How to Build Your Startup with a Strong Founding TEAM

Building a healthy and productive work partnership between founders and a burgeoning team is the first and most critical challenge to tackle on an entrepreneur’s journey. This new series, How to Build Your Startup with a Strong Founding Team, will help founders build interpersonal relationship skills — a key determinant of the success or failure of a startup. Providing a space for both expert insight and dynamic dialogue, the series will cover topics that include:

  • Goals: defining what success looks like and establishing specific, time-bound goals

  • Roles: who will do what, and how to use and lose influence in groups

  • Navigation: determining how decisions will be made

  • Learning to learn: how practicing risk-taking, disclosure, and feedback in interpersonal communications can help teams evolve with their goals

  • Conflict: understanding how conflict can be healthy and produce problem-solving and innovation

Each event in the series will take place at the Good Life Center at Silliman College (Byers Hall, 4th floor) and will consist of two parts: a fireside chat, which is open to the public, and a cohort-based growth workshop geared toward students who are working on startups, social ventures, and innovative projects.



Each event in the series will open with an hourlong fireside chat, moderated by CITY mentor-in-residence Konstantine Drakonakis. These chats, which are open to the public, will invite leaders in the fields of emotional intelligence, leadership, and team scholarship, along with alumni and New Haven entrepreneurs, to share their insights. The fireside chat lineup includes:


After each fireside chat, a smaller cohort, selected by application, will stay for an hourlong growth workshop. This cohort-based experience is geared toward students who are currently working on startups, social ventures, or innovative projects, and will help students explore and determine their priorities in launching strong founding teams. The end goal is to provide lessons, tools, and wisdom on people strategy, growing a company with other people, and the importance of setting the structure for healthy teams at inception.

Growth workshops will be led by Victor Padilla-Taylor, Tsai CITY’s Director of Networks. Ready to join, or just curious about the program? Come to the first event on January 31 to get a taste of the series and sign up for the full workshop cohort!