The finalists for the 2014 Canadian Startup Awards have just been announced and our very own Vanhawks (Spring 2014) has been nominated as Accelerator Graduate of the Year!
Vanhawks’s mission is to make connected bikes for the urban commuter to encourage bike rides for greener and less congested cities with the best experience possible. The Vanhawks Valour, is the first Bluetooth connected bike built from carbon fibre, giving riders safety,comfort and insight for every ride.
Vanhawks came into the FounderFuel program with a big idea and were in the early stages of manufacturing their prototype. They then went one to raise the most amount of money in crowdfunding in Canada through Kickstarter which was 820k, have attracted major media attention, made key hires and have a lot more exciting news on the way! 2015 is going to be a big year for Vanhawks! Let’s start it off right by helping them win Accelerator Graduate of the Year!
And help us spread the word!
Are you a starving startup? Want to move your team into an office but don’t have the budget for it yet? Know a team that deserves a few months of free office space? We’ve got the solution!
We’re very excited to announce the FounderFuel Office Handoff. FounderFuel has 9 permanent offices in Notman House which are provided to our companies for 6 month periods. However, we have a lot of companies from outside of Montreal who can’t stick around after the program ends. We don’t want this office space to go to waste so, twice a year (winter & summer), FounderFuel companies who chose not to stay in Montreal will be able to handoff their office to some starving startups.
- Team of less than 5 people
- Been around for less than 3 years
- Pre-revenue or limited revenue to-date
- Bootstrapped, haven’t raised any money
- Not currently renting office space
- Diet currently consists of Peanut Butter & Jelly or Ramen Noodles
We’ll be holding rolling applications all year round and will reach out to the teams who qualify for the space in the Winter by October and the teams who qualify for the space in Summer by March.
Fill out an application here.
Questions? Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck to all applicants!
It’s always hard to jump back in after an extended weekend so we won’t overload you today. While you’re on your commute tomorrow morning listen to this recent podcast with Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon and Benedict Evans on tech valuations.
On Wednesday, 5 of the 45 FounderFuel portfolio companies will head down to San Francisco to pitch at International Demo Day. For the second year in a row FounderFuel, Seedcamp (London) and Startmate (Australia) are joining forces to show the Valley that there are top notch startups located all around the world. In total there will be 17 companies from all corners of the world pitching their companies. This exclusive event is put on in conjunction with AngelList, meaning that you have to be a registered investor in order to attend. Let’s just say the pressure is on!
The 5 FounderFuel companies that are attending are:
1. Kiwi Wearables
2. Now In Store
4. Tattoo Hero
5. Transit App
To see a list of the other 12 companies check out the International Demo Day site.
Are you an AngelList registered Investor who will be in the Valley on Thursday? Come see what our companies have to offer! Register here.
We’re approaching the end of the first month of the Spring 2014 cohort and it’s becoming clear that the teams are really beginning to settle in and get down to business. The first few weeks were all about Mentor Day and “Mentor whiplash”, now they need to crank on their business as hard as they can. To accomplish their goals most of them are growing their teams with full time employees and interns.
For some this is the first time they’ve ever actively recruited, interviewed and hired employees. This can be quite a difficult and complex process. It gets even more difficult when you’re hiring for a startup since you often have limited funds and perks to offer.
Today, Techvibes published an article written by Randy Frisch, the COO at Uberflip, about just how much a “Bad Hire” can cost a startup. As the company has grown, Randy made sure to look back and analyze just how much every bad hire has cost them.
He broke it down this way:
- average days a bad hire stayed (52)
- how much salary was lost on those people ($70,000)
- how much man power was wasted (way too much)
Some of his suggestions to avoid a bad hire include:
- to focus on things beyond accomplishments or resumes;
- to look for someone who has demonstrated the ability to commit to past projects or jobs;
- to shorten the length of time you give a new employee to adjust (4 weeks).
But, overall, the best piece of advice that he gives is to trust your gut.
Here are some other posts that can you help you out in the hiring process:
5 key Attributes to Look for in the Perfect Startup Hire
How to Hire Your First Employees
How to Hire Your First Outsider and Turn Them Into an Insider
We’re very happy to announce that we are officially part of the Amazon Activate program and can offer the Portfolio Package to startups in our accelerator program. This means that startups that go through FounderFuel are eligible for discounts and special offers from Amazon to help them accelerate even faster!
To learn more about Amazon Activate and how it can help your startup (in an accelerator or not), visit their website here.
We’re really honoured to be counted among the following accelerators and seed funds:
Welcome to Canada!
Last week the Canadian government announced a new Startup Visa Pilot Program to encourage startups and their founders to create new jobs and drive economic growth, right here at home! The program will draw innovative immigrant entrepreneurs to Canada and link international entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that have experience working with startups.
The pilot program will begin accepting applications April 1, 2013 and run for 5 years. To start, the Canadian government has alloted 2750 Visas per year for startup entrepreneurs and their families. If there is demand and early success, the program will become permanent. This means that Canada will become the destination for startups, both at home and abroad, and bring that many more resources to our own back yard, including entrepreneurs, startups and lasting partnerships to foster economic growth and job opportunities.
According to the Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, “Our new Startup Visa will help make Canada the desination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies.” He added that “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy. Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity remain priorities for the Government of Canada, and this new Start-Up Visa Program underscores our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market.”
What does this mean for FounderFuel? It means we get to extend our scope even further and welcome companies into our program from anywhere in the world…and then invite them to stay. Althought we have never let international boundaries hinder our application process, this news means that companies from around the world who will become part of our program will be able to apply for the Startup Visa and bring their businesses, families and futures to Canada. All of this is nothing but fuel to make the Canadian startup ecosystem even stronger. We can’t wait to see what’s in store in the coming months!
Learn more and keep up to date with Startup Visa news here.