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Behind the Scenes at FounderFuel: Alexandre Shee

May 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

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Alexandre Shee, Analyst at Real Ventures

At the age of twelve, Alexandre Shee sat down at his breakfast table with ten strangers. He continued to do so, every morning, until the age of eighteen.

Alex grew up in a Bed & Breakfast – an unintentional breeding ground for an outgoing and gregarious lawyer turned VC. It was around this table that Alex became a people person quickly, flawlessly and really early in the morning.

Hailing from LA, Alex moved to Quebec City, became fluent in French, and went on to become one of twenty chosen to begin at McGill Law at the ripe age of eighteen. Skipping an undergraduate degree, Alex dove in headfirst; he became president of the law school students association, a member on the board of directors of SSMU and a winner of McGill’s Scarlet Key leadership award. He spent his summers abroad (one of which at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, no less). Alex entered McGill Law as the youngest in his class and graduated the same way. He went on to become a lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright. 

Growing up, Alex was in awe of an older family friend. During a visit to the friends home, Alex was impressed with what he saw and felt: an energy that motivated him to ask his friend what he did for a living. The response? “I help companies change the world.” He went on to explain Venture Capital. From that moment on, Alex was hooked.

At Real Ventures and FounderFuel, Alex combines his law background with a keen interest in all things business: he sees problems in terms of solutions and uses his learned analytical framework to bring companies to the next level. As a part of RV’s investment team, Alex finds companies whose aim is to disrupt the industry of which they are a part. He then works to decide if they’re a team that RV could add value to. At the same time, Alex is a dedicated and very much present mentor at FF, helping teams navigate legal issues, providing practical growth advice and assisting with investor relations.

He would love to see, as a part of FounderFuel, enterprise SaaS related products, startups working on the internet of things, or any company related to food (because he “loves to eat, obviously”). Additionally, due to his background, he’s naturally attracted to legal technology, which he considers to be a field ripe for innovation.

Alex’s personal philosophy is that a person is not defined by what they do. While some call it impossible, he believes that we should all dive into and deeply learn as many different skill sets as possible.  In his opinion, stagnation comes when we avoid trying something new simply because we believe that we are not the right person for the job. “While the worst case scenario involves failure,” he explains, “the best case scenario is that we change the world.”   

Do you want to bring your startup to the next level with Alex’s help? Apply to FounderFuel today.

- Ella

[This is the third part in a series of introductions. We want to show you the faces behind FounderFuel and Real Ventures so that you're able to see how and why we can accelerate your company. Here is part one and two.]

Recruitment Here We Come!

May 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

After a crazy and successful seventh cohort, we’re ready to jump back into the recruitment game.

FounderFuel has just graduated a group of entrepreneurs who recognize and have leveraged the fact that the world is malleable. From aquafarming, to 3D Printing, to creative transportation, the last few months have been quite a ride (no pun intended). 

This past cohort was a busy one:
- We were visited by Stephane Marceau (CEO at Omsignal),  Alistair Croll (author, speaker, entrepreneur), Ty Danco (Director of Techstars Boston), Ethan Song (CEO & Creative Director at Frank & Oak) as well as friends at Passwordbox, Google and many more.
- We profiled Canadian startups - KickbackVanhawksGymtrack and Spoil - that are making waves in the States. 
- We wrote about the state of accelerators todayadvisor equityacquiring users and much, much more.
- We’ve even introduced a few of our Real Ventures teammates, AlexGabriel and Sam. This series, I should mention, is ongoing (check back!).  
- And of course, we’ve eaten some good food along the way…

We’re now ready and excited to recruit for Fall 2015. We’re on the lookout for the next round of movers and shakers, and we want to come to you. As we’re in the process of planning events and office hours in major Canadian cities, we would love to hear of anywhere you’d like us to be. Ping us at info@founderfuel.com to get in touch.  

Think your team should be next? Tell us why here

See you soon! 

- Ella

Check out the Spring 2015 Demo Day Pitches (VIDEO)

May 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm


Sharethebus is the premier online marketplace for charter bus rental, bringing people the tools to join, create and share trips to festivals, conferences and other high-demand events.

Spot has turned the simple video player into a content creation platform that allows anyone to add interactive apps inside their video in order to increase audience engagement and conversion.

Studyo is helping Students, Teachers and Parents plan and communicate what, where and when to study.

Mosaic has developed The Palette, an accessory that enables multi-colour objects to be made on today’s desktop 3D printers.

CoRecruiters converts hiring managers’ surplus talent into meaningful referral opportunities for their professional network.

Xpertsea has developed the XpertCount, an all in-one hardware and software solution to accurately count, measure and report data for the aquaculture industry.

Sara Ahmadian to Pitch at White House Demo Day

May 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm

We are proud to announce that Seamless Planet, a FounderFuel accelerated, Canadian, and female founded startup, will be taking part in the first ever White House Demo Day. 

The White House Demo Day is one step that the Administration is taking to empower entrepreneurs from “every corner of America” to create and grow successful businesses.

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Unlike traditional Demo Days, involving a pitch of ones business to a roomful of investors and community members, this Demo Day will showcase the diversity of entrepreneurs and their ideas. With the focus being on inclusive entrepreneurship, this event will push to empower founders from all walks of life, including “those underrepresented in entrepreneurship like women and people of color.”

Seamless Planet is a global distribution and channel management system for experiences and activities. Co-founders  Sara Ahmadian and Ramin Hazegh took part in the FounderFuel program during the Fall of 2014. They have also pitched at Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day, securing $100, 000 from Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution and co-founder of AOL.

President Barack Obama will be in attendance, as well as Shark Tanks’ Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and more.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #StartTheSpark and tune in live today at 2PM EST at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Go Sara! 

THANK YOU!

May 11, 2015 at 10:25 am

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Thanks to everyone who came out to Demo Day last Thursday! We had a record number of people attend and will definitely need to move to a bigger venue for next time. Pictures and videos to come shortly :) .

It’s always so awesome to see an entire community come together to celebrate each other and our combined success and growth. Like Sylvain said on stage, Montreal & Canada are where it’s at and people are really starting to take notice!

Finally, a BIG thank you to our Sponsors, without them we couldn’t make Demo Day happen! 

Itching to be up on that stage during our Fall 2015 Cohort? Apply now!

Demo Day Livestream

May 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Tomorrow is the big day! 

If you are unable to attend, check back here at 4pm on Thursday, May 7th to watch the LIVE stream of Demo Day.

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Founders On A Bus Update

May 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Demo Day is sold out, Founders On A Bus is completely full and the waitlist for the most epic bus ride ever is growing! 

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If you’re one of the lucky few with a seat on the bus, here’s what you need to know: 
If you want to pitch to the judges, prepare a 90 second elevator pitch (no slides necessary). 
You will present this pitch to the judges on the bus. 
A winner on each bus will be chosen.
The winners will then get the chance to pitch in front of the Demo Day crowd of over 800. 
The judging panel will consist of Mikael Cho (Founder at Crew), Priscilla Lavoie (Co-Founder and CMO at Binder) and Laurent Maisonnave (CEO at Seevibes). 

Just three days left to go! We couldn’t be more excited and we hope to see you there! 

Four Days To Go!

May 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Demo Day is sold out and we couldn’t be more excited! Pitch preparation is well underway and the energy in the offices is high. If you didn’t get the chance to grab a ticket, check back here after Demo Day to find videos of each teams pitch. 

We’ll see you at the Rialto Theatre this Thursday…

Countdown (1)

 

Demo Day Is Sold Out!

May 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Thank you to everyone whose purchased Spring 2015 Demo Day tickets! We are officially sold out and could not be more excited!

We have had a ton of inquiries about ticket sales at the door and so wanted to clear up the confusion: we do not sell tickets at the door. We are, excitedly, at capacity. 

The good news is that there is ONE exception. We’ve put aside tickets for our Founders on a Bus and their are a few seats left. With the purchase of a ticket on our bus (rolling through Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City) you receive a ticket to Demo Day. Grab a seat on the bus before they’re all gone! 

Only six days left – we can’t wait to see you there! 

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Behind the Scenes at FounderFuel: Sam Haffar

April 29, 2015 at 11:47 am

Sam Haffar, Principal at Real Ventures

Sam joined Real Ventures in August 2014 after spending 8 years in Silicon Valley helping build some of the fastest growing companies in their category; Chegg, Kno and Eat Club. After starting his first company while in University, Sam helped scale companies from 5 to 300+ employees and helped grow revenue from $0 to $100 million. This was all in the span of a few years after university. 

Today, Sam is a Principal at Real Ventures where he helps lead seed deals, connect companies to exceptional talent and prepare companies for success beyond their seed round. His most recent investments include Vanhawks and Breezy HR.

At FounderFuel, Sam helps drive the recruitment and selection process of new companies into the program. He helps teams define their product strategy, build their go to market, refine their pitch, connect with customers, and plan their round of funding after the program. A current FounderFuel team working closely with Sam describes him as having genuine insight, a ton of experience and willing to roll up his sleeves to help get the job done (whatever it may be).

When it comes to funding the next big idea, Sam looks for ambitious teams that are maniacally focused and are hardcore geeks in their fields. He’s incredibly excited about AI, Robotics, VR/AR, the Internet of things and how automation will shape our future, but also is a sucker for obvious ideas that fulfill a huge present day demand that haven’t been so obvious to everyone else.

When asking Sam what’s the most rewarding part of FounderFuel to him, he described watching the transformation of the teams from the day that they walk through the door for their interview as raw entrepreneurs with a good idea but with far more potential, to the day that they are on stage at Demo Day pitching like world-class entrepreneurs with a massive idea and the confidence and know how to make it happen.

He explained that the success of a team hinges on the people involved, their passion and vision, and their ability to clearly communicate goals and objectives.

If you think that this describes your team and you would like to find success with Sam’s help, apply to the FounderFuel program here!   

Think your team has what it takes?

Apply