Recruitment Here We Come!

May 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

After a crazy and successful seventh cohort, we’re ready to jump back into the recruitment game.

FounderFuel has just graduated a group of entrepreneurs who recognize and have leveraged the fact that the world is malleable. From aquafarming, to 3D Printing, to creative transportation, the last few months have been quite a ride (no pun intended). 

This past cohort was a busy one:
- We were visited by Stephane Marceau (CEO at Omsignal),  Alistair Croll (author, speaker, entrepreneur), Ty Danco (Director of Techstars Boston), Ethan Song (CEO & Creative Director at Frank & Oak) as well as friends at Passwordbox, Google and many more.
- We profiled Canadian startups - KickbackVanhawksGymtrack and Spoil - that are making waves in the States. 
- We wrote about the state of accelerators todayadvisor equityacquiring users and much, much more.
- We’ve even introduced a few of our Real Ventures teammates, Gabriel and Sam. This series, I should mention, is ongoing (check back!).  
- And of course, we’ve eaten some good food along the way…

We’re now ready and excited to recruit for Fall 2015. We’re on the lookout for the next round of movers and shakers, and we want to come to you. As we’re in the process of planning events and office hours in major Canadian cities, we would love to hear of anywhere you’d like us to be. Ping us at to get in touch.  

Think your team should be next? Tell us why here

See you soon! 

- Ella

Check out the Spring 2015 Demo Day Pitches (VIDEO)

May 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Sharethebus is the premier online marketplace for charter bus rental, bringing people the tools to join, create and share trips to festivals, conferences and other high-demand events.

Spot has turned the simple video player into a content creation platform that allows anyone to add interactive apps inside their video in order to increase audience engagement and conversion.

Studyo is helping Students, Teachers and Parents plan and communicate what, where and when to study.

Mosaic has developed The Palette, an accessory that enables multi-colour objects to be made on today’s desktop 3D printers.

CoRecruiters converts hiring managers’ surplus talent into meaningful referral opportunities for their professional network.

Xpertsea has developed the XpertCount, an all in-one hardware and software solution to accurately count, measure and report data for the aquaculture industry.

Sara Ahmadian to Pitch at White House Demo Day

May 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm

We are proud to announce that Seamless Planet, a FounderFuel accelerated, Canadian, and female founded startup, will be taking part in the first ever White House Demo Day. 

The White House Demo Day is one step that the Administration is taking to empower entrepreneurs from “every corner of America” to create and grow successful businesses.


Unlike traditional Demo Days, involving a pitch of ones business to a roomful of investors and community members, this Demo Day will showcase the diversity of entrepreneurs and their ideas. With the focus being on inclusive entrepreneurship, this event will push to empower founders from all walks of life, including “those underrepresented in entrepreneurship like women and people of color.”

Seamless Planet is a global distribution and channel management system for experiences and activities. Co-founders  Sara Ahmadian and Ramin Hazegh took part in the FounderFuel program during the Fall of 2014. They have also pitched at Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day, securing $100, 000 from Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution and co-founder of AOL.

President Barack Obama will be in attendance, as well as Shark Tanks’ Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and more.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #StartTheSpark and tune in live today at 2PM EST at Go Sara! 

Demo Day Livestream

May 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Tomorrow is the big day! 

If you are unable to attend, check back here at 4pm on Thursday, May 7th to watch the LIVE stream of Demo Day.

demo day

Founders On A Bus Update

May 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Demo Day is sold out, Founders On A Bus is completely full and the waitlist for the most epic bus ride ever is growing! 

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 1.27.30 PM

If you’re one of the lucky few with a seat on the bus, here’s what you need to know: 
If you want to pitch to the judges, prepare a 90 second elevator pitch (no slides necessary). 
You will present this pitch to the judges on the bus. 
A winner on each bus will be chosen.
The winners will then get the chance to pitch in front of the Demo Day crowd of over 800. 
The judging panel will consist of Mikael Cho (Founder at Crew), Priscilla Lavoie (Co-Founder and CMO at Binder) and Laurent Maisonnave (CEO at Seevibes). 

Just three days left to go! We couldn’t be more excited and we hope to see you there! 

Four Days To Go!

May 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Demo Day is sold out and we couldn’t be more excited! Pitch preparation is well underway and the energy in the offices is high. If you didn’t get the chance to grab a ticket, check back here after Demo Day to find videos of each teams pitch. 

We’ll see you at the Rialto Theatre this Thursday…

Countdown (1)


Demo Day Is Sold Out!

May 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Thank you to everyone whose purchased Spring 2015 Demo Day tickets! We are officially sold out and could not be more excited!

We have had a ton of inquiries about ticket sales at the door and so wanted to clear up the confusion: we do not sell tickets at the door. We are, excitedly, at capacity. 

The good news is that there is ONE exception. We’ve put aside tickets for our Founders on a Bus and their are a few seats left. With the purchase of a ticket on our bus (rolling through Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City) you receive a ticket to Demo Day. Grab a seat on the bus before they’re all gone! 

Only six days left – we can’t wait to see you there! 

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 1.27.30 PM

Behind the Scenes at FounderFuel: Sam Haffar

April 29, 2015 at 11:47 am

Sam Haffar, Principal at Real Ventures

Sam joined Real Ventures in August 2014 after spending 8 years in Silicon Valley helping build some of the fastest growing companies in their category; Chegg, Kno and Eat Club. After starting his first company while in University, Sam helped scale companies from 5 to 300+ employees and helped grow revenue from $0 to $100 million. This was all in the span of a few years after university. 

Today, Sam is a Principal at Real Ventures where he helps lead seed deals, connect companies to exceptional talent and prepare companies for success beyond their seed round. His most recent investments include Vanhawks and Breezy HR.

At FounderFuel, Sam helps drive the recruitment and selection process of new companies into the program. He helps teams define their product strategy, build their go to market, refine their pitch, connect with customers, and plan their round of funding after the program. A current FounderFuel team working closely with Sam describes him as having genuine insight, a ton of experience and willing to roll up his sleeves to help get the job done (whatever it may be).

When it comes to funding the next big idea, Sam looks for ambitious teams that are maniacally focused and are hardcore geeks in their fields. He’s incredibly excited about AI, Robotics, VR/AR, the Internet of things and how automation will shape our future, but also is a sucker for obvious ideas that fulfill a huge present day demand that haven’t been so obvious to everyone else.

When asking Sam what’s the most rewarding part of FounderFuel to him, he described watching the transformation of the teams from the day that they walk through the door for their interview as raw entrepreneurs with a good idea but with far more potential, to the day that they are on stage at Demo Day pitching like world-class entrepreneurs with a massive idea and the confidence and know how to make it happen.

He explained that the success of a team hinges on the people involved, their passion and vision, and their ability to clearly communicate goals and objectives.

If you think that this describes your team and you would like to find success with Sam’s help, apply to the FounderFuel program here!   

Demo Day Sneak Peak: Aquaculture

April 15, 2015 at 3:46 pm

It’s no surprise that our current cohort is diverse. They’re working on a wide range of products to be introduced on Demo Day. In the meantime, we’re giving quick snapshots into some of the different spaces. We’ve already discussed 3D Printing. Up next is Aquaculture. 

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 3.37.17 PM

Aquaculture, or aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms. Here are three fun facts: 

1) Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal food-producing sector

2) Infact, Aquaculture was a 200B USD market in 2008 and is growing by 10% every year. Yet, the industry is still lacking in insurance policies, sustainable practices and traceability because living aquatic organisms are difficult to count. Microorganisms are still being counted with spoons and hands. 

3) ” Whether you’re raising fish in an offshore cage or in a filtered tank on land, you still have to feed them. They have one big advantage over land animals: You have to feed them a lot less. Fish need fewer calories, because they’re cold-blooded and because, living in a buoyant environment, they don’t fight gravity as much. It takes roughly a pound of feed to produce a pound of farmed fish; it takes almost two pounds of feed to produce a pound of chicken, about three for a pound of pork, and about seven for a pound of beef. As a source of animal protein that can meet the needs of nine billion people with the least demand on Earth’s resources, aquaculture—particularly for omnivores like tilapia, carp, and catfish—looks like a good bet.”
National Geographic 

We can’t wait for you to see what the FounderFuel startup is doing in this space. Don’t forget to grab your tickets for the big day! 

Behind the Scenes at FounderFuel: Gabriel Sundaram

April 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm

[We're going to introduce ourselves over the next few weeks. We want to show you the faces behind FounderFuel and Real Ventures. That way, you’ll be able to see how and why we can accelerate your company.]

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 1.18.41 PM

Gabriel Sundaram is Director of Platform at Real Ventures. His arrival coincided with FounderFuel’s launch, so he’s been involved in its development since the very beginning. 

After having worked for a FinTech startup in the US, Gabriel moved back to his hometown of Montreal and dove headfirst into impacting the direction of its startup community. He seeks to give back, leveraging MTL talent to help the city’s business community thrive. Consequently, he’s become cofounder of Startup Open House, a mentor for Startup Weekend, as well as co-organizer of both Startup Drinks and TechNoel. His work at Real, FF and in the community coincide; his projects at work directly align with his startup network, access to information and ability to bring the right people together.

His specialties lie primarily in product development and management, as well as in fundraising strategy. His background in startup metrics and product road mapping, as well as his experience working with companies preparing for series A or Seed rounds, brings value to his part in FF’s selection committee and to his mentorship to FF companies. While working with FF, he works at Real on forcing new deals, the investment committee, back office projects and more. 

In his opinion, one main factor distinguishes a good FF company from a great one: their willingness to hustle. “If you find a way to leverage the resources that the program has to offer, as well as take seriously the artificial time constraint, you’ll find success,” he explains.  

His two favorite parts of the program? The selection process and Demo Day. Although the former can be gruelling (with application numbers now reaching the 400’s), he enjoys meeting excited and often first time entrepreneurs. They help him keep his finger on the pulse in terms of what’s happening within tech, both within and outside of MTL. Demo Day, on the other hand, brings together some of Gabriel’s favorite things: seeing the hustle pay off, the presentation of soon-to-be successful startups and, of course, community.

Hopefully we’ll see you there. 

Universe widget not working? Get your tickets here.

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know who you’d like profiled next, if you have any questions, or if you’d like to get in touch with Gabriel. You can find us on Twitter @founderfuel


Think your team has what it takes?