One month to Demo Day!

November 2, 2015 at 12:17 pm


With just four short weeks to go before the big day, tickets are going fast and planning is well underway.

As you may have already heard, this Demo Day will be our largest yet. We’ve hosted 7 of them, in 4 different venues, ranging in capacity from a few hundred attendees to just over nine hundred. This year, at Olympia Theatre, we’ve invited 1400 community members, investors, press, friends and family.

This is the largest Demo Day we’ve ever heard of taking place. So we realized that you may be wondering, ‘what’s the point?’ or ‘shouldn’t these events be exclusive, intimate, and open only to investors?’. We hear you, but we think that large community events – International Startup Festival, Startup Open House, etc. – are an important part of the Montreal tech community, and play a role in getting us on the map.

If you’re not based in Montreal but interested in attending, check out Founders On A Bus, where we’re running trips from Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto + Waterloo. The bus ride also includes a pitch competition, with the winners getting the chance to pitch at Demo Day.

We’ve created a Facebook Event Page to keep you updated on any news, as well as to reach as many folks as possible. If you could share the event with your network, or simply click on attending, that would be a great help.

So, please invite your friends/acquaintances/mothers and grab your tickets before they’re gone!

See you there!

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Widget not working? You can grab your tickets here.

FFF 2015 Week 8

October 30, 2015 at 8:18 am

Thanks to this weeks visitors!

Hiring & Growing Your Team with Lucas Pellan
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Panel Review with panelists Cary Goldwax, Nicole Leblanc, John Stokes, Sylvain Carle and Sam Haffar
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Founder Talk with Hicham Ratnani, Co-Founder and COO of Frank and Oak
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Everyone who stopped by during Startup Open House!
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See you soon!
The FounderFuel Crew

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…While you’re here… why not grab your ticket before they’re gone? 😉

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Alumni Updates: #soh2015

October 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

EDIT: One of Montreal after-party’s is located at Apt 200. Register here.

Keep the good times rolling tomorrow during Startup Open House – travel around Montreal and Toronto with Sharethebus!


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(Full schedules here!)

A ton of FF alumni companies are opening their doors for you to visit. Most are hiring and have planned warm welcomes for their guests.
Montreal – 
Vain Pursuits
Toronto – 
(For a full list of participating startups, click here.)

And if you’re looking for a list of must-see’s, Montreal in Technology has posted an article on 5 Montreal spaces that you can’t miss.

Don’t forget to stop by Notman House to visit FounderFuel, Real Ventures and InnoCité.

See you soon!
The FounderFuel Crew

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FFF 2015 Week 7

October 23, 2015 at 11:42 am

We’ve passed the halfway mark to Demo Day!

With the big day around the corner, we announced a few exciting pieces of news this week:
1) Tickets for CANADA’S LARGEST DEMO DAY are open (and selling quickly…). Grab yours here or at the bottom of this post.
2) Founders On A Bus is back to bring Toronto, Waterloo, Québec City and Ottawa to Demo Day, and to give founders a chance to pitch on stage. We’ve got some awesome judges lined up, including Douglas Soltys (Managing Editor at Betakit), Jonathan Bega (Associate at Golden Ventures) and David Borscok (VC at RBC).

Another big thanks to this weeks visitors:
Francois-Xavier Souvay, founder at Lumenpulse
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Georgiana Laudi, VP Marketing at Unbounce
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The teams had a blast at the EY Entrepreneurs of the Year Award. Congratulations to Flatbook (FF F14) for winning the Emerging Entrepreneur award!
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See you soon!
– The FounderFuel Crew
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p.s. Grab your ticket while you’re here!

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Founders On A Bus

October 21, 2015 at 11:25 am

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Founders on a Bus is back! We’ve partnered with Sharethebus (FF S15) to bring folks from Waterloo, Ottawa, Québec City and Toronto to our Mega MTL Demo Day.

Not only does a ticket on the bus bring you to the 1,300 person event, but you also get the chance to pitch your startup on stage to the packed crowd of VC’s, press and entrepreneurs. You’ll be in great company on the bus ride, with designated judges from Betakit, Golden Ventures, Indiegogo and more. The judges will choose the best pitch on each bus and the winners will present on stage upon arrival.

If you’re not a founder but work at a startup or know a ton about them, you’re also welcome to sign up.

Check out the details and sign up here.

See you there!
– The FounderFuel Crew

If you’re not on the bus, grab your Demo Day tickets before they’re gone 😉

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The Ultimate Guide to Competitive Analysis

October 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

How will your business compete?

The purpose of performing a competitive analysis is to answer this question and provide you with the tools to blow your competition away. If performed properly, you will establish how you are or can be unique, where your competitive advantage lies, and perhaps most importantly, it will build confidence with your investors. You will better understand the market, more aptly target customers, keep tabs on competition, make more practical decisions and ultimately, over time, track trends and market scenarios.

What follows is five case studies that exemplify the importance of performing a thorough competitive analysis. Following from these case studies is a detailed breakdown of how you can perform one of your own.

The question ‘what makes us human?’ fuelled a ten-year debate between Marvel Comics and the United States Court of International Trade. Marvel argued that their action figures were toys (‘representations of nonhuman creatures’) rather than dolls (‘representations of humans’). While dolls were being taxed at a rate of 12%, toys were taxed at just 6.8%. Marvel’s research on this distinction would end up saving the company millions of dollars. Competitive analyses, like the one Marvel undoubtedly carried out, have the potential to reveal more than just direct competition. You’ll see why below.

An equally ingenious case of ‘tariff engineering’ was devised by Converse, the shoe company. Converse realized that having their sneakers classified as slippers rather than shoes would decrease the tariff from 37.5% to 3%. Have you ever seen the bottom of a fresh pair of Converse All-Stars? Half of the sole is coated in felt, which wears off after just a couple of uses but classifies their footwear as slippers.

A quintessential example of indirect and unforeseen competition is in the case of Uber and the taxi industry. The first fleet of modern cabs were deployed in London in 1897 – it’s safe to say that the original designer, Walter C. Bersey, did not anticipate the ability to electronically summon a car to take you to a preset destination without even having to hand over cash. Nor, we can assume, did the industry anticipate Uber in the 1980’s when computer-aided dispatch was introduced. In industries where future competitors don’t yet exist, it may seem impossible to protect your business from them. This need not be the case. You’ll see why below.

Similar to (3) is Airbnb and the hospitality industry. Although some argue that there exists room for both, Airbnb is an eight-year-old company that’s greatly impacting an industry whose roots lie in the 18th century. As technology continues to disrupt industries it’s important to think outside of the box, to see competition where it doesn’t yet exist, and to target it before it has the chance to.

It’s no secret that Box‘s platform is giving Dropbox a run for it’s money. While Dropbox’s API lets developers access Dropbox, Box lets developers build apps that don’t yet exist. In other words, Box was able to leverage features that its competition did not embrace. With a strong competitive analysis, you can do the same.

Which brings us to Real Ventures’ Analyst Alex Shee’s Guide to the Competitive Analysis.


1. Build a Relevant Framework
A. Look into direct competitors:
– Track names, URL’s, missions, strengths, weaknesses, brand differentiators, prices, elevator pitches and the products and services they offer
B. Look into indirect competitors:
– Search for them even before they pose a threat
– Find out who offers (sometimes radically) different products or services that meet the same needs that you’re targeting (ex: hotels didn’t foresee Airbnb)
– Ask yourself if your suppliers, partners or even customers could become competition
C. Know your Environment:
– Learn from Marvel and Converse by looking into the macro business environment (trade agreements)
– Track economic and political trends (such as data privacy laws)
– Research any potential cultural sifts (from desktop mobile, for example)
– Note current tech innovations (such as wearables or AR/VR)
– Become aware of existent regulations and legislation (taxi and transportation, online gambling, etc.)

2. Monitor all Results
A. Continuously Monitor your Results:
– Use free tools, public records and research reports to keep track of any changes in messaging and overall visual identity, new products, services and/or pricing, short-term and long-term promotions, new advertising or other outbound communications, new geographies, new team members or significant sales wins and losses.
– Related tools: Google Alerts, Crunchbase, Angellist
– Related public records: SEDAR, for example (where you can find info on all Canadian public companies)
– Regarding research reports: don’t be cheap here – spend money if it will bring you the competitive advantage.
B. Monitor Competitors by Shopping:
– Ask a knowledgeable colleague shop around, do so yourself if possible or ask your customers

3. Take Concrete Steps
Create an excel spreadsheet or stream in your CRM
– Include all your direct and indirect competitors
– Create a separate section to describe the environment
– Determine the main KPIs you will be tracking
– Make someone responsible for tracking and and updating your Competitive Analysis monthly

Take our word for it and make performing a competitive analysis a priority. You will have a better understanding of tangible ways to avoid failure and of what would be poor strategic decisions. Most importantly, you will realize the bigger picture and the real opportunity. If you’re looking for guidance going forward, feel free to reach out to with any questions related to the info above.

Alex & Ella

FFF 2015 Week 6

October 16, 2015 at 11:09 am

This week at FF –

Demo Day tickets opened up! We announced our bigger and better joint Demo Day with InnoCité MTL, Montreal’s Smart City accelerator, as well as our new venue, which is able to accommodate more community members like you! Be sure to grab your ticket before they’re gone.

Emma Williams,  Program Manager extraordinaire, announced that she is moving on following the current cohort. She’s leaving some pretty large shoes to fill (not literally, she has normal sized feet). Check out the job description and reach out at if you think you have what it takes.

Laurent Maisonnave, CEO of Seevibes – and an alum from our first ever cohort in Fall 2011 – gave a talk on Twitter Ads 101.
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We were visited by the CEO and CFO of Distech Controls. Thanks to Etienne Veilleux and Jean-Lou Paquet for the inspiring Founder Talk.
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“If you’re not humble, you’ll be lonely at the top.”

An FF Dinner for the teams to catch up on each others progress and goals.

As well as our second Panel Review of the season (thanks to our awesome mentors for coming out!), a Lunch N’ Learn with Blue HF, a talk by with Mat Balez on NYC for startups and Damien Steel‘s talk on The Life of a VC Without the BS!

See you soon!
The FounderFuel Crew
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Journée démo conjointe: FounderFuel et InnoCité

October 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm

On monte le volume à 11 pour notre journée démo du 2 décembre cette année! Deux accélérateurs, deux cohortes: FounderFuel et InnoCitéMTL. Sur scène, quelques-unes des meilleurs de la scène des startups de Montréal avec encore plus de capacité d’accueil en salle, le plus gros évènement du genre au Canada.

Si vous avez déjà participé à une de nos éditions par le passé, vous avez sûrement constaté que nous étions de plus en plus serrés au Rialto. Nous allons donc migrer vers le théâtre Olympia, ce qui va nous permettre de recevoir jusqu’à 1400 membres de la communauté à l’évènement.


Nous avons 7 compagnies à vous présenter pour FounderFuel, de la réalité virtuelle à l’éducation, en passant les APIs en l’intelligence artificielle. Cette journée sera aussi la dernière production de notre extraordinaire directrice de programme, Emma Williams. Vous pouvez en lire un peu plus sur son départ ici, et postuler pour prendre sa relève (tout un défi)!

Joignez-vous à l’équipe de FounderFuel et d’InnoCitéMTL, aux startups, aux investisseurs de la Silicon Valley, de New York, Boston, Toronto et Montréal, ainsi qu’à plusieurs élus municipaux et bien entendu, toute la communauté startup du Québec (et plus). Venez rencontrer les équipes et célébrer leur progression et leurs succès avec nous! C’est un évènement à ne pas manquer. Les billets sont maintenant disponibles, voir les informations ci-bas. Il y a trois types de billets, soit pour la partie InnoCitéMTL, pour FounderFuel ou pour les deux parties, assurez-vous de choisir la bonne option.

Horaire détaillé
13:30 – Ouverture des portes pour InnoCitéMTL
14:00 – Présentations Innocité, cohorte automne 2015
15:00 – Ouverture des portes pour FounderFuel
15:45 – FounderFuel Demo Day, cohorte automne 2015
17:30 – Coktail, 5 à 7
20:00 – Fermeture de la salle
22:00 – Party officiel (lieu à confirmer sous peu)

Si l’interface de sélection de billets ne fonctionne pas pour vous, lien direct est

Si vous nous visitez de l’extérieur de Montréal, nous allons offrir encore cette année plusieurs options avec notre partenaire Partage le Bus, détails très bientôt.

Que la flamme soit avec vous!
– L’équipe de FounderFuel.

Get ready for the biggest Demo Day yet!

October 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

This time around, Demo Day is bigger and better than ever before! On December 2nd, you’ll get not one but two Demo Days. FounderFuel and InnoCitéMTL are joining forces to showcase the best of the best in front of the biggest crowd we’ve ever gathered.

If you’ve attended our Demo Day’s in the past, you’ve probably felt them becoming increasingly cramped. So we’re moving on from the hallowed halls of the historic Rialto, to Olympia Theatre, which can accommodate 1400 community members.


This cohort, we have seven startups working in a wide range of fields, from VR to education. This demo day also happens to be the last for our superwoman program manager Emma Williams. You can read more about her leaving (and the position opening!) here

Join the FounderFuel and InnoCitéMTL Founders as well as investors from Silicon Valley, New York, Montreal & Toronto, various Canadian city officials and the startup community. Come out, meet the teams and celebrate their success with us! This is an event not to be missed. Tickets have officially opened – you can grab yours below. Keep in mind that there are 3 different tickets types  (InnoCitéMTL Demo Day, FounderFuel Demo Day, InnoCitéMTL + FounderFuel Demo Day) so make sure you select the one that fits you best. 

Here is the detailed schedule:
1:30PM – Doors Open for InnoCitéMTL Demo Day | Grab A Seat
2PM – Innocité Demo Day | Fall 2015 Pitches
3PM – Doors Open for FounderFuel Demo Day | Grab A Seat
3:45PM – FounderFuel Demo Day | Fall 2015 Pitches
5:30PM – “5 à 7” Drinks
10PM – Official After-Party TBD

Widget not working? You can grab your tickets here.

Coming from out of town? Stay tuned – Founders On A Bus is back and more will be announced soon! Stay tuned for more exciting news leading up to the big day.

The FounderFuel Crew 

Direction de programme: poste à combler!

October 13, 2015 at 10:17 pm

La direction de programme est un poste qui combine les tâches quotidiennes nécessaires à la bonne exécution du programme et la mise en oeuvre de la stratégie à plus haut niveau (établie avec la direction générale). C’est un rôle clef dans les relations avec les startups de l’écosystème de Montréal et du Canada. C’est un boulot dans une petite équipe très dynamique qui vise à changer (pour le mieux!) les startups. C’est un emploi à temps plein.


C’est quoi ça la direction de programme?

  • Gérer le calendrier des évènements et formations, la coordination des activités (avec les mentors, les investisseurs, les co-fondateurs, les conférenciers, etc.);
  • Faire arriver les évènements, c’est à dire tout ce qu’il faut préparer avant et réviser pendant: les journées de mentors, les rencontres de co-fondateurs, les 5 à 7, les journées de démo, etc.);
  • S’activer aux relations avec tous nos réseaux. De près et de loin, prendre soin et développer nos cercles de partenaires, mentors, gradués et la communauté locale, provinciale, nationale et internationale.
  • Accueillir, prendre en main la logistique de nos visiteurs de tous horizons
  • Communiquer, par écrit et de vive voix, en français et en anglais, par le biais de notre blogue, compte Twitter et Facebook, du matériel promotionnel et dans les évènements. Vous devez incarner ce qu’est FounderFuel.


Qu’est-ce que ça représente comme opportunité?


  • C’est un rôle important dans l’écosytème des startups. FounderFuel est un des acteurs majeurs à Montréal et au pays (et hors des frontières).
  • C’est un environnement très dynamique avec des occasions d’apprendre beaucoup, un contexte unique pour se “plonger dedans”.
  • Un incroyable réseau en émergence, la “nouvelle économie” au moment ou elle devient “l’économie tout court”.
  • Travailler tous les jours à la maison Notman, au coeurs du réseau des startups.


Avez-vous la trempe nécessaire?

  • Vous êtes une personne pro-active, autonome et qui apprends très vite, même que ça vous branche pas mal de toujours être en train d’apprendre…
  • L’organisation et la logistique, sous pression, c’est de la petite bière pour vous.
  • Vous combinez la capacité de faire plusieurs choses en même temps avec une flexibilité et une créativité hors-norme.
  • Écrire sur internet, dans un blogue, via des outils de marketing modernes (Hootsuite, MailChimp, Wufoo) c’est trippant pour vous.
  • Citoyen du monde à Montréal, vous exprimer en français et en anglais (et même plus), à l’écrit comme à l’oral, c’est tout à fait normal.
  • Faire c’est aussi important, sinon plus, que d’y penser. Mais vous y pensez tout le temps aussi, tout en le faisant.
  • Le verre est à moitié vide, ou deux fois trop grand… L’énergie positive est la seule qui peut survivre au rythme effrené des startups. Il n’y en aura pas de facile, mais ça va se faire avec un sourire!

Vous avez entre 2 à 5 années d’expérience en gestion de projets, de clients, de communauté, avec un angle marketing. Vous avez déjà travaillé (ou rêvez de joindre) une startup. Vous êtes conscient que ce boulot a un horaire atypique et très demandant (c’est un peu fou).


On aimerait vraiment vous rencontrer!



  • 1-2 paragraphes: pourquoi vous êtes la personne idéale pour ce boulot. Plus court c’est mieux que plus long, l’art de la concision profite aux esprits très occupés!
  • Votre CV en format PDF et liens vers votre LinkedIn, Twitter ou autre source publique à votre sujet (pas facebook svp).


Think your team has what it takes?