Los Angeles Business Journal

Technology Hookups

Group arranges events for entrepreneurs to find co-founders. By Adam Popescu Monday, May 7, 2012

Cupcakes, a cozy setting and women.

No, it’s not your local Sprinkles. It’s Tech Cofounder Dating LA. It’s like a dating-oriented meet-up group, except it’s not for romance but for entrepreneurs seeking partners for their startups.

“Looking for a co-founder is like dating someone,” said the group’s founder, Aaron Abram, “We create a format where it’s easy to connect.”

After starting an online tutoring business and working in real estate, Abram, 33, wanted to branch out into the tech world but didn’t know anyone in the field.

He started the group for selfish reasons, he said, but realized the scope of the event was “far bigger than myself.”

One of the toughest challenges facing startups isn’t getting money, he said, it’s finding a co-founder – someone who can help with technology or raising money.

The get-togethers often feature guest speakers who coach on how to pitch to investors and business partners. Past event speakers have included Sam Teller, the managing director of the startup accelerator LaunchpadLA, and Aviv Grill, who got investments from an appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and founded Miso Media, a Venice music education software company.

More than half of the group’s attendees are female entrepreneurs, and all participants are guaranteed a chance to pitch themselves and their projects. Tickets cost $10, and include sweets and finger foods, with meet-ups held at the co-working office space Blankspaces on the Miracle Mile.

Narine Galstian, founder of online dating site Link4Love, said Abram’s format has made the male-dominated industry less intimidating.

“I don’t have a technical background,” said Galstian. “So Aaron’s group has been helpful in connecting me with developers, while educating me on opportunities for investments and incubators.”