born from the need to match business guys from the University of St Gallen and tech guys from the University of Zurich. Today we work as a team of students from both universities and two independent IT developers. Cofoundme is a service completely free of charge and is open to anyone. Our main target customers, however, are students from various backgrounds on the one hand and start-ups on the other hand. We believe that the right time to found a start-up is not after studies, but actually already during your study time.

What’s next?

This (Forum EPFL, Startup-Day) is actually our first big event here as we’re mostly based in the eastern part of Switzerland.
That was the biggest challenge for us: coming from one part of the country to the other.
At the beginning, it was easy because we knew how the eastern part of the country worked, but now we have to understand which and where are the entrepreneur clubs, how to find groups.
At first, we didn’t know who to contact to get into the startup world in this part of Switzerland.
The main advantage that we have is our network, and we are now developing tools in order to better gather our data and optimising the way our platforms work.

 

Jeanne Chaverot

Last modified: 31 août 2020

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