A Complementary Cofounder Makes the Difference between Success and Failure

August 12, 2014

12:00 pm

One of the original cofounders of Tech Cocktail, Eric Olson – currently an associate at Origin Ventures – took the stage at the Tech Cocktail Week Startup Mixology Book Launch. A longtime friend of our CEO Frank Gruber, the two formed the initial idea for Tech Cocktail over a sandwich from Potbelly.

In 2006, he and Gruber started Tech Cocktail with the desire to bring people together while also amplifying the local startup scene in Chicago. The idea was on point, and the complementary skill sets of the two entrepreneurs were a major factor in their early success: Gruber was the Chicago native and Olson was new to the city.

Having a complementary skill set will help you push yourself, which is exactly the dynamic the two played off of. A mutual friend introduced them, foreseeing that they would get along well because of their skills, and they were able to secure great early traction with over 100 people at their first event ever.

Olson kept Tech Cocktail in his back pocket as he tooled around between Google, Buzzfeed, and FeedBurner, and he eventually landed permanently in Chicago. Making the decision to live on the venture side of life, and greatly relying on his personal experiences, Olson now helps startups in Chicago carve out their own space. Obviously, though, he and Gruber have remained fast friends since they met back in 2006.

Here’s the video:

Tech Cocktail Week is a monthly retreat and mini-conference in downtown Vegas for founders, media, and investors to meet, learn, and be inspired from each other and their surroundings. Learn more here.

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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