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Wondering what FounderFuel is like? Here’s what our Alum have to say

May 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Considering applying to the FounderFuel Fall 2014 Cohort but not sure if it’s right for you?

We want you to be as informed as possible so we thought, why not get some quotes directly from our Alumni. After all, who knows more about the program than those who have been through it. 

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So here they are, straight from the mouths of those who know FounderFuel best.

“Pre-program we weren’t focused, we were working part-time gigs to pay the bills and FounderFuel gave us the opportunity to focus 110% on our dream. It was exactly what we needed to make our company work.”

“The network you get instant access to is one that would take most people years, even decades to build. It’s indispensable.”

“I’m not going to lie, it’s not a walk in the park. I barely smiled, or slept. But where am I now compared to where I was before. We never could have done that on our own.”

“Imagine your business in 2 years, then imagine that process accelerated so that it happens in 90 days.  That’s what you’re pitching to get into Founderfuel.  Anything less, and you will fail.”

“FounderFuel will motivate you to push harder and work harder than you ever had before. If you’re ready to adapt and learn like crazy, get your ass in there.”

“Leave the ego at the door or it’s gonna be a tough 3 months of beat-downs. Open minds and adaptability mixed with some grit and you’ll come out a great company.”

“FounderFuel provided us the insights and guidance to transition ourselves from just an app to a serious competitor in the EdTech space”

“Beyond making you aware of your own bullshit, FounderFuel connects you to an unbelievable network of everyone who can help you succeed. It really is all about their network”

“FounderFuel is a great opportunity to learn from smart people and test your teams strength. Eyes open though – no one will build your business for you. It’s about tools, opportunities and relationships.

Are you ready to give it your best shot? Apply here before June 27th.

Day 68: TGIF!

May 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm

For most people 4:30 on a Friday afternoon means that in 30 minutes they’re free from the constrains of their office for 2 days. They can spend the weekend at the cottage, or have a picnic in the park, hit the slopes for a day of skiing or relax in bed with breakfast and the newspaper. 

The FounderFuel teams normally work at least 1 weekend day, making sure to take a day off here or there to regain their sanity. But not this weekend. There are 4 days left until Demo Day and it’s officially CRUNCH time. The teams will be working through the weekend, probably getting very little sleep so that come Tuesday their pitches will be perfect, their products will have significant traction and their bugs are fixed. 

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So to the teams we’ll say PTTM (Pedal To The Metal) and to everyone else, have a relaxing weekend!

Day 65: Pitching, pitching, pitching

May 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Today is Day 2 of a 6 day pitching workshop for the companies.

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Over the next few days the teams will spend one-on-one time with the Ian Jeffrey and John Stokes to practice their pitches over and over until they’re spot on! We have just 8 days until Demo Day so it’s crucial that their pitches get boot-camped to perfection very quickly. 

As usual, plenty of tough love was dished out. It sounds harsh but it’s just what’s needed for the teams to get to where they need to be.

Here are some of the best ones:

“That’s it?….This leaves me with the impression that you’ve done nothing.” 

“You don’t know whether what you’ve done will be good or bad yet, do you?”

“Where’s the community you claim to be building? I can’t find it anywhere. There’s no community here, there’s just one guy who posts a lot.”

“You’re trying to paint a picture of progress and instil a sense of trust, but I don’t think you’ve shown any progress. Since day 1.”

“I need to know what winning looks like for you, I need to know that you can win, because right now I’m not sure you can.”

Day 64: Vanhawks Valour Reaches 200% of their Target

May 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Vanhawks launched the Kickstarter campaign for their Vanhawks Valour bike last Thursday at 1pm EST. In less than 36 hours they managed to hit 100% of their goal and this afternoon they surpassed 200% of their goal! We’re excited the Kickstarter exploded, especially this quick! 

Because the campaign has been moving so quickly they’ve opened up some stretch goals if higher targets are met. 

250K – New rim colours
400K – Disc brakes
750K – Carbon belt drive

We’re so proud to have this company as part of our Spring 2014 cohort and can’t wait until Demo Day when they can show the world what’s coming next!  

Have you pledged to the Vanhawks Valour campaign yet? If not, head over to their Kickstarter page ASAP! 

 

Day 62: Hone your skills alongside world class startups

May 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Over the last few years, Real Ventures has done a lot to support founders and startups, but with the launch of their third fund, they want to do much more. Today, they’re excited to announce the launch of the Real Fellowship, a brand new program to help foster the next generation of startup talent.

Based in Montreal and launching June 9th, this new initiative will give the web’s emerging makers the opportunity to build the skills they need to make a dent in the startup world. It’s a 10-week program that includes workshops on the ins and outs of building great products, private events, mentoring from industry veterans and hands on practice inside a leading Canadian startup.

A few of these include:

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If you’re a maker at heart and you care about startups, this program’s for you.

Learn more and apply here before end of day May 18th 2014. It’ll only take you a few minutes, so do it now. You won’t regret it.

Day 61: Startup Drinks!

April 30, 2014 at 11:30 am

Follow the Montreal tech community online but always wanted to come out and hang? Interested in joining a startup but not quite sure what it involves? Just want to meet some cool people and have a fun time? 

Tonight’s your lucky night! The last Wednesday of every month we all get together for Startup Drinks. 

Join us at 6pm at Brutopia for a few drinks and some good times.

Check out who’s going to be there tonight:

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Hope to see you there!

Day 59: The Elevator Pitch

April 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

We all know just how important the art of the elevator pitch is. You need to be able to convey your company’s vision in a clear, concise and efficient manner. It is almost a litmus test of how your company is doing. If you can’t explain your vision in a quick and easy way then people begin to wonder if your company lacks vision or focus. As simple as it may seem, it is often very difficult to come up with the perfect elevator pitch for your company. 

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Here are a few pointers to mastering your pitch.

1. Keep it Fresh 

Companies are always evolving and changing. Your elevator pitch should never stay the same for very long, as your company or marketplace changes, make sure to update it. 

2. Always be Prepared

You should have various different versions of your pitch and they should be catered to various audiences. The VC you’re pitching might only care about metrics but the client you meet at a conference only wants to know what your product can do for them. 

3. Keep it Short

This pitch should (surprise) never last longer than an elevator ride. It should be even shorter than that. 

4. What Differentiates You

Always make sure that you include what differentiates you from the pack. One way to do it, that is becoming increasingly common, is to compare yourself to another company. There was a study done that combed through AngelList and found that there were 9 main ways that companies used to compare themselves to others in their elevator pitches. Check out those out here.

All in all, your elevator pitch is crucial to your company so put the time in to come up with a good main one and some variations and then know make sure everyone in your company knows them! 

Day 58: Demo Day General Admission is Sold Out!

April 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Yesterday evening we officially sold out of General Admission tickets for Demo Day!!

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This means the historic Rialto Theatre will be a full house on May 13th as the Spring 2014 cohort pitches to a crowd of over 800 people. 

The anticipation is building amongst all the teams as they hammer out all the final details and work tirelessly to perfect their pitches. 

Will you be there? What are you looking forward to the most? 

Day 57: Sneak Peek of the Teams

April 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Just kidding! 

We’re still 21 days away from publicly announcing the companies from the Spring 2014 cohort but we did offer a sneak peek of the teams to a select group of Investors yesterday evening. We invited about 40 Investors to come mingle with the CEOs and get to know the awesome companies that are about to pitch at Demo Day. 

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Over a few hours, a few drinks and some great canapés the CEOs mingled with the Investors, pitched their visions and got some really constructive feedback on how to take their companies to the next level. 

We hope to see you at Demo Day on May 13th and finally get to show-off these amazing companies to the world!

 

Day 56: Tips on How to Manage Employee Equity

April 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

When it comes to distributing equity among employees there are A LOT of different points of view. It’s difficult to know who to trust. Recently Sam Altman of Y Combinator wrote an interesting blog post about this issue and offered up some solutions to the problems. 

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According to him there are 4 major problems when it comes to employee equity (keep in mind that details pertaining to taxes may differ in other countries):

1. Employees usually don’t get enough stock 

2. If an employee leaves the company, he or she often can’t afford to exercise and pay taxes on their options 

3. Employee options sometimes get unfavourable tax treatment

4. Employees usually don’t have enough information about the stock or options

He followed up with some solutions to these problems. 

1. Give employees more equity

2. Grant options that are exercisable for 10 years from the grant date3

3. Do a better job at helping your employees understand the exact value of their options

4. Consider other ways of vesting instead of the typical 4 years with a 1-year cliff 

For all the details check out the full posting.

Think your team has what it takes?

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