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How to build a strong team

Teams are one of the essential factors in transforming your idea into a real business. In fact, not having the right team is one of the significant reasons why start-ups fail. Luckily, forming a team is one of the fun parts when starting a new venture. As part of an intrapreneurial team, you get the chance to meet new people, show off your existing skills, and develop new ones. As a team founder, you have the opportunity to pick your team thoroughly!

Although the selection criteria for the 0-1 Challenge Application does not include your team structure, it will play a role at Pitch Day for you to proceed into Program Live. 

The most important factors of creating a strong team are complementary skill sets, alignment on team mission and values, and shared passion for solving problems.

Step 1: Self-reflection and skills accounting

The first step for team design in any situation is knowing your skills and truly understanding what you can contribute. This can include both hard and soft skills that you love, dislike, or those you want to develop. Also, think of your knowledge, experience, and network.

For example, if you are in business development, you probably have a lot of soft skills in relationship building and technical expertise in business research and analysis. But you could also be naturally good at planning or finance.

A great tool to help you list your skills is the quadrant below, which includes four areas: incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius. With all of these combined, it will show a clear picture of the value you can bring as a teammate, and who you might want to be as a teammate.

  • Incompetence: Areas you don’t like and are not good at. 
  • Competence: Things you are average at or something you can do, but it doesn’t excite you. 
  • Excellence: Skills you have been told you are good at but don’t necessarily love. 
  • Genius: Your innate abilities and skills you’ve cultivated over time. It is also the skills that come easy to you, but it isn’t easy for others.

Now that you have gone through the four sections of the quadrant, go ahead and write down your incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius, then map it out in each quadrant! Remember to include not only tasks and skills you can do in your role but also other things you might be naturally good at or excel at in your hobbies. By completing this quadrant, you will better understand the hard and soft skills you have and the traits you might look for in a teammate. 


Step 2: Create a list of what you will need in your future teammates

Now that you know what you have to offer, and what you might need from your team, let’s go through two scenarios to help you form a team. The first will be creating a team, and the second will be finding a team.

  1. Create a team

If you are participating in the 0-1 challenge and want to apply with the idea that you have but need a team, you should start by thinking about the team members you would like to work with. Do this by starting with your skills, and matching the skills needed for your idea, and the skills that are missing are what you should search for while building your team. For example, if you have an idea about waste collection and recycling, and your skills are in marketing, you might have a skills gap in city planning or logistics.

In the application, once you have entered your team name and a brief description of your idea, you can select skills areas for your team so people can find you by idea, location, or skill set. You can use this criterion to build your team for a final application or before Pitch Day if you are selected.

  1. Find a team

One of the best parts about the 0-1 Challenge is that you do not need to have an idea to apply! You can participate by joining a team that already has their idea nearly complete. 

Once you have done your self-assessment of skills and you know what you have to offer and things you are not good at, you can search for teams that have already started their application based on the skill sets that you can bring!

This part of the process is very exciting because you are not only joining a team based on skills but also on the shared passion and idea! Many of the people who registered for the 0-1challenge last year did so without an idea! As the application deadline approaches, more and more people will be looking for more teammates, so you can find something that you are really excited and passionate about!


Step 3: Continue to build your team

It is important to remember that building a team is not a one-step process; it is a continuous process and continues long after the team is assembled. Team building is just as much about finding skills that complement yours as it is about learning and growing!

If your team is selected to participate in Program Live, part of the onboarding process will include a lot of team building activities. However, it doesn’t have to start there! Once your team is selected, we recommend that you connect with your team as often as possible during the application phase. If you don’t know each other very well, try scheduling a coffee chat or creating a group on Microsoft Teams to share progress and inspiration.

Building your team can be intimidating, but it may be comforting to know that many of your colleagues are feeling the same way! We encourage you to start building your team on the Bridge as early as possible because finding the right teammates can be an exciting process!