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Day 14: Scaling Your Startup

September 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

This morning, the #FFMob was lucky enough to have the wonderful leadership team of BusBud join them in Notman House. Having recently expanded several times themselves, Busbud was the perfect team to give our cohort a talk of tips for scaling their startup teams. While sharing war stories from the early days, the panel gave tips for founders and early employees on expansion and defining company culture. Here are some of the best tips shared with the #FFMob today:

  • Write your company culture down in stone and post it all around your employees.

  • Keep your values in check, adjust when they no longer match up.

  • Maintain a current culture – things that were true a few months ago when you were five, or ten, or twenty, might no longer be the right fit.

  • Take 30 mins a week with each person on the team to build a relationship with everybody.

  • Understand the demeanor and habits of your employees, and realize when something is off. Make an effort to solve this, or it will continue to grow down the line.

  • If somebody is always going against the grain, then that’s not beneficial for the company or the culture.

  • Referrals are the best way to hire new people that align with your culture.

  • Always be collecting potential candidates.

One of the main sentiments that was reiterated by the entire panel was that whatever you’re doing now, will influence your culture one, or two, or three years down the line. So, take these tips into consideration and try to create a culture that will withstand expansion and time!

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Day 12: Age is but a number in startupland

September 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Do today’s tech founders have you feeling like 20 is the new 30? Read any tech journal, and you might be convinced that the only time you can make it in Silicon Valley is when you’re starting up out of a dorm room. The notion persists, and even grows, that if you haven’t “made it” by 30 in the Valley, then your career is done. And what a silly notion that is!

Heads began to turn last February when Brian Acton (age 42) sold WhatsApp for $19B, and many were confused how this could be achieved at such a late age. While Brian was thought of as an anomaly, research actually shows that the average peak of innovation is 40.

Still not convinced? Earlier this summer TechCrunch produced 40 People Who Are Living Proof You Can Make It In Silicon Valley After 40. Check it out and you’ll see the Mark Zuckerbergs of the Valley are the true exceptions.

Feeling inspired by these stellar 40? Consider applying to the FounderFuel Spring 2015 cohort! Applications are open now, so why wait another minute?

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Day 10: It’s that time of year again!

September 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

It seems like applications just closed for our Fall 2014 Cohort but the program is already in full swing and it’s time to open up our Spring 2015 applications! We’re searching far and wide for the strongest startups across the globe to join us here in Montreal.

FounderFuel is not for the faint of heart. Think you’ve got what it takes? Are you ready to be challenged to the max, questioned, inspired, pushed, and challenged again? Can you handle working harder and longer hours than ever before? Is your team ready to refine your business, get traction, learn how to raise your seed round and fuel your growth? Most importantly, are you ready to hustle?

 If you answered yes to these questions, then FounderFuel might just be the place for you. Praised by many, and a game changer for all those involved, FounderFuel will help you grow in incredible ways. Do we have your interest yet? Want to know more? Check out this video from the last cohort and see what they had to say about their experience here at FounderFuel! 

Ready for some numbers? Here are more details about what the application process and program entails:

Criteria:

- be a team of two or more: no single founders 
- have at least one technical co-founder 
- work full-time on the business 
- be in Montreal for the full 12 weeks of the program

Timeline:

- Sept 15th – Applications open
- November 29th – Applications close
- February 9th – Program starts
- May 7th – Demo Day

Here’s what you’ve got to lose by not applying:

- $50K – $100K for 6%-9% equity on Day 1 of the program
- $150K in convertible debt for “Venture Ready” companies at Demo Day  
- $150K of exclusive discounts on services you probably already use
- 3 months of free office space in the Valley for select companies
- 120 startup veteran Mentors: Serial Entrepreneurs, Investors and Senior Execs
- 800 people at Demo Day, the largest event of its kind in North America
- Read more of what our Alumni have to say here.

 Ready to take the plunge? Show us what you’ve got and apply today!

Day 9: Mentor Day

September 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Yesterday was Mentor Day. Our full-day event where we bring in Mentors from across North America to give our teams feedback on their companies and progress. It’s a crucial day that exposes our teams to our vast Mentor network and helps them form relationships with people who will play a key role in the growth of their company. 

It was a very successful day and our companies took away several key learnings that they can apply as they grow.

Check out some of the pictures from the 5 à 7 at the end of the day. 

Day 7: Get ready to party tomorrow!

September 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm

The FounderFuel Fall 2014 Cohort has just kicked off and tomorrow night we’ll be giving our teams a proper welcoming to the Montreal Startup Community! Come join us tomorrow night for a drink at Apt. 200 to mingle with your peers and the new #FFMob. For those that have tickets, the fun begins at 9PM. Make sure you don’t forget these precious pieces of paper at home because you will not be let in without a ticket! Not to worry if you weren’t one of the lucky few that snagged a ticket to the event of the season – doors open to the public at 11PM and all are welcome then.

FounderFuel célèbre la rentrée demain soir et invite toute la communauté montréalaise à son party automnal. Vous êtes tous invités à faire la fête et prendre un verre (ou deux, ou trois) à l’Apt. 200 avec nous. Les portes vont ouvrir au public à 23h, soyez certains d’avoir vos billets afin de pouvoir vous joindre à nous dès 21h. Dire qu’on est très excités serait un euphémisme… #OnNeSePeutPlus

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Day 5: Montreal by Bike

September 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Getting Week 2 off to a rolling start, FounderFuel tackled Monday morning by touring Montreal on bike with the Plateau’s very own Fitz & Follwell. To help show some new and old Montrealers around the local scene, a group of 15 from the #FFMob took a tour through the Upper Plateau, Mile End, and Outremont. While the first signs of Fall appeared with a chilly start to the day (hurrah!), we were soon warmed up with some hot September sun by the end of the tour.

We managed to avoid any accidents while braving busy Montreal streets like St. Laurent, and were even able to have some rolling conversations as the gang to got to know each other better. The trip would not have been complete without a stop at St. Viateur for their famous bagels, and a quick march through the Jean-Talon Market.

Check out the photos below to see today’s adventures and be sure to come out to our sold out Season Opener to meet the whole #FFMob on Thursday night! If you were unlucky and missed the chance to get a ticket, then doors open to the public at 11PM. See you all there!

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Day 4: FREE Toolkit for Startups

September 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Here’s an old post but a useful one! All startups need free tools to help them scale.

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As a startup, it’s often difficult to pay for services that help you prosper and grow as a company. With limited funds, a company can’t afford to hire a full-time employee to run their back-office or to act as their project manager. Because of this, there has been a growth in companies that offer special deals or completely free services to startups. 

Fast Company put together a pretty solid list entitled the “(Nearly) Complete Online Toolkit for Startups“.

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They break the toolkit down into multiple categories including: General, Project Management, Marketing and Social Media Tools and list out a total of 18 tools that are almost all free to use. 

Any great (free) tool that they forgot to include in their list? We’ll create our very own #FFMob list! 

Le travail commence!

September 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Mardi dernier, nous avons lancé la saison d’automne de FounderFuel à la maison Notman. Les 8 compagnies sélectionnées, sur un total de 350 qui ont appliquées au programme, ont eu droit à une journée bien remplie et à une première séance de mentorat pour leur présentation d’entreprise.

En soirée, un 5 à 7 au Bénélux a été l’occasion de se détendre un peu et de rencontrer d’autres membres de la communauté des startups de Montréal. Le vrai travail commence maintenant! Suivez toute l’action ici sur notre blogue, notre page Facebook ou notre fil Twitter.

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Day 3: Learning to Pitch – Part 1

September 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Today, on Day 3 of the program, the teams sat through 2 sessions on how craft and deliver the perfect pitch. This is the beginning of a 3 month journey that will put the teams through rigorous exercises that will result in them delivering the quality of pitch that FounderFuel is known for. 

The sessions the teams took part in today were put on by John Stokes from Real Ventures and Ian Jeffrey from Passwordbox. These talks are very similar to those given during FounderFuel’s cross-country PITCH IT tour. 

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 Here are some of the key take-aways from John’s talk:

“It’s not about winning, it’s about showing that you have a chance of winning”
“Create a sense of faith in you…or in your progress” 

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Here are some of the key take-aways from Ian’s talk:

“Pitch. Listen. Learn. Repeat”
“Write a script. Don’t freestyle”
“Show. Don’t Tell. Use pictures, graphs, visuals & video”

Next stop on their pitching journey…Austin Hill’s Pitch Workshop next week. 

Day 1: Fall 2014 Teams Touch Down at Notman House

September 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

Today marks the beginning of our Fall 2014 cohort, and we could not be more thrilled to have a full house again! Out of 350 applicants, only the top 8 are joining us in Notman House this fall. In typical FounderFuel fashion, all of the new companies will be pitching at our Show and Tell event to their fellow cohort participants, as well as the Real Ventures partners.

As the new companies get settled in on their first action-packed day, the pressure is on for this cohort to live up to the FounderFuel legacy! Follow all the action here on our blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

Fall 2014 Induction is under way!

Fall 2014 Induction is under way!

Think your team has what it takes?

Apply