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One week until Demo Day is here!

November 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm

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Exactly one week from today the Fall 2014 Cohort of FounderFuel will be taking the stage at the Rialto Theatre as they present at Demo Day! We’re incredibly thrilled to see what they’ve achieved in the past 3 months, and we know it’ll be a great show! We’ve booked a local band to perform after the pitches, and are excited to have the entire #FFMob together to mingle with the Montreal tech community. 

Just like last year, we’re opening up the floor during the “5 à 7″ for everyone to mingle with the Fall 2014 Cohort, not to mention the entire FounderFuel network: InvestorsEntrepreneurs and Senior Executives (don’t worry we’ll make sure all the tables are moved so it isn’t as cramped).

Don’t miss out, this is a unique opportunity to help you accelerate your own startup! 

Here’s what the evening will look like!

3PM - Doors Open | Grab A Seat
4PM – Show Time | Fall 2014 Pitches
5PM – “5 à 7″ Beers & Drinks
8PM – END
10PM – Official After-Party TBD

Have you gotten your tickets? There’s a few left!

Demo Day Pressure is Rising!

November 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

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With only 12 days left until Demo Day, today was another big day of preparation as the teams visited the Rialto Theatre where they’ll be pitching soon. Seeing the space for the first time, the teams were shown firsthand what they’ll be facing on the big day, minus the 1K+ audience! When returning to Notman this afternoon, the house was abuzz with final pitch preparations as everyone continued to work incredibly hard to get all of the final bugs out before December 2nd.

The teams are pushing themselves to their limits to be ready for Demo Day – will you be there to see the fruits of their labors?! Miss this, and you’ll be missing out big time! Come hang out with FounderFuel Founders and investors from Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Montreal, Toronto as well as the entire #FFMob including the Fall 2014 Cohort, InvestorsEntrepreneurs and Senior Executives. There are less than 50 tickets left, so be sure not to lose this opportunity to mingle with the Montreal tech community! 

Finalizing Pitches at Show & Tell III

November 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

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With Demo Day right around the corner, the teams gave their final pitches to mentors today at Show & Tell III. We were thrilled to have a full house full of mentors today and after watching the pitches develop over the past three months, they were able to give valuable last minute tips on how to improve the presentations in the final days before Demo Day. It’s been three months of hard work and it was exciting to see the progress that has been made!

Here is some of the tough love our Mentors gave today:

“Just own it. Say exactly what you mean, and lock in credibility for yourself.”

“After watching that, I’ve got a page of little comments written down. Which is far too many.”

“I don’t want anyone to waste their time. If you’re going to do it, follow the process and do it right.”

“I was telling you we ship every week. Until Demo Day is here, we now ship every day.”

“You talked about the quality and curation, but you do it subtly, as opposed to hitting it in people faces.”

“You should never tell people what you do. Ever. Until you tell them why.”

“I’m saying it’s really bad. Surprisingly bad.”

“By the end of the presentation, your message was completely lost on me.”

“There’s a lot of issues with this presentation. Today was supposed to be an equivalent of what you’re presenting in two weeks, yet at the end you have no ask.”

“Every single word matters. Every single word.”

“Give us faith that you can deliver.”

“Everyone knows what is the opportunity. That is obvious. What they don’t know is how you will capture the opportunity.”

“You don’t necessarily need to differentiate your underwear from your trousers. You just need to say you get dressed.”

“At the end of the day if you are a technology company, you need to show me the software that is going to be the service.”

“I think that everyone should be able to say we do this, but this is why we’re going to win.”

Interested in seeing the pitches behind all this commentary? Come to Demo Day on December 2nd and see all of this live! 

How to Kill it at Demo Day

November 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

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Today is Wednesday. Hump day. It could be a bleak middle of the week Wednesday like any other. Walk through the halls of Notman and you’ll see it’s anything but. Today, this very Wednesday, marks 20 days from Demo Day – and boy are the teams cranking it out now. The stakes are high and it’s time for the teams to turn it into final gear. The final video summarizing the Fall 2014 cohort will be filmed tomorrow, and come Friday they’ll be presenting at their third and final Show & Tell. The teams have been practicing their pitches for Demo Day for quite a while, but now it’s time to refine, perfect, and polish. As they prepare in these final days, we’ve found some tips and tricks from Forbes on how to kill it at Demo Day.

“One of the hardest things to do when you are preparing your demo day presentation is identifying what not to talk about.”

“When you’re on stage, every second counts.”

“Being fundable requires a clear response to the key questions.  Everything else is just style points.”

“Practice with friends or teammates in a staged environment so you are used to standing in front of an audience.”

“Don’t necessarily memorize your script; instead know your story line. Identify the key points you want to make on each slide and practice key transitions.”

“One last thing–don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the moment in the spotlight, you’ve earned it!”

Still haven’t gotten your tickets to Demo Day? Get them here before they’re gone!

Day 46: “I don’t know what sleep is anymore”

November 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

There’s 27 days left until Demo Day. That’s right ONLY 27 days left!! The teams have their heads down and are busy trying to accomplish as much as they can. They want to walk on stage at the historic Rialto Theatre and knock your socks off with what they’ve achieved in 12 short weeks. To highlight the 1 month countdown mark we decided to ask the teams their thoughts on the looming deadline. 

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Here are some of their answers:

“Please stop reminding me. It’s the only thing I can think about.”

“I don’t know what sleep is anymore. At this point, I wouldn’t even be able to pick my bed out of a line-up!”

“I’m worried we’re not building what people want and we’ll only find that out too late. What if I walk on stage and have nothing? Are we doing everything wrong?”

“Crap…”

“I’m excited for Demo Day! It’s what we’ve been working towards this whole time and we got this!”

And with that, the countdown is officially on. From creative marketplaces to robotic solutions to top notch SaaS platforms, this Demo Day will be one to remember! Are you excited to meet the teams?

Get your Demo Day tickets now!

What’s in a FounderFuel Founder?

November 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

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Interested in applying to FounderFuel? Having trouble deciding if the program is right for you? Want an inside look at what a typical FounderFuel Founder looks like? With so many accelerators popping up around the world, it can be difficult to decide which one is a good fit for you. Check out the numbers below to see what the average startup in our program is like.

Average Founder Age – 29 

We’ve had a range of founders from 19-38 years old, and only 1/4 of the Founders were students or coming out of University. The rest were seasoned entrepreneurs or came from the workplace.

Top 3 Cities Companies Come From -

  1. Montreal

  2. Toronto

  3. Vancouver

Average Number of Founders per company – 2.5

Gender Breakdown -

17% Women

83% Men

However, we are actively trying to change this and want a 50/50 split by the end of 2015.

Company Stage

Most have developed a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and spend the program achieving product-market fit. The program is not meant for building, but instead meant for raising traction, revenue, and eventually funding.

Industry

SaaS – 31%

Mobile – 27%

Marketplace – 18%

User-Generated – 8%

Hardware – 7%

Media – 7%

E-Commerce – 2%

Hopefully, the above stats have helped dispel any myths about the typical startup or founder that goes through the FounderFuel program. Check out some of our alumni here.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a part of FounderFuel? Apply here.

Want a closer look into the profiles of our founders? Come to Demo Day and see what they’re like for yourself!

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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Day 3: Learning to Pitch – Part 1

September 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Today, on Day 3 of the program, the teams sat through 2 sessions on how craft and deliver the perfect pitch. This is the beginning of a 3 month journey that will put the teams through rigorous exercises that will result in them delivering the quality of pitch that FounderFuel is known for. 

The sessions the teams took part in today were put on by John Stokes from Real Ventures and Ian Jeffrey from Passwordbox. These talks are very similar to those given during FounderFuel’s cross-country PITCH IT tour. 

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 Here are some of the key take-aways from John’s talk:

“It’s not about winning, it’s about showing that you have a chance of winning”
“Create a sense of faith in you…or in your progress” 

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Here are some of the key take-aways from Ian’s talk:

“Pitch. Listen. Learn. Repeat”
“Write a script. Don’t freestyle”
“Show. Don’t Tell. Use pictures, graphs, visuals & video”

Next stop on their pitching journey…Austin Hill’s Pitch Workshop next week. 

Join us at the FounderFuel Season Opener

August 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

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The FounderFuel Fall 2014 Cohort kicks off at the beginning of September and we want to give our teams a proper welcome to the Montreal Startup Community (which is now more than 3000 members strong!!).

Come out for a drink or two (or three?), mingle with your peers and meet our new companies.

When: Thursday, September 11th @ 9PM-3AM
Where: Apt. 200 (3643 Boul. Saint-Lauren)

The doors are closed to the general public until 11PM so make sure you arrive before then and have your ticket in hand.

Register here for your ticket.

Can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Provender arrives in Toronto to “grow” local food markets for farmers and chefs

July 31, 2014 at 12:50 pm

We’re super proud to announce that as of today Provender, a graduate from our Summer 2013 Cohort, is officially launched and available to the Toronto food community! 

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Provender is an on-line marketplace driven by a technology team rooted in the local food movement, that creates opportunities for chefs and farmers to connect, transact, and collaborate online. 

Provender allows chefs to discover and source a diversity of high quality, fresh, locally grown agricultural products.  Provender staff, or “Farmteam”, play a key role in this process by building relationships with stakeholders on both ends of  the local supply and demand chains. By connecting stakeholders through the on-line marketplace, Provender is creating greater access and opportunities within the regional food system. Chefs benefit from greater access to information regarding a diversity of locally grown products, while farmers gain greater market access through the platform that helps to manage and grow their businesses.

Consumers are demanding more information about where and how the food they eat is grown. Toronto chefs have responded to interests in a thriving local food scene by driving a return to locally sourced products known for their quality, variety and freshness.  There is an active interest to know more about local farmers, their methods of production and their role in bringing tasty, fresh food to the table.

“Provender provides a window to local products and farms. Using the technology they provide, the marketplace helps us see and understand what is available to us from a multitude of local farmers. It offers an easy way for us to stay true to our mission of sourcing locally and sustainably, all while helping local farms get greater access to restaurants by show casing their amazing products”. - Terry Kobayashi, Ursa Restaurant

Mark Trealout – Grassroots Organics
Photo credit – Luke McElcheran

Provender staff presenting the platform
Photo credit – Alison Slattery 

Good Looking Tomatoes
Photo credit – Luke McElcheran

Want more information? Contact Caithrin Rintoul, Co-Founder and CEO  at #514-567-2240, cai@provender.com or on Twitter at @caithrin

Think your team has what it takes?

Apply