Build a Highly Effective Team

Having the right team around you is crucial to the success of taking an idea forwards - it's better to have a Class A team with a Class B idea than the other way around. Spending time now building that tribe will be invaluable later down the line.

Who curated this Module

Anna Jordan

  • Head of Operations, CAR

  • Previously material science researcher

  • Start-up strategy analyst




Know your personality type

Knowing who you want to join your team means that you know what you bring to the table yourself. The Myers-Briggs personality test is great to give you insight to your own strengths and weaknesses.

Note down your strengths. Now your weaknesses - be aware of them as you move forwards.


Know what a good team looks like

What are the components of a great team?

Balanced perspectives, complementary skills, prior experience.. There are many combinations of people who can build a great team. Have a read of this article with a pen and paper on hand to think about who you have on board and who you might be missing...


Identify the roles you need filling

Having the right kind of people on the team is priority number one. A close second is having the right combination of skills on board.

A useful way to find these skills is to look at the key activities and key resources you have to deliver on your idea. These two lists happen to be part of a Business Model Canvas which we will look at later. There's a great explanation here.


Write down the key activities you will undertake to deliver on your idea and the key resources you need to do so (this means access to facilities, support and people). You need to balance what you need to do with what expertise you have on the team. Is there a huge gap? Another person on board could be the perfect solution!


Create the profiles of the people you need

Missing someone?

You know yourself, and you know the team you want to work with. Now who are you going to get to join you? Write down what kind of person that is and keep an open mind: never underestimate the importance of a great team!


Find the right person

Where can you find other entrepreneurs?

This isn't a problem that you need to fix immediately, but it's never too early to start thinking about where to find people. Sign up to cofounderslab and reach out to entrepreneurs looking for co-founders near you. ​This resource enables you to search both by location and skills required to start interviewing for the right person to join your team.

This is less relevant if you intend on licensing your idea.

This project was joint-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative based at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Cambridge. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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