Joining the Family

 A few weeks ago, I was in my hometown, Nice, France for 3 weeks. I took some time to see good friends and family. This moment was a great time to take a step back from all the stuff I’d been doing earlier. To think.

When I came back to Montreal early October, I was looking for the next opportunity to jump on. I was focused on finding a job in Los Angeles with my girlfriend who was moving there permanently. I believed it was an interesting next move: to go live near what some people call the ‘Silicon Beach’. And well, it’s California – I was already sold. But then, Alex from Real Ventures, told me we should grab a beer to chat about something. I found out it was about Emma, the current Program Manager at FounderFuel. She was moving to a new adventure in 2016 and Sylvain was looking for someone to take over this crazy role.

When I learned this, I immediately thought it was an amazing opening, and I was very curious to learn more. Last summer I had been running the McGill X-1 Accelerator so I had the chance to work with some people from Real Ventures. And it was awesome. They were straightforward, and always spot on, it was tough love. Before that, I had worked on 2 startups and participated in the Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator at MIT, so I had been involved in startups from the get go. Full disclosure: I had applied to a FounderFuel cohort with a previous startup and did not get in. Even though we didn’t make it, we learned a ton in the process of applying to the program and the partners gave us great insights to move forward. These experiences taught me two important things: determination makes a real difference and that if you don’t ask, you just don’t get.

And today I’m very happy and honoured to join the team at Real Ventures, working as FounderFuel’s new Program Manager. I’m so thrilled to be part of such a vibrant community in Montreal, working from the Notman House. I’m definitely the rookie here, but you know what, that makes it such a great opportunity to learn from the best, and keep on making FounderFuel bigger and better! Surfing in Los Angeles can wait for now. I just started a few days ago and the people here made me feel at home straight away. I’m excited about what’s coming next for the program in 2016. And for now I’ll switch back to my other tabs to work with the rest of the team on the Mega Demo Day coming up soon! Hope to see you there!

Please say hi, and if you want to chat, I’d love to meet you. Tweet me @thibaudmarechal or send me an email.

– Thibaud

Edit creds: Thanks to Ella, Emma, Sylvain and Valentine for reading draft versions of this post.


Thibaud Marechal

Thibaud was born and raised in Nice, France and came to Canada to study Information Systems at McGill University. During his time at McGill he attended the MIT GFSA Accelerator where he developed Uniiv, an EdTech startup. Back in Montreal he launched Igloo, a RealTech Business while also working for an International VC Fund. Upon graduation he joined the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship full-time and created and led the McGill X-1 Accelerator, which ran it’s first Cohort in the Summer of 2015. He is a fanatic lover of bicycles and all sorts of documentaries. He also enjoys spending time on Quora discovering new things. Thibaud believes that “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

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