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Founding Partner vs Co-Founder | Difference

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Founding Partner vs Co-Founder | Difference

Confused about the usage of founding partner and co-founder? Is it correct to say A & B are founding partners of the company or A & B are the company’s co-founders? A conundrum!

Let us explore the usage, meaning and difference between the two.

Founding Partner vs Co-Founder

Let us clarify that there is no difference between Founding Partners & Co-Founders. They are different terms to refer to the same thing.

Let us look at the different terms, their meanings, and examples to understand them.

Founding PartnersA team of people, a minimum of two, who have together started an entity together are founding partners. Steve JobsSteve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne are founding partners of Apple Inc.
Co-FounderA Person who, along with other co-founders, is responsible for starting a new enterprise.Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc.

In fact, it will be apt to write Founding Partner = Co-Founder.

Difference between Founder & Founding Partner/Co-Founder

We must clarify that the organisation has a single founder when we refer to a founder. There is one person who handles the birth of the said company. The only difference is a founder is a single person, while founding partners are plural.

For example, Colonel Harland Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Thus, if a group has started the company, they are founding partners or co-founders. But, if a single person handles the company, he/she/they will be the founder.

Can there be a founder and a co-founder?

Yes, a company can have both a founder and a co-founder. A single person may conceive the initial idea for the company, known as ‘the founder’. He/she/they may invite others to help take off the new initiative from the ideation stage to reality. All those who join in on the idea and help start the company are the co-founders.

Perks of being a Founding Partner

The perks of being a founding partner are:

  • One may get a leading position in the management team.
  • One may even go on to fill board seats for the company.
  • Gets stock valued at the original in-cost.
  • With a higher stock valuation, there is less dilution for the early shareholders.
  • A founder is immortalized as part of the institution’s history. For example, CEOs will come and go, but Jeff Bezos will forever be famous as the founder of Amazon.

As a solo entrepreneur, it is challenging to bring success to the startup. So, skilled people who can manage different startup operations are necessary. If one is good at management, the other founding partners will take care of the product development skills, marketing, etc.

Characteristics of being a Co-Founder

  • The co-founders share equity rather than having sole possession of it.
  • They are essential in the way they complement the roles of each other in the team. If one is good at management, the other will complement his product development skills, the other with marketing, etc.
  • They reduce risk factors.
  • Each co-founder comes with the responsibility of working ‘together’.


To sum up, a founding partner and a co-founder are the same. They have similar characteristics and handle operations like any other co-founder/founding partner.

Also, read Does Elon Musk Respond To E-mails?

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Vanessa Shaw

Vanessa Shaw is a tech geek who loves getting the latest gadgets and writing about them. She has been writing for many years, and she brings a unique perspective on different topics that are published on Next Gen Hero.

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