General Manager, FounderFuel
Partner, Real Ventures
Katy is a natural connector of people and ideas in service of helping good people succeed. General Manager of FounderFuel and Partner at Real Ventures, Katy is a multilingual executive with a 20+ year history of managing high-performing product, business intelligence and marketing teams across various public and private industries including venture capital, artificial intelligence (Element AI), gaming (Loto-Québec), consumer packaged goods (Maple Leaf Foods), telecommunications (Bell Canada) and nonprofits (TEDxMontreal).
Katy serves as an independent board member for Loto-Québec (a crown corporation), the MT Lab and Réseau Capital. As an early-stage investor, she sits on 11 startup boards as a member, observer or advisor. Since 2013, Katy has also led TEDxMontréal, a non-profit dedicated to elevating Montreal-born ideas onto the global TED stage.
Katy ambitions to help founders level up by cultivating their self-awareness, developing a #givegenerously mindset and learning from the vast experience in Real Venture’s rich network of mentors and founders. Prior to joining Real, Katy spent 3 years at Element AI, scaling from pre-Series A to its global footprint as Canada’s largest AI company prior to its exit via acquisition.
A guest lecturer and triathlete, she adores reading fiction of all sorts and cycling or running to unwind.
Managing Partner, Real Ventures
John is an investor who daily resists the urge to get back to being an entrepreneur — but rather chooses to live vicariously through the founders in whom he invests. After having played leading roles in two successful startups in Asia Pacific, but being underwhelmed with the venture capital model, John transitioned from entrepreneur to investor, determined to give others a more rewarding experience.
After a number of years angel investing, he co-founded Real Ventures in 2007, where he works with passionate entrepreneurs looking to use technology to pre-empt the status quo. He knows that the path to success is uphill and it doesn’t have many signposts, but that an enquiring mind, an ability to inspire, a strong compass and dogged determination can enable entrepreneurs to find success in places others didn’t know existed.
Mentorship is at the heart of the FounderFuel experience.
From kickoff to Demo Day, our network of seasoned founders, investors, and executives are crucial partners in the acceleration process.Get Involved
OUR MENTOR COMMUNITY
FounderFuel’s mentor community is one of Canada’s premier startup networks. Since 2011, hundreds of mentors have participated in the program, sharing their expertise, insights and connections with our founders. They embody the pay it forward mentality that is at the heart of thriving startup ecosystems.
BECOMING A MENTOR
FounderFuel seeks to continuously renew our mentor pool to bring fresh and diverse perspectives to our teams. If you are a founder, executive or investor who is looking to give back to your community, hone your craft and build your own network, we welcome you to reach out to see if the program could be a fit.
WHAT’S INVOLVED AND EXPECTED
Mentors commit to FounderFuel for at least one 3 month cohort. All mentors should also be open to acting as a lead mentor, who meet at least every other week with a team for the duration of the program. Mentors give freely of their time, expertise and connections without expectation of direct remuneration. They support companies with honest but empathetic advice that is strong but loosely held. Our best mentors listen as much as they talk and learn as much as they teach.