This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Tanis Jorge. Tanis is a serial, tech entrepreneur and a leading advisor to startup founders on entrepreneurship and building successful cofounder partnerships. During her career has spanning the last 20+ years, she has cofounded, scaled, and successfully exited multiple data-driven businesses. This culminated with her most recent venture, Trulioo, which she co-founded in 2011 with my long-term business partner. In 2021, Trulioo reached unicorn status with an over $1.65B valuation solidifying its place as the world’s leading identity verification company and Tanis’s track record for founding successful businesses. Trulioo’s success also made her one of only three Canadian female “Unicorn” founders.
Tanis has a wealth of knowledge in starting and building businesses, but I’m not if you caught something with what I just shared that has a been a constant for her and a big part of her success – all of her biggest and most successful ventures have been with another great co-founder and it has been their partnership that made it go. In fact, Tanis recently wrote the best-selling book, the Cofounder’s Handbook detailing how she does this and that is exactly what I want to speak with her about today as one of the best way to succeed is by having a great partnership in your business. I know this from experience.
Tanis met her co-founder in High School starting in grade 8. They were locker buddies and their time in high school and getting to know each other laid the groundwork for their future success. Right after High School, he partner approached her to be the first to do online credit reports in Canada. It was their first business and gave them a ton of learning experience. They found their roles and ultimately exited after 3 years. They then did that 2 more times over the next 10 years. After that, Tanis took a break to focus on family and her partner went to Silicon Valley to pitch an idea they had had previous. The idea was well received and she was pulled back in. A year and half into it, they raised their first seed round and it that helped them to get to a valuation over $1.5 billion.
Talk to us about the magic of co-founding partnerships. Why and how can they work so well?
Elements of great partnerships?
Did you ever have times where you got sick of each other in your partnership? How did you get things back on track and keep the partnership strong?
At the 20 min mark, Tanis talks about the dynamics of partnerships…
There is a customization to a good partnership. Look at yourself first. Look at your model and determine what you need in a partner. Tanis developed a self-assessment for this.
What is the best way to find a business partner?
What have your learned on how to build and scale companies?
What have you learned about how to sell a business?
What is something you wish you have known earlier in your entrepreneur career?
Best Quote: Co-founder partnerships can be the greatest asset or greatest liability in your business.
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