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Day 43: Founder Talk with Marc Gingras

April 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Marc Gringas, CEO of FoKo, stopped by FounderFuel to discuss FoKo, his fourth time around the block and how to build a sustainable product and company. 

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FoKo is Photo Sharing for Companies. Imagined as an ‘Instagram for business,’ it allows employees, customers and partners to share everything from mockups, to event snaps, to culture photos. 

Marc is a big believer in the idea that consumer behaviour will always become adopted – and so leveraged – by enterprises. It was with this premise in mind, paired with the prospect of working with a strong team, that Marc decided to work with FoKo rather than be just an investor in them. 

One of Marc’s tactics in building a sustainable company is creating a company’s own Hierarchy of Needs. One layer might be ‘generate revenue,’ another ‘invest in marketing.’ When you’ve completed the bottommost layer, you move up to the next one. When great new ideas are brought to the table, you wait until your company has reached the right layer to work on that idea. 

In discussing hiring, Marc describes his objective: he hires based on whether a person will have enough tools to leave FoKo after five years to start a business of their own. If that’s not the case, they need not be hired. 

Marc finishes by talking about ego. His parting words: “when you think you’re right because you’re right then you’re wrong – when you think you’re right because of facts, fight for it.” 

Thanks to Marc for stopping by, and stay tuned for next weeks FounderTalk! 

The Art (and science) of the Pitch

March 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Talk by Sylvain today at the John Molson Startup Conference at Concordia University.

Day 18: Founder Talk with Ethan Song

March 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Founder Talks - a brand new FounderFuel initiative – connects seasoned entrepreneurs to the current batch of startups in a casual and private environment. 

For our second Talk we welcomed Ethan Song, CEO & Creative Director of Frank & Oak. Frank & Oak is a Montreal based e-retailer with the mission of helping a generation of men dress and live well. 

Ethan, with a passion for walking the line between art and technology, chatted to the teams about getting started, entrepreneurship, and pivoting. He stressed their being no direct path from getting to where you are to where you want to be.

Beginning in corporate strategy consulting, Ethan had no experience in the e-retailer space. In his own words, “if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s all good.” While he had little experience, he wasn’t worried – he describes the Frank & Oak team as entrepreneurs first and tech/fashion entrepreneurs second. While this is often perceived negatively, Ethan thinks its an asset.

Frank & Oak (and Ethan by proxy) is all about understanding human behaviour, openness and taking risks. 

Thanks to Ethan for chatting with us. Stay tuned for a FounderFuel talk with Dax Dasilva from Lightspeed next week!  

To shop Frank & Oak or to learn more, click here.  

Elevator World Tour + FounderFuel

December 9, 2014 at 9:40 am

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Next January 21st, one hundred of the most promising startups will be pitching a panel of investors and experts, hoping to secure fame and funding. But this isn’t your ordinary startup contest, because each entrepreneur has only the time it takes to ride the elevator at the Eiffel Tower to convince judges they’re the best. 

The Elevator World Tour™ Paris, will have the best startups delivering their elevator pitches — in the actual elevator of the Eiffel Tower — as they compete for several prizes including, a guaranteed spot in the FounderFuel Spring 2015 Cohort! 

“We’re thrilled that the first European stop on the Elevator World Tour is in one of the most exciting cities in the world, in the most iconic building in the world,” said Philippe Telio, the event’s founder. Jerome Masurel, co-founder and CEO of 50 Partners adds, “Holding the event at the Eiffel Tower is a reminder that some of the most ambitious projects were built by engineers and entrepreneurs, and that the world’s greatest companies start with a great vision and unstoppable founders.”

The contest is part of a worldwide startup contest known as the Elevator World Tour that runs literal elevator pitches in some of the world’s most iconic buildings. Other stops on the tour have included Toronto’s CN tower and the Azrieli Tower in Tel Aviv, with upcoming events being planned in New York, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Berlin, and Santiago.

The Elevator World Tour Paris is being organized by the International Startup Festival and the French accelerator, 50 Partners and is being hosted by the Société d’Explotation de la Tour Eiffel.

See you in Paris!

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Post-Demo Day and onto the real world

December 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Well, that’s a wrap folks! After the production of Demo Day on Tuesday, FounderFuel’s 6th cohort has come to a close. That mean’s it’s time for the latest additions to the #FFMob to head out into the real world and we’re so excited to see what they’ll do! It’s been 3 months of grueling work and endless pitch prep but it certainly paid off at Demo Day. Rave reviews were heard all around the packed Rialto Theatre and the latest cohort is all set to take that success and run with it. The real world will be very different from the nurturing walls of Notman House, but armed with the mentors and network they gained during the cohort, we’re convinced that the most mature FounderFuel class will achieve nothing short of victory!

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Want a closer look at the teams? Here’s a full list of the Fall 2014 cohort:

Binder

Brownie Points 

Flatbook

Mejuri

NuMessenger

RedTree Robotics

Seamless Planet

Selective Few

Were you unable to make it to Demo Day and are wondering what kind of magic happened in the Rialto Theatre? You can catch the entire show again here, or stay tuned to our blog where we’ll be sharing the individual pitches of the cohort.

Ottawa here we come!

October 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm

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Do you have a startup in Ottawa? Are you interested in applying to FounderFuel? Come to office hours with Sylvain Carle and Emma Williams on November 10th from 10am to 4pm at Invest Ottawa!

One of the top-tier accelerators in the world, FounderFuel is now recruiting for the Spring 2015 cohort. We’d love to have applicants from all over the world, so if you are located in Ottawa then make sure to take advantage of this opportunity!

Want to meet Emma and Sylvain and find out more about FounderFuel? Let your curiosity get the best of you and sign up here! We will also be having beers at Heart and Crown starting at 5:30pm and all are welcome to join!

There is less than one month to apply for the Spring 2015 cohort, so now is the time to find out if FounderFuel is right for you. Don’t be spooked by the November 29th application deadline, and apply before time runs out!

Spooky thought – Demo Day is just a month away!

October 30, 2014 at 12:05 pm

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With Halloween’s arrival tomorrow, the teams now have to face the spooky thought that Demo Day is just over a month away! Crazy right?! It seems like just yesterday they were opening the doors to Notman for the first time, exploring their offices, and setting up shop.

Now after 2 months of hard work and daily grind, they’re kicking it into overdrive to get things ready for their pitches at Demo Day. Presenting to a room full of investors, fellow founders, and techies, the pressure will really be on!

Think it sounds like a wild ride for the FounderFuel Teams? Come check out the action of Demo Day for yourself and experience what all the hype is about! We’re expecting over 900 attendees from around the world, including investors from Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and London. Want the chance to network with all these incredible guests? Sign up today and join the fun of Demo Day on December 2nd!

Get your tickets here

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L’arrivée de l’Halloween rappelle effroyablement aux équipes que le Demo Day se tiendra dans à peine plus d’un mois! Dur à croire, n’est-ce pas? Il semble que c’était hier encore qu’elles franchissaient pour la toute première fois les portes de la Maison Notman.

Après deux mois de travail acharné à un rythme effréné, les équipes redoublent d’efforts à peaufiner leurs présentations du Demo Day. La pression sera à son comble lorsqu’elles présenteront leurs réalisations devant une salle bondée d’investisseurs, de collègues fondateurs et de technophiles!

L’aventure vous semble mouvementée pour les équipes de FounderFuel? Vivez l’expérience du Demo Day et constatez par vous-même toute l’effervescence qui y règne! Nous attendons plus de 900 participants provenant des quatre coins du monde, y compris des investisseurs de la Silicon Valley, de New York, de Boston, de Montréal, de Toronto et de Londres. Vous désirez avoir la chance de réseauter avec ces invités de marque? Inscrivez-vous sans tarder et profitez pleinement du Demo Day le 2 décembre prochain!

Achetez vos billets ici.

Day 35: The Countdown is Officially On!

October 20, 2014 at 10:29 am

Demo Day is about 40 days away and time is moving quickly! The teams are working 7 days a week to make sure their product is perfect, they achieve high levels of traction, launch successful Kickstarters and/or get lots of valuable press coverage before the big day. Let’s just say they have very high mountains to climb but they’re getting there! 

Tickets for Demo Day are going fast! General Admission is already half full. Make sure you get yours before we run out! You don’t want to miss your chance to watch the pitches from our best cohort yet and to mingle with the entire Montreal startup community. 

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We’re Coming Back To Toronto!

October 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Hey Toronto Startups!

We couldn’t be more excited to be coming back to Toronto! We had so much fun this past summer at Project:OWL and met some amazing founders and startups. 

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This time around we’ve partnered with One Eleven and will be hanging out there all day Tuesday, Oct 28th hosting office hours for startups interested in applying to our Spring 2015 Cohort. Even better than that, on the evening of Monday, Oct 27th we’ll be hosting a panel discussion on what it was like to take the leap to entrepreneurship. We’ve got solid line-up of seasoned entrepreneurs who will talk about how they knew it was the time to turn their vision into a business, the risks, the rewards and where their companies are now.

The panel will be hosted by FounderFuel GM Sylvain Carle and is made up of:

Alkarim Nasser of BNotions

Andrew Sider of Varage Sale

Nikolai Bratkovski of OpenCare 

Joe Rideout of Relay

So come have a beer (on us!) and listen to these awesome Toronto entrepreneurs talk about how they built their businesses!

Register here!

Want to come meet us during our office hours? Register here!  

 

Day 30: Crunch Time Sets In – Demo Day is 49 Days Away!

October 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

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It is hard to believe the time has flown by so quickly, but we are already halfway through the Fall 2014 program and the pressure to deliver is building up! With Demo Day just 49 days away, now is officially crunch time for the teams. The teams are in full stress mode and the pressure is on as they have just a short amount of time to push out their MVP, achieve high levels of traction, and attempt to get some valuable press coverage before the big day. With a lot to accomplish in a short time, now is the time they’ll be applying everything that they’ve gained from the FounderFuel program  in a big push towards Demo Day.

We’re all feeling the pressure and getting really excited about Demo Day. Have you got your ticket yet? If not, do so here. You don’t want to miss your chance to watch the pitches from our strongest cohort yet and to mingle with the entire Montreal startup community!

Think your team has what it takes?

Apply