After a couple of months of planning, we are happy to announce we are opening the call for startups for the next FounderFuel cohort. We have taken some time between cohorts to review what we have been doing for the last 5 years. We believe in the classic acceleration model: an intensive, on-location, cohort based program with an open and collaborative environment, and experienced founders, executives and investment professionals as mentors.
Ask any of our Alumni how valuable FounderFuel has been for them. Applications are open now (March 9th) and the program will begin April 19th in Montréal. We will review and process applications as they come in. We will only accept a handful of startups, we recommend you apply as soon as possible.
Then and Now
When we launched FounderFuel in 2011, three major trends were on our radar: open source, cloud computing and mobile. These three things led to ubiquitous connectivity and the exponential reduction in the cost of software development, data storage and processing power. We are now reaching a point where the brute force of computers is matching, and often exceeding, humans’ mental capabilities, most notably in the area of matching or exceeding humans decision making capabilities. AI.
We see that the additive nature of AI to the current technology environment will be broad and profound. Incumbents will once again be usurped by a new generation of companies, and other companies will rise by empowering both the incumbents and the usurpers with AI tools as they battle for customers. An AI world therefore presents an unprecedented opportunity for a new wave of entrepreneurs and we are confident that we can help these entrepreneurs succeed.
We had always known that the best ingredient to acceleration is a solid network of seasoned startup co-founders. With the addition of new EIRs at Real Ventures, FounderFuel companies will, in addition to our strong mentor network, have access to a committed set of seasoned entrepreneurs, some of whom will have specific AI domain expertise.
We are focused on the pre-seed to seed stage. Successful companies will typically raise a seed round of 500K-1.5M after going through FounderFuel. To help them get there, we believe the best deal is a combination of the right amount of investment and entrepreneur-friendly terms. Our 2016 deal is an investment of 100K for the equivalent of 5% in equity.
The FounderFuel program has workshops, office hours, readily available advice and intense pitch prep, because your pitch is the blueprint of your business. A 13 weeks journey conducted as a series of weekly sprints, that concludes with a demo day attended by 1200+ community members. We look for strong teams of 2-3 co-founders (at least one technical) and a solid MVP or beta version of your product (ready to go to market). Most important is an ambitious vision and clear goals for your time in the accelerator.
Time to Apply
If you have core skills in machine learning, insights on how a specific market can be reinvented by new models, a do-whatever-it-takes attitude and relentless drive, we want to meet with you. Applications are now open and we will start interviewing as applications come in. Program will run from April 19th with a demo day the last week of July.
The best way to learn about FounderFuel is to talk to founders that have been through the program, so please ask them. The FounderFuel team will be available for information sessions to help you assess whether we can help you achieve your goals of tackling problems that are harder, with a team that is better, faster, stronger.
Also published on Medium.