Sylvain Carle returns from San Francisco to become Managing Partner at FounderFuel.

June 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Sylvain Carle, also known as @froginthevalley, will be leaving his Senior Developer Advocate role at Twitter in San Francisco to return to Montréal as a Partner at Real Ventures as well as the new Managing Partner of FounderFuel. We could not be more excited (he is too)!

Although Sylvain spent the past two years in California, he left his heart in Montreal. An active FounderFuel Mentor since the beginning of the program, an advisor to many Canadian startups and one of the early members of the team that dreamt up the Notman House project, Sylvain has always
 played a larger than life role within the Montreal startup community.

His personal startup experience as co-founder and CTO of Needium, combined with his valley experience and network will have a profound impact on the evolution of FounderFuel.

Sylvain isn’t the only new contributor to the evolution of the program. We recently welcomed Alex Lynn, who formerly spent time at Techstars and Sid Lee, as Real Ventures’ Director of Special Projects. We’ll be ensuring that his experience with startups and global brands will, amongst other things, benefit the development of the FounderFuel program and the companies that get selected to participate.

Emma Williams, FounderFuel’s program manager, will of course continue to make sure things run smoothly and raise the bar for our early stage startups. With a stellar team in place, Sylvain will also be able to devote some of his time to working alongside the other Real Ventures Partners in developing the Real Ventures portfolio. 

We’re tremendously excited about what Sylvain will contribute to Real Ventures and FounderFuel. He’ll be joining us officially in the next month or so and will be in Montreal to help judge our Fall 2014 Cohort contest at the International Startup Festival in July. He already has a few enhancements in store for FounderFuel, stay tuned and check out and @FounderFuel for more soon!

To find out more on what returning to Montreal means to Sylvain, check out his blog post (in French).

FounderFuel launches two new investment options in time for new cohort !

June 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

FounderFuel is always trying to find ways to contribute more to the success of its entrepreneurs and is evolving its offering to give an even better deal for all startups. With a focus on more deep tech, starting with hardware, our new terms have been adapted with Founders in mind.

Software companies will receive $50,000 of financing in exchange for only 6% equity (compared to the previous 9%). Companies with a hardware component can opt for $100,000 for 9% equity (or stay at the 50,000 and 6% level).

We have seen more and more hardware startups applying to FounderFuel over the last 18 months. Vanhawks and Kiwi made it into the last cohort and from early applications we are sure that we will have more in this upcoming cohort. The nature of these companies is such that they often need a little more cash than software only startups. We are convinced it is important to accomodate the specific challenges these company face at the earliest stage.

All companies are still eligible for a $150,000 convertible note from BDC Venture Capital if judged to be “venture ready” at Demo Day and also get access to over $150,000 worth of perks and services from companies like Amazon AWS, Rackspace, and Azure, not to mention as much RedBull as considered healthy.

There are seven days to go until applications close (We have extended it until midnight on June 30th). We are really looking forward to working with the next generation of awesome startups and make it all happen in Montréal. Have you applied yet? If not, what are you waiting for!

Sylvain Carle

Managing Partner, FounderFuel



A Big THANK YOU to Toronto!

June 19, 2014 at 9:55 am

The last two days in Toronto were a complete whirlwind!

Gabriel and I arrived at 4PM on Tuesday, had just enough time to check into our hotel and grab some dinner before heading to Project:OWL for the Behind The Scenes at FounderFuel event. Just as we got inside, it began to POUR and there were Tornado warnings issued in the city. However, despite the crazy storm outside, Toronto startup enthusiasts enthusiastically came out to meet us.

Everyone got to hang out, have a few beers and meet some of our Alumni before we jumped into a panel discussion on what it’s really like to go through FounderFuel and be part of the “Family”. We met with some crazy talented people that we hope to see in the Fall cohort! 


We spent all Wednesday morning hosting office hours at a local cafe and then got the opportunity to stop by the MaRS Discovery District and the Ryerson DMZ.

Overall it was a really successful trip and it’s clear that there are a lot of talented people and companies coming out of Toronto. We promise we’ll be back soon! 

FounderFuel in Toronto

June 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Tomorrow night Project:OWL, one of the amazing Project:Spaces co-working offices will be hosting FounderFuel for a panel discussion entitled “Behind the Scenes at FounderFuel”.  

ps-owl          FF_logo

The panel will explore what it’s really like for a company to go through the program, any tips the alumni might have for those applying, and what life is like post-FounderFuel. So come grab a beer, mingle with our alumni and find out what the program is all about. Register here and use the code FFMOB to get a free ticket!

The panel guests are:

ali Ali Zahid (Spring 2014) - Vanhawks

Nikolai Nikolai Bratkovski (Spring 2012) - OpenCare

Yoseph Yoseph West (Fall 2011) - Vuru & Wave

We’ll be sticking around the city all day Wednesday and would love to meet with some rock star companies. We’ve opened up a few hours of office hours on the morning of the 18th. If you’re in the Toronto area and want to find out more about FounderFuel, register for a time slot. 

PITCH IT (Takes 2 in Montreal)

June 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Have you been working on your startup for a while now and think you’re onto something? Are you determined to take your startup to the next level? Looking to raise a seed round? We’ll you’re in luck!

Last year we took our PITCH IT tour across Canada and it was a huge success so we thought, why not bring it back to Montreal this year! Here’s your chance to mingle with the team, and maybe even get to pitch us before applications close! 

Ian Jeffrey former FounderFuel General Manager and pitch master and John Stokes from Real Ventures have just what you need. You don’t want to miss the combination of the accelerator known for the best pitches in Canada and the most active early-stage venture fund giving advice on how to pitch for a seed round. We’ll be holding a pitching workshop to help you take your pitch to the next level. Join us to meet part of our team, learn about how to pitch for a seed round and then get a chance to PITCH IT to us!

Not so fast though, you won’t get off that easy! Be prepared for some tough love, tangible feedback and action items to take your startup to the next level–and of course, some tips to perfect your pitch. Oh, and don’t worry about us sugar coating or holding back. You’ll get raw feedback just like this:

But after our session you’ll be able to pitch like this:

Register here to join us. 

Not in Montreal? We’ll be at Project:OWL in Toronto on June 17th. Register to come take part in the “Behind The Scenes At FounderFuel” event. 

FounderFuel at the International Startup Fest

June 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

Want to be assured a guaranteed spot in the FounderFuel Fall 2014 Cohort?

This year we’ve partnered with the International Startup Fest to offer one lucky team a spot in our Fall Cohort. All you have to do is be one of the registered startups at the festival and pitch to us sometime throughout the 3 days.

startup fest

How can you pitch us?
- We’ll be hanging out at the Accelerator Tent
- We’ll have identifiable Real Ventures & FounderFuel members scouting out teams around the festival
- Be one of the 12 companies pitching on the main stage

Good luck to all startups attending the festival! We can’t wait to see what you’ve got to offer! 

There are many other prizes available at Startup Fest. Check them out here.  

Don’t have your tickets for the festival yet? Get them here.

Behind The Scenes At FounderFuel

June 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Next Tuesday, June 17th, Project: SPACES will be hosting us in Toronto for a panel discussion on “Behind The Scenes at FounderFuel” followed by a beers & networking session. 

The evening will kick off with a panel discussion with three FounderFuel alumni based in Toronto. The discussion will be led by Gabriel Sundaram, FounderFuel Mentor and Director of Platform at Real Ventures. The panel will explore what it’s really like for a company to go through the program, any tips the alumni might have for those applying, and what life is like post-FounderFuel.

The panel guests are:

ali Ali Zahid (Spring 2014) - Vanhawks

Nikolai Nikolai Bratkovski (Spring 2012) - OpenCare

Yoseph Yoseph West (Fall 2011) - Vuru & Wave

Following the panel discussion we invite you to join us for a networking session. Drinks are included in the ticket price! 

If you’re in the Toronto area and want to meet awesome people and learn all about what FounderFuel is really like (the nitty gritty!) then register here.

Ready to apply for the Fall 2014 Cohort? Click here to submit your application.

FounderFuel – By The Numbers

June 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

Sometimes in life it’s hard to know if you’re the right fit for a certain job, city, program of study or even person.

man with question mark

Well, it’s the same with Accelerators. We’re all different and all look for different things. 

So, we thought we’d help you out and give you the profile of an average startup that’s gone through FounderFuel. 

Average Age – 29
We’ve had founders ranging from 19 to 38 years old 

Top 3 cities they’ve come from
1) Montreal 
2) Toronto
3) Vancouver

Avg. Number of Founders – 2.5

78% of Our Companies Are Still Active

Gender Breakdown
15% Women
85% Men

However, we are actively trying to change this and our last cohort was 28% women

SaaS – 31%
Mobile – 27%
Marketplace – 18%
User-Generated – 8%
Hardware – 7%
Media – 7%
E-Commerce – 2%

Only 1/4 of the Founders were students or coming out of University. The rest were seasoned entrepreneurs or came from the workplace.

Hopefully, the above stats have helped dispel any myths about the typical startup or founder that goes through the FounderFuel program.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Apply here.

FounderFuel Office Hours

June 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm

With less than a month to go before applications close for our upcoming Fall 2014 Cohort, we’re going to be holding office hours for startups interested in applying to the program. 

office hours

If you have any questions, concerns or just want to chat about the program you can book a 30 minute slot. They’ll take place every Tuesday & Thursday afternoon, starting next week and will be held at Notman House, 51 Sherbrooke Street West.

We hope to see you there!

You can reserve your time slot at the following link:

Ready to apply? You can do so here.

*If you have any questions you’d like answered right away, please e-mail us at*

How to get your application noticed

May 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Thinking about applying to FounderFuel but worried your application might get lost in the pile? 

pile of papers

The best way to have your application stand out is to have someone from the FounderFuel Family recommend you. We depend largely on our extended network to help us find rock star founders and startups so when we receive a recommendation from someone in the family, we take it seriously.

If you don’t know anyone in the network then consider reaching out to some of our Mentors or Alumni who would understand your business and asking them (nicely) if they would meet with you and give you some feedback. If they like what you’re doing, then chances are they’ll send us a note about how awesome you are! 

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more tips on applying. 

Applications are due June 27th. Click here to apply.

Think your team has what it takes?