Fall 2015 Week 5

October 9, 2015 at 11:20 am

This week at FF…

FF Beers at Benelux

An AWESOME Founder Talk with Fred Chanay of OMsignal, where we talked about the naivety involved in building a startup, the importance of investor relations, and what’s next for his company.
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‘Technical Roles’ with Greg Whiteside
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‘How to get the most out of your advisors’ with Atlee Clark
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A visit to Frank & Oak‘s brand new flagship store
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…And a Lunch n’ Learn with Richter. We also wrote about Everything You Need to Know for Startup Open House and Alumni updates on Now In Store.

See you next week!
The FounderFuel Crew

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Alumni Updates: Now In Store.

October 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

We sat down with Charles Brun, CEO of Now In Store., to discuss the startup’s progress since graduating from FounderFuel in the summer of 2013.

now in store logo
NowInStore allows e-commerce brands to automatically generate marketing materials such as catalogues, flyers, lookbooks, line sheets and more. Its mission is to help brands extract product information, data and assets, and to quickly create those marketing materials to share online, in print, or both.

NowInStore has just launched an integration with Magento, the open-source content management system for e-commerce sites. You can check out how to automatically create catalogs with NowInStore and Magento here.

The team currently consists of four, with Charles in New York City and the remaining teammates in Montreal. They’re looking to expand the team by adding a part-time content creator. Applicants can be remote and should be excited to write awesome blog posts and manage all social media.

Up next for NowInStore will be to expand integrations across the board and to develop features to target larger customers. Let us know at if you’d like to take part!


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Everything You Need to Know about Startup Open House

October 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

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Startup Open House is the one day a year when startups from all across Canada open their doors to welcome students, entrepreneurs, professionals, non-profits and fortune 500 companies. If you work at or with a startup, or if you are hoping to in the future, this is an event you cannot miss!

Thousands of innovators and technology enthusiasts from across the country visit hundreds of offices in their respective cities, where they find a different experience at each location. Highlights from Montreal’s 2014 Startup Open House include Shopify’s oyster bar and champagne event, Crew’s in-house barista, Breather’s wine and cheese and Wajam’s ping-pong and pool tournament.

The third annual event now includes more locations; Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City, the Waterloo Region and even London, UK, (!) will all be taking part. The event will take place on three separate days: on October 29th in MTL, TO and Vancouver, on November 5th in QC and Waterloo and in the Spring of 2016 in London. If you’d like to bring your city on board in the future, fill out this form!

Another new addition to this years event is themed tours. If you’re interested in food related startups, for example, there will be a tour guide to join on your trip across the city. In the upcoming weeks look out for more information on these tours as well as after-party locations on Startup Open House’s Twitter page.

This event is completely free and you can sign up to be notified once tickets open here. To tweet about your experience on the day of, tag @suopenhouse and include the hashtag #soh2014!

Crew's in-house Barista

Crew’s in-house Barista

Wajam's pool tournament

Wajam’s pool tournament

If you’re in Montreal, here’s who you could be visiting:
CertiMail ?
Cook It
Erudite Science
Frank & Oak
Fresh Mint
Herd Wisdom
Hexa Foods
Imagine 360
Notman House
Transit App
Vain Pursuits
YP Dine

See you there!

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Fall 2015 Week 4

October 2, 2015 at 11:52 am

This week at FounderFuel…

Our first panel review of the program, where the Real Ventures team, alumni and half of our mentors sit in on rotating panels to give each team feedback on their most recent pitch. If you’re a mentor and weren’t at the first panel review, you will be notified of the next one! Here’s what was overheard…
“If you don’t win, then fucking go home.”
“People were too unenthused to even clap a little for you.”
“There is no vision in your pitch, no idea of where you’re going.”
“What has ACTUALLY happened to this business in the last 4 weeks?”
“Make me want to me interested in your product. Right now I’m not.”
“Your company is coming off like a glorified business competition idea.”
“This pitch isn’t to sell your product to developers, it’s to sell it to investors.”
“That pitch clearly showed me that you have no true confidence or belief in what you’re building.”
…safe to say it was constructive!

A visit to YPO to pitch to and hear from different experts in their respective fields…
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An EY sponsored CEO dinner at Suwu (thanks EY!) …
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Our second dinner, where we caught up on everyones progress, challenges and goals thus far…
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Ian Jeffrey (VP Product Marketing, Passwordbox) gave a talk on growth…
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A visit from Amazon Web Services
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As well as a back office workshop with Rustin Smith and a workshop on ‘How to Kill it at FounderFuel’ given by the Spotful team. (FF S14)

Finally, our second monthly newsletter was released! You can view the online version here, or subscribe to receive the next addition on our site.

4 weeks down, 8 to go!

The FounderFuel Crew

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Alumni Updates: Mosaic Manufacturing

September 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm

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Mosaic Manufacturing (FF S2015) is designing the future of desktop 3D printing. They have developed The Palette to turn any 3D printer into a multi-colour, multi-material machine.

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After a super successful Kickstarter campaign during their time at FounderFuel, they’ve grown up and moved out of Notman!

Now a team of nine located in Toronto, they’re currently in the process of raising a seed round, of finishing up on product development and are working on partnership contracts for their OEM (original equipment manufacturer) module.

They’re looking to add two more to the Mosaic family. If you’re interested in taking on their integration project full time, reach out to and we would be happy to connect you.

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And of course, you can pre order your Palette here. 😉

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Alors, et après (et avant)?

September 28, 2015 at 11:14 am

[À la lumière du plus récent billet de LP Maurice sur le ‘Big Bang in the Montreal Start-Up Ecosystem‘, voici ce qu’en pense Sylvain Carle, directeur général de FounderFuel. Ce billet fut publié ici initialement.]

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La prochaine étape pour l’écosystème des startups de Montréal? Avant de regarder devant, faut regarder derrière.

Note de l’auteur: je vous partage ici ma petite vision avec ma petite lentille. J’ai vraiment besoin de votre aide pour en faire une vraie belle fresque. N’hésitez pas à ajouter vos commentaire et critiques, le devoir de mémoire est un bien commun.

Une année complète après mon retour, je me pose la question, mais surtout parce que je veux vous partager ma réflexion. Pas que j’ai reçu la science infuse, ou que je prétende à une illumination quelconque. Mais j’ai un poste d’observation privilégié sur ce qui se passe à Montréal (et ailleurs au Canada) alors je vais tenter de vous partager mes intuitions (que j’estime bien informées).

Pour prédire le futur, je vais prendre quelques pas de recul, je vais vous expliquer comment je simplifie ma perspective du passé pour planifier ce qu’on doit faire aujourd’hui, et surtout demain. Dans ma tête, je divise le passé en cinq époques chronologiquement inégales. Plus c’est loin et plus c’est long/flou, alors soyez un peu patient avec moi si possible.

L’ère du carré qui clignote
Première époque: l’ère pré-cambrienne, de la carte à puce aux mainframes. C’est l’ère de mon père qui travaille chez Québec Téléphone et chez Téléglobe. Des années soixantes à la fin des années quatre-vingt. Écrans noir et caractères verts, blanc ou ambrés. C’est l’époque des dinosaures. Au Québec et au Canada, on est à la remorque de ce qui se fait de mieux ailleurs. Pas d’informatique à l’université. Pour apprendre on va suivre un cours à New York ou Chicago, probablement donné par IBM. Naissance tardive des grandes compagnies des services: Cognicase, CGI. Pour en savoir plus: histoire de l’informatique au Québec (projet de recherche).

Images et Language
Seconde époque: le boom des années quatre-vingt dix. C’est l’époque ou l’ADN numérique de Montréal et du Québec va s’établir. Les grands pôles: l’informatique graphique (Softimage et autres), les langues (traductions, internationalisation, projet phare: Alis Technologies) et le multimédia et les jeux vidéos (pour le meilleur et pour le pire). Beaucoup de pionniers vont se tailler une place pour ensuite disparaître dans leurs propres projets (ou leur chalet en estrie). Exception notable, le porteurs de la première vague multimédia qui sont toujours très actifs aujourd’hui, à leur manière (Alexandre Taillefer, Louise Guay, Marc Beaudet, Carl-Frédéric De Celles, Philippe Leroux, Yves Williams). C’est l’ère du début d’internet et de la cité du multimédia (soupirs). C’est aussi le début de la dynastie Ubisoft.

Hiver Numérique (on connaît ça)
Troisième époque: l’ère de glace du début des années 2000. Après la frénésie du bug de l’an 200o (qui sait au juste si c’était juste), la première moitié du nouveau milénaire est des plus tranquilles. Après l’éclatement de la bulle internet aux États-Unis, qui va vraiment se lancer? Dans l’hiver nucléaire du début du vingt-et-unième siècle, dans les bunkers post apocalypse (now) les lumières des modems clignotent, les serveurs s’ajoutent dans les “racks” et le Québec numérique du jour se jase de tout et de rien surÀ l’ère post-multimédia, le Québec numérique se dessine un http:// à la fois, un fichier .swf par un (aussi pénible et rentable soit-il), un blogue, un billet, une rencontre yulblog à la fois. Parce que tout est perdu, tout est possible. Et probable. Alors pourquoi pas?

Le printemps qui n’a pas eu besoin d’hirondelle
L’époque quaternaire débute pour moi quelque part en 2006. Ailleurs dans le monde émerge ce qui va devenir le Web 2.0. Mais aussi le mouvement des “camps”, de FooCamp à BarCamp, ces inconférences, cette idée que la vraie conversation elle se passe toujours dans le corridor, pas sur la scène. Combiné avec l’émergence de l’open source (ahem, des logiciels et des standards libres), c’est l’espoir d’un nouveau possible. Facile à importer par internet ou à passer à la frontière (dans sa tête), le virus de la renaissance web prends racine et se développe au Québec. C’est aussi le résurgence de startups internet financées par du nouveau (ou pas si) capital de risque Canadien. En 2006–2007, plusieurs compagnies internet (Akoha, Standout Jobs, Praized) vont recevoir des investissement majeurs (1M+) accompagnées par des entrepreneurs qui “bootstrappent” des succès (ou non) à venir, Defensio (Websense),,, Kakiloc… ÇaBarCamp et DémoCamp à Montréal. Ça cowork (Station C), ça blogue encore, ça wiki, ça RSS et ça Ile Sans Fil (et ça Zap à Québec).

La nouvelle vague
Entre 2010 et 2015 il s’est passé quelque chose. C’est peut être à cause de l’internet dans l’air, l’arrivée des Y sur la marché du travail (ou de la génération C, selon les appelations), de la mondialisation/globalisation, du printemps érable ou de Reddit (ou des deux en même temps). Mais quoi qu’il en soit, un point de bascule a été franchi. Une certaine maturité. Une identité propre. Un désir d’être soi même, peut-être inspiré de la scène musicale indépendante (c’est une de mes thèses fétiche). Une affirmation, une projection, une appropriation. C’est la naissance du Festival International de Startups. C’est Lightspeed, BusBud, Breather, App Direct. C’est Frimas, A2M qui (re)devient Behaviour, c’est la croissance tranquille et c’est la croissance effrenée. C’est Shopify en bourse. C’est RIM/Blackberry qui explose (et qui composte, c’est bien). C’est Notman, c’est La Gare, c’est Ecto, c’est l’Esplanade, c’est le Hub à Québec. C’est FounderFuel, ÉcoFuel, D3, X1, Le Camp, Helios, ÉchoFab, SAT. C’est Wearables, Hardware, Brain et Bio Hacking. C’est plus de 100 rencontres à chaque mois dans l’écosystème, juste à Montréal. C’est fucking en feu.

Non mais vraiment, c’est quoi la suite?
Après tant de mots, je dois m’avouer vaincu et vous dire que ça sera pour le prochain billet. Mais je sais ce que je vais écrire. C’est plutôt une question de temps que d’idées. On vient de faire 50 ans ensemble, vous pouvez bien attendre quelques jours pour ma prédiction de la prochaine décénnie, non?

– Sylvain Carle

Fall 2015 Week 3

September 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Our highlight of the week is Mentor Day! The teams pitched to a roomful of our mentors, then discussed their startup during roundtable discussions.

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Thank you to all of our mentors for taking the time and putting in the effort to be the incredible resource that you are. It goes without saying that the program would not be the same without your presence, guidance and industry insight. Scroll down for a few photos of the day, or check out the full album on our Facebook Page next week.

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Another big thanks to Carl Mercier who flew in this week to host Fall 2015’s first Founder Talk. VarageSale came to be when Tami Zuckerman (Carl’s wife) was pregnant, nauseous and in bed, trying to sell things in their home to make room for their baby. She was posting ads on Facebook but found the experience to be a poor one. She asked Carl to build a site, and the rest is history. Carl chatted to the teams about the importance of raising before you need to raise, how critical your first few hires will be and the need to define your values early on.

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Behind-the-scenes at FounderFuel this week was our joint team day with Real Ventures. We went Go-Karting, beer brewing and had a BBQ competition (Emma won…).

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Alumni Updates: Flatbook

September 23, 2015 at 11:41 am

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Flatbook (FF F14) brings together the authenticity of staying at an Airbnb with the dependability of staying in a hotel.

With Flatbook you’re able to rent out your home without having to deal with the rental process; bookings, storage, decoration and clean-up are all taken care of. For those who wish to sublet out their apartment for over two months, Flatbook pays your rent upfront and fills your home in weeklong increments at a markup. So long as your space meets the minimum quality threshold, subletting through Flatbook is a no-brainer.

In 17 months, the team has grown from 2 in Montreal to 100 in over 30 cities across the world. Armed with a brand new site and logo, the team is looking to expand. They’re hiring for a ton of positions, including but not limited to:
City Managers (Toronto, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington)
Director of Operations
Director of Growth
Senior Developer
Interior Designer
Virtual Concierge
Leasing Agent Property Manager
Hospitality Agent
Business Developer
…and more!

If you’d like to rent out your home, stay in someone else’s or apply to work at Flatbook, check them out today.

And if you’re interested in staying in a Flatbook home, here’s a sneak peak of where you could be:

A Flatbook in London


A Flatbook in Boston


A flatbook in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

– Ella
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Startup Basecamp’s New SF Location

September 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm

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Are you a Canadian founder moving to San Francisco?  Do you need a place to stay and work that doesn’t break the bank?

Check out Startup Basecamp’s new location! They provide flexible accommodation, office space and a community of like minded people in a central location.

Perks include but are not limited to: wifi, a bed, a desk, fresh coffee, cleaning staff, in-house events and more.

Read on about your future house, office and network.


Week 2 Talks

September 21, 2015 at 11:13 am

Last week we were visited by Jean-Nicolas Delage from Fasken Martineau and Matt Harrison from BDO. Jean-Nicolas discussed how to create value while avoiding disruption, and Matt spoke about crowdfunding, SR&ED, cross-border tax and more. 

Find their slides below and enjoy! Let us know at if you have any questions or would like to get in touch with Jean-Nicolas or Matt.


– The FounderFuel Crew 

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Think your team has what it takes?