Join us on Tuesday, December 2nd for Demo Day to see just how far the FounderFuel Fall 2014 batch grow after twelve weeks of gruelling hard work during which their businesses are refined, transformed and accelerated!
Come hang out with FounderFuel Founders and investors from Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Montreal, Toronto as well as the entire Montreal Startup Community at the Rialto Theatre. The grand finale will also reveal the Fall 2014 Cohort, and you won’t believe what they have in store for you! As we have done in the past, the “5 à 7” will be open to everyone to mingle with the entire #FFMob including the Fall 2014 Cohort, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Senior Executives. Be sure not to miss this chance to help accelerate your own startup and mingle with the sickest startup crew around!
Le mardi 2 décembre, joignez-vous à nous et à un groupe d’investisseurs de la Silicon Valley, de New York, de Boston, de Montréal et de Toronto. Assistez à la démonstration pour voir où en sont rendues les entreprises de FounderFuel après douze semaines de travail acharné.
En plus, nous révélerons les identités des compagnies de la session d’Automne 2014. Venez vous joindre au #FFMob compris des compagnies de la saison d’automne de FounderFuel, les Investisseurs, Entrepreneurs et Execs. Ne ratez pas la démonstration ni cette excellente occasion de réseautage!
While it seems like the cohort just began, the FounderFuel Fall 2014 “season finale” is just around the corner, and get ready for this – tickets go on sale tomorrow! Whether you’re a founder, a techy, a VC, an Angel, or you’re just looking to take part in an exciting event, this is your chance to discover unique investment opportunities and mingle with like-minded people. This is one of our strongest FounderFuel cohorts yet, and we can’t wait to introduce you to the gang. Be sure to check back tomorrow and buy your tickets right away because they’ll sell out faster than Beyoncé’s next tour.
Are you considering applying for FounderFuel’s Spring 2015 cohort? Concerned about your product/market fit? On Tuesday October 14th, we will be hosting a Product/Market Fit Panel at Notman House where you’ll have the chance to hear a panel of founders talk about their unique paths to customer success.
The 4 panelists from various stage startups will include:
- Francis Davidson – Flatbook – Fall 2014 Cohort
- Mikael Cho – Crew – Spring 2012 Cohort
- Danial Jameel – OOHLALA – Fall 2011 Cohort
- Sam Haffar – Chegg
Doors will open at 5pm for a networking session, and at 6pm Sylvain Carle will host a fireside chat with FounderFuel alumni Laurent Maisonnave, co-founder of Seevibes, about his experience in the program, and living/working in the Montreal startup community. At 6:30pm the panel will begin and we’ll discuss different challenges with achieving product/market fit, successes and roadblocks, and various perspectives from companies at varying stages of growth.
With the Spring 2015 applications just having opened, FounderFuel is actively seeking early stage companies who have developed a MVP, and can spend the program achieving product-market fit. Be sure to attend the event, and apply for the Spring 2015 Cohort if you think this applies to you!
Wish you could attend a FounderFuel talk like those we’re always blogging about? Well, your lucky day might be right around the corner! While recruitment for our Spring 2015 cohort gets underway, FounderFuel is going to be hosting a series of panels, workshops, office hours, and networking events throughout Canada for the entire startup community. We’ll be bringing together potential FounderFuel applicants and early stage companies in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo, Quebec City, and Vancouver. The first of these will be a Product-Market Fit panel on Tuesday, October 14th – come back tomorrow for another blog post with more details on this!
Tuesday’s office hours with Sylvain in Quebec City filled up in a few hours, so stay tuned for updates and don’t miss out on the chance to attend other office hours across Canada. Whether you are interested in applying to the FounderFuel Spring 2015 cohort, or just looking to network within your startup community, be sure to take advantage of these opportunities to mingle with the #FFMob and listen to what our alumni and mentors have to say!
Avez-vous un startup à Québec? Interessé par FounderFuel? Venez discuter avec Sylvain Carle demain après-midi à Québec, entre 14h et 16h.
MAJ: Endroit, Abri.co au 520 av. Charest Est. Suite 390.
Classé parmi les meilleurs accélérateurs au monde, FounderFuel est en processus de recrutement pour la session du Printemps 2015.
Nous aimerions vraiment avoir plus de startups de Québec, alors nous allons vous visiter plus souvent!
Aimeriez-vous rencontrer Sylvain et savoir plus sur FounderFuel? Inscrivez-vous ici.
Il reste deux mois pour appliquer, c’est le temps de valider si FounderFuel est pour vous!
Have we grabbed your attention yet?! Well listen to this. The Finnish startup competition Slush is expanding globally this year and is hosting the very first Canadian Slush event right here at Notman House on October 29th!
There will be a pitching session and the best team is invited to Slush 2014, receiving:
- Flights by Finnair
- Exclusive access, including the opportunity to take part in the Slush pitching competition
The finals will be held on November 18-19th in Helsinki, expecting over 10.000 participants, 100.000 online viewers; 500 international journalists; $200B represented VC funding; 7000+ prearranged private meetings between startups and investors.
This is an incredible opportunity for all Montreal startups so sign up today and you could find yourself on your way to Finland!
Today we had our very own rockstar Ian Jeffrey come in to Notman to talk to the Fall 2014 cohort about branding and marketing! Ian’s talk this morning provided a quick look at branding and marketing, giving tips based on his own personal experiences working at Radar, Shutterfly, and PasswordBox.
Ian started the talk off by asking the #FFMob “What’s the best marketing you could have..? It’s actually your product, focus on building an amazing product.” This is a crucial first step, and unless you develop a “sticky” product, all the marketing and branding in the world will not push your startup towards success. Once you’ve created this product, it’s important to begin thinking of your name as a key part of your brand. “This is the time in your company’s life cycle, to be questioning whether the name is a strong fit.” Following deciding upon a name, focus on brand positioning and look at competitors, compare pricing, and evaluate what their products offer different than yours. “The only way you’re able to position your brand, is if you know exactly how you’re different from everyone else.”
Positioning your brand leads to developing brand personality, which is important for connecting with consumers and creating perceived value. “What you’re trying to do is bond with your consumers. You need to find the people that love your product, and get them to share your message. Within your target audience exists a group of core users, who you should target. These users will then take your core message and share it to everyone else within the target market.”
So…. how can you encourage users to spread your message? “Products only go viral if they drive real value.” They need to give real value to their original users, then give additional value to these users if they share it with friends, and finally give value to those friends who join. In order to do this, you need to find very creative ways to grow your users. Identify something in the market (someone else’s growth success), exploit it, and ride that wave.
Did Ian’s remarks sound interesting to you? Think you would benefit from more talks filled with advice like this? Consider applying to the Spring 2015 Cohort to take full advantage of all that the FounderFuel program has to offer! Applications are now open here.
As week 4 of the Fall 2014 cohort began, FounderFuel kicked off Monday morning with an analytics workshop taught by Alistair Croll. The co-author of Lean Analytics, and Partner at Bitcurrent, Alistair was perfectly positioned to give our cohort tips on measuring meaningful analytics.
Alistair introduced the topic by explaining that most startups don’t know what they’ll be when they grow up, and metrics are what help you get to know yourself. He emphasized a quote saying that “The most important figures that one needs for management are unknown or unknowable, but successful management must nevertheless take account of them.”
Many of his tips came from within his book, and by the end, those who had not read it were all very interested in doing so! A key point he emphasized in his talk that derived from Lean Analytics were the 5 suggested phases that companies go through:
Interested in hearing more of what Alistair has to say? Check out his Google Ventures workshop on lean analytics below!
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:
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!
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?