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FounderFuel CTO Panel

November 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

fireplace

Brrr it sure is cold outside! What better way then to cozy up with a fireside chat?! Are you considering applying for FounderFuel’s Spring 2015 cohort? Interested in the more technical side of the program? Come check out what the program has to offer as we host a panel of CTOs! Stay tuned – we’ll announce the 4 panelists from various stage startups in the next few days. Here’s what the night will look like:

Schedule
5:00PM - Doors open for a networking session
5:45PM -  Fireside chat with a FounderFuel alumni CTO 
6:00PM – The panel will begin and Sylvain Carle will lead the discussion 

With the Spring 2015 applications currently open, FounderFuel is actively seeking early-stage companies who have an MVP and can spend the program achieving product/market fit. Be sure to attend the event, and apply for the Spring 2015 Cohort if you think this applies to you!

 Want to learn more about FounderFuel? Check out our upcoming Demo Day on Dec 2nd!

Women Startup Leaders – We Want You!

November 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm

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Why are only 6.5% of venture-backed companies lead by women? Here at FounderFuel we’re looking to help change that. Two weeks ago we hosted a Female Founders Panel highlighting the challenges and successes of running a startup. While the event itself was an incredible success that shared knowledge between female founders in Montreal, FounderFuel is committed to doing more than just that. In our next cohort, we are aiming to create a 50/50 balance between male and female founders. If you are interested in helping us lead this change, consider applying today! In the meanwhile, check out these top tips for women startup leaders from VentureBeat

Your startup is like a newborn. The very early stages of a startup are critical for its future development, so creating a positive work environment — which involves how you hire and treat employees — is essential for building the company you envision.  

Fake it ‘til you make it. Improvising and “putting on a brave face” even in the face of uncertainty are leadership qualities too often associated with males, but I assure you, women do them equally as well, if not better. 

Build a support team.  It is of crucial importance that as you build your budding startup team, you also build an all-star support team outside of work. Your life partner is like your cofounder, choose a good one and it’s the best move you’ll ever make. 

Let go. It’s OK to relinquish control of some of your duties. Delegation is smart and indicates foresight, talent, strength and confidence. 

It can be deliciously lonely at the top. Make sure you schedule time for yourself. If you can find the time to sit it on a conference call about a lone unpaid invoice or for a long discussion with a manager about their concerns, you can also make time for yourself. Go to the gym, for a walk, to meditate, or just be alone with your thoughts.

Interested in joining the Spring 2015 cohort? Still curious as to what FounderFuel is all about? Come check out Demo Day and see for yourself! There are only a few tickets left, so be sure to get yours today! Register here.

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! 

Application Time – What to Avoid!

November 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Businessman Behind Stack of File Folders

Being accepted to an accelerator can be a challenging feat. With hundreds of applicants vying for a spot in each cohort, the competition is steep and it can be hard to get noticed. With just 16 days left to apply to FounderFuel, it’s time to start thinking of how to set your startup apart from the others. However, when making your application memorable, make sure you stay away from these 7 common mistakes that startups make when applying to accelerators.

1. Building for Yourself Instead of a Market

2. Lack of Any Market Validation

3. One-Sided Competitive “Analysis”

4. No Route to Customers

5. Claiming False Competitive Advantages

6. Winging the 60-Second Pitch

7. Ignoring Your Faults

In the end, we’re looking for honest, solid applications from those that have developed a MVP and are ready to hustle during the program to find their product-market fit. Avoid these above mistakes, and your application will be sure to soar. Think you’re ready to put your startup to the test? APPLY TODAY and see if you have what it takes to be a part of FounderFuel!

Still curious as to how your startup will grow and develop during the program? Come check out Demo Day and see for yourself what the #FFMob is capable of.

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!

Sneak Peak at Demo Day presenters!

November 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

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Just kidding! :)

While we can’t tell you any more than what’s been hinted at on twitter about the teams presenting, with less than one month till Demo Day we can tell you a bit more about what the big day entails!

The FounderFuel Fall 2014 cohort will be pitching our audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and techies, hoping to make a great impression on all attending. But you’re probably already aware of this. What you might not know is that as soon as the pitches are finished, we’ll be clearing all the tables and seating for the networking event so that there’s more room to mingle with the first-rate attendees.

When a secret band takes the stage at 5, the vibes will really be bumping to get the networking going. We’re also expecting an incredible turnout of over 900 from those within the Montreal tech community and around the world. If you’re looking to make connections with VC’s, Angels, Executives, or just other Entrepreneurs then this would be the opportunity for you!

Stay tuned for an announcement of Official After-Party details and get your ticket today before they sell out!

Day 47: NYC Tech for Canadians

November 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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Today the teams heard from Charles Brun, CEO and Co-Founder of Now In Store about the tech scene in New York City. Charles was in the 4th FounderFuel Cohort and was able to give valuable insights as to what #NYCTech has to offer. Here are some of the things he found best about the community.

Driven and Fast Paced –  It takes a 24/7 work ethic to build something meaningful and valuable, and this mantra is strong in New York.

Welcoming – People that are new to tech can integrate quickly, and those new to the NYC Tech scene are welcomed with open arms. 

Collaborative – There is a continuous sharing of ideas networks, deals, and more. Everyone is willing to share their own experiences which helps the community continue to grow at a rapid rate. 

Open – The community is very accessible via meet ups, twitter, and blogs and other resources. There are also a number of coffee shops that provide good opportunities for networking. 

Diverse – There are many large industries in town, but tech is involved in every single one.

Innovative – Many advancements exist from corporations, startups, and makers.

Interested in participating in mentorship talks like these? Apply today to the FounderFuel Spring 2015 cohort!

Curious as to what is produced from a FounderFuel cohort? Come by Demo Day on December 2nd to see for yourself! Register here. 

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!

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 Ottowa!

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!

Think your team has what it takes?

Apply