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Navigating Startup Success: Essential soft skills Startups


Technical expertise and hard skills go a long way toward success, but you need a little something extra in a dynamic and fast-paced startup environment. A unique set of soft skills, or as we like to call them (super) human skills, comes in handy. These intangible qualities can make all the difference between surviving and thriving. And the best part is they aren’t job of company-specific. You carry and use human skills in every aspect of life. In this blog post, I’ll explore some essential human skills that startup founders are looking for and tell you how to develop them, so you can find and land a life-changing role at a startup. 

Intellectual Curiosity:

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it saved the startup! You may also hear this referred to as being a continuous learner, curiosity-driven or having an inquisitive mind. This human skill drives exploration and innovation. Founders and employees who often ask, “What would happen if I do this?” are able to create new ideas, technologies and ways of doing things that uncover opportunities, push the boundaries of what’s possible and disrupt industries.

How to develop Intellectual Curiosity:

Cultivate a mindset of lifelong learning and remain open to new experiences and perspectives. Ask questions, seek out diverse viewpoints and challenge your assumptions to fuel your curiosity.


Startups are known for their ever-changing nature, with shifting priorities, market trends, and unexpected challenges. Adapting quickly and pivoting when necessary is a must if you’re looking to excel in this environment.

How to develop Adaptability:

Actively seek out opportunities to step outside your comfort zone and tackle unfamiliar challenges. Shift your thinking to look at failure as a learning opportunity and change as a chance for growth.


Disrupting an industry is hard, and failure is a common experience in the startup world, but it’s how individuals bounce back from setbacks that truly matters. Founders have to be resilient to persevere through tough times, learn from failures, and emerge stronger and more determined than ever.

How to develop  Resilience:

Practice self-care and prioritize your mental and emotional well-being. Cultivate a growth mindset that views setbacks as temporary obstacles rather than insurmountable barriers.

Honing these essential soft skills for startups is an excellent way to position yourself for success. Whether launching a new venture or joining an existing startup, mastering these skills will increase your chances of making a meaningful impact and achieving your goals.

To stay in the know about the latest opportunities to join a 43North portfolio company or a startup in Buffalo’s ecosystem, join the 43North Compass Talent Network and check out our job board. If you’d like to learn more about how to succeed in the startup world and stay updated on the latest trends and insights, stay tuned to our blog and subscribe to our email newsletter.

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