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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.

*All conversations happen with the full founding team present.

Schedule an Initial Team Consult

To get started, schedule a complimentary intake session for your team where we will:

  • Goals: How long have you been working together? What does success looks like for you and your team? Which of these essential conversations have you had?

  • Sample Exercise: Discuss the Working Style Quiz to understand how well you know your founding team (please complete in advance)

  • Action Plan: Overview of Confidante services and recommended course of action for your team.


If you're not there yet, start by scheduling a quick 1:1 chat to learn more.

Partnership Agreement Topics which include Working Relationship Resume, Founder Motivations, and Personal Values & Priorities in the "Past: Self Awareness" section; Contingency Planing, Roles and Responsibilities, and Team Culture and Values in the "Future: Visioning" section; and Shared Decision Making, Performance and Feedback, and Compensation and Equity in the "Present: Ways of Working" section.

Partnership Agreement Program

When: 6-9 conversations over 3 months

Who: 2-4 person founding teams immediately after first check.

What: Structured exercises and facilitated team sessions across the "9 Essential Conversations" 

Why: Build trust and commitment among your founding team, create clarity in what and how you're building together.

Relationship Check Ups

When: 1-2x per month, ongoing

Who: 2-4 person founding teams (any stage)

What: Dedicated time to check in specifically on the founding team relationship, any open concerns, frustrations, or other needs as the company ​grows.

Why: Facilitated by third-party startup team relationship expert who shares best communication practices and makes real-time observations.

Sample Agenda for a Relationship Check In - includes (1) a brief overview of last session and discussion of each co-founder's Founder Pulse Check, (2) Discussion of areas of frustration or tension that have not yet been discussed, and (3) Summary of commitments and how we will bring these learnings into the next few weeks of work.

Conflict Management

When: Min. 3 sessions

Who: Teams experiencing an active disagreement (e.g., titles, geography)

What: Custom activities and communication practices to reach a path forward.

Why: Outside support in reaching agreement and building a process for strong ongoing communication.

Co-Founder Search

When:  Min. of 3 sessions

Who: Solo founder seeking partner (co-founder or executive) to join team

What: Series of 1:1 sessions with structured reflection activities

Why: Accountability in conducting an intentional search and ensuring you are founding with the right partner.

Co-Founder Search Program Overview, which includes (1) Founder Profile Development, (2) Co-Founder Criteria Definitions, and (3) Partnership Pilot and Agreement.


How well you know your co-founder? Take a Working Style Quiz to find out.


Confidante utilizes relationship therapy literature and research to design programs that are effective and proactive for startup teams. Our experts help startup teams navigate interpersonal relationships and conflicts that arise when building a company, increasing the likelihood that founding teams are able to stay with the company as it grows.​


Confidante was founded in 2019 out of Stanford Graduate School of Business by Annie Garofalo, and now partners with leading investors and accelerators to prevent co-founder conflict from negatively impacting companies. 

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