A startup founder is a mix of determination, passion, vision and courage.

Frank Contrepois

Being a startup founder is, first of all, a state of mind. A startup founder is a person that want to change a world. That world can be as small as a group of people or as big as the population of earth it doesn’t matter.

A startup founder may not have a company yet, but needs to have the guts to start doing and make it happen


Every startup founder shares four characteristics:

  • determination,
  • passion,
  • vision
  • and courage.


a firmness of purpose; resoluteness.

Determination is the capacity to keep moving towards the purpose. Events and opportunities will change the planned path of startup, but the startup founder has a compass, allowing him/her to keep any change in line with the purpose. Creativity and change are welcome, as long as they point in the right direction.


Passion is a driver and a danger. Being passionate is what makes most founders wake up in the morning, it’s a big part of the thrill of being a founder, it provides pleasure at work and keeps the motivation high. Passion is visible and is part of what is expected from a founder. A good speech delivered without passion is worst than a bad speech delivered with passion.

Passion is also dangerous: it can eat your time and life, passion can be frustrating when not shared by others, passion is emotional.

A founder should always be passionate.


The vision is essential to a startup founder, it defines what the final goal is, it liberates energies and has a positive impact on everyone involved. The founder vision is not what the startup does, the vision is bigger, the vision is more important, the vision defines the WHY of the founder and of his/her startup or products.

To set your vision complete the sentence: “If I don’t act the world will be wors because …”

N.B.: I think that highlighting the negative impact of non-action gives more courage and reasons to make the startup happen.


Courage is about doing. Walk the talk, don’t just fantasise, but act. Courage is the difference between a fake and a true startup founder. It is as easy as that.

And the rest?

Notice how having an idea, being a salesman, having an MBA, being a good public speaker, or any other skill or diploma is not part of this list. Founders can find followers with such skills, get help from experts or learn.


Remember, being a Startup Founder is a state of mind!

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