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Pie chart indicating 65 percent

of startups fail

due to

co-founder conflict

Source: Noam Wasserman, The Founder's Dilemma

How We Work With Founding Teams

We structure and facilitate essential conversations so your team can focus

on the hundreds of other tasks needed to build a startup.

“Confidante has been a critical resource in creating an even more solid foundational relationship between me and my co-founder - improving our communication with each other on difficult topics and conflict, bringing us closer and increasing empathy and understanding toward each other. We would not have gotten there without your unbiased support and 3rd party perspective that gave us tools to talk about it.”

+ Climate Technology Company (Seed Stage, Venture-Backed )


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Meet Annie Garofalo
Founder & CEO of Confidante

Annie Garofalo founded Confidante to pioneer a unique, research-based approach to mitigate co-founder conflicts—a critical risk for startups. Annie had an early glimpse into the significance of co-founder dynamics when she co-founded her first company with a close childhood friend. This pivotal experience fueled her to delve deeper into the research.


At Stanford, she fused entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and relationship therapy through their joint MBA and Sociology MA program. Annie's decade-plus of professional experience weaves together roles as a former founder, investor, C-suite executive, team coach, and growth strategy consultant. She’s now dedicated her career to prevent ruinous co-founder conflict by supporting teams, sharing her findings, and capturing stories of founding teams via her podcast and newsletter.

Photo of Annie Garofalo, Founder of Confidante
  • Do my co-founders and I need relationship support?
    The short answer is yes! Co-founder relationships, like any relationship, take time and care to build. Confidante specializes in team-based work to strengthen communication and protect the co-founder relationship before conflict arises. See how Confidante can help your team by scheduling a (free!) first team session today. ​Or if you still have questions, schedule a quick chat with us!
  • What is the right time to bring Confidante in to my team?
    At Confidante, we specialize in a proactive approach to consulting, which means we work best with teams as early stage as possible. Usually, this means after they have received their first check and have decided to commit to their venture full-time. This is when things "get real" and it's the perfect time to set up the norms for communication and messaging that will carry the team through the ups and downs of building a business. However, we understand that every team is different and also support individuals seeking co-founders as well as founding teams who are currently encountering challenges and conflict. We're always happy to discuss your specific needs and goals to determine the best time to bring us on board.
  • I'm not sure my co-founders would be open to this, what should I do?
    If you're hesitant to bring up the idea of working with a consultant to your co-founders, don't worry. It's completely natural to feel uncertain about how they might react. However, it's important to remember that bringing in a third party can be beneficial for everyone involved. If you're unsure of how to approach the topic with your co-founders, I encourage you to schedule a time for a quick chat with me. We can discuss your specific situation and come up with a plan for how to present the idea to your co-founders in a way that highlights the benefits and addresses any concerns they may have. Remember, communication is key when it comes to working with co-founders. Open and honest dialogue can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Research & Resources


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