Why choosing the right co-founder is critical for your new startup's survival

Trailmix's Carolin Krenzer, Tripledot's Akin Babayigit and Hiro Capital's Ian Livingstone startup life and leadership challenges

Why choosing the right co-founder is critical for your new startup's survival

Most companies fail because the founding team doesn’t get along, says Trailmix CEO and co-founder Carolin Krenzer.

Speaking during the Brightest Britain: Lessons from the UK’s Success Stories panel at Pocket Gamer Connects London, Krenzer said choosing the right co-founder is “incredibly important” to a new studio’s chances of success.

Krenzer said at Trailmix, her background is in product management, while her co-founder, Tristan Clark, works on the creative side, with a background in design. For the London studio, the “magic” happened because the co-founders were united around clear values, with what she called a “complementary skill set”.

Their partnership was also strengthened after working together at King for a number of years.

Focusing on best impact

Fellow panellist, Tripledot co-founder and president Akin Babayigit, agreed that choosing the right founding team is the number one thing to get right.

He added that it’s important for all the founding members to have a foundation of respect, and that while they may have some disagreements privately, they ensure they pull forward in the same direction publicly.

Hiro Capital co-founder and partner Ian Livingstone said it’s often the case that a games company is started by a creative person.

The problem, however, is they can end up doing all the roles they shouldn’t do - that of running a business - and not what they should be doing, which is concentrating on making a game.

He said that if the CEO is a finance director, you don’t want them deciding what game you’re making moving forward. But similarly, the creative person may not be best placed to run the whole company.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.