About
Michael
Costuros.

I believe that startup founders will play a critical role in solving the existential threats that humanity is facing. My role in creating a better future is to prevent three of the most common reasons well funded startups with traction fail. Immature leadership, poor communication skills, and unhealthy egos.

I do this by providing highly personalized “on the job” coaching in the areas of leadership, communication, and self awareness. There is no better opportunity to learn these skills than when the stakes are high and the clock is ticking.

My professional background

After 6 years as an investor-backed startup founder and 9 years working as an executive coach, I am able to see a clear path through the most complicated problems. 

resolve business-threatening partner dynamics and develop my clients inherent leadership skills.

The Thriving Partners firm is the next chapter of my life’s work. The firm focuses on the lynchpin problems founders face, enabling me to develop my thought leadership, new tools, and collaborate with other experts in the field. Over time, I will be adding additional coaches to the team, and together, we will share the best practices in our books, blog posts, and on our YouTube channel. Our legacy will be measured in the amount of our clients who become recognized as great leaders.

What sets me apart from other coaches?

I began coaching in 2010 after leading my startup. Since then, I have been helping founders solve the most gut-wrenching issues they face as their company growth rockets toward the next round of funding: co-founder conflicts, forced resignations, attempted coups, showdowns with the board. You name it, and I have guided my founders through to the best possible outcomes as I teach them the tools I use to work through the process.

   + I co-founded a tech startup called liveBooks.com. During the 6 years that I was on the exec team, we ramped up to 60 employees across 3 locations and earned the position of industry-leading brand. My co-founders and I faced every kind of business-threatening challenge you can imagine, including the 2008 finacial crisis that cost us our Series-A round of funding. Today, 14 years after I founded it, liveBooks.com is still thriving under new ownership.

   + Since 2010, I have worked with more than 150 startups and 300 clients, clocking more than 8,000 hours of 1-1 coaching time. Many of my clients are considered top founders and CEOs, as judged by 30 under 30, YC, and other sources. I am proud to have over 40 authentic recommendations on my LinkedIn profile. My former client network is a priceless resource pool that my new clients benefit from immediately.

I have taken the opportunity to coach partners at VC firms. Understanding both the investor/board side, as well as the founder side, enables me to understand and resolve conflicts between them quickly.

   + Until I launched Thriving Founders, I was a founding partner at Neuberg, Gore & Associates. NGA is one of the most respected exec coaching firms in San Francisco. The collective experience of my network of coaches gives me direct access to the best practices in any area of business.

I am certified in the Saturn Leadership Index, which is an extraordinary 360 instrument developed specifically for the venture backed startup executive, as well as their CUBE communication model.

   + I have more than 2,500 hours of coaching related training, including NLP psychology, conflict mediation, empathic leadership, whole person culture, non-violent communication, and the California Leadership executive coaching program.

   + I am a pioneer in the use of psychedelics as a functional medicine that greatly accelerates personal growth, emotional intelligence, and professional maturity. Through my company Entrepreneurs Awakening, I have led more than 100 entrepreneurs to Peru for a life-changing experience with a traditional psychedelic from the Amazon called ayahuasca. If you are curious about this work, check out the Entrepreneurs Awakening podcast on iTunes.

In addition to drawing upon my vast experience, I learn something new with every coaching session. It’s my continued growth as a coach and passion for my work that makes me confident that I will make a truly life-changing difference for you, both professionally and personally.

If you are a founder who aspires to realize their full potential as a leader, avoid the many startup pitfalls, live an extraordinary life, and leave the world better than you found it, then let’s talk! Book your free consultation here.

Mission.

We are inspired to help solve the greatest existential threats facing life on Earth. From climate change to geopolitical bullshit, to an asteroid impact, there is no shortage of opportunity!

We believe that venture-backed entrepreneurs are in an extraordinarily potent position to solve some of the toughest problems facing humanity.

We believe that the startup community is suffering not from a lack of great ideas but rather from a lack of great leadership and relationship skills. These are the problem we solve.

Thriving Founders is dedicated to the rapid professional, emotional, and spiritual development of startup leaders who want to play their part in creating a global culture that is sustainable, thriving, and just for all.