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A Team Dedicated
to Supporting Your Mission

Brought together by our passion to help and guide entrepreneurs in the creation of society-impacting companies, our team offers the multiple view points and specializations that will help your company go the extra mile.

Katy Yam
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.

John Stokes
Mentor-in-Chief, FounderFuel
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.

Real Ventures

A committed team backed by Canada’s leading seed-stage VC

FounderFuel is powered by Real Ventures, a leading source of capital for game-changing entrepreneurs and a driving force behind emerging tech ecosystems.

More about Real Ventures
Our Mentors

I love to help entrepreneurs better prepare for the future and focus on the key steps of making their business successful.

Julie Lacasse
VP of Operations, Tracktik
Founder and Executive

Our Mentors

I love the diversity of the teams, the industries, the technologies and the fellow mentors. I love the Montreal-style drive and creativity put into sculpting these start-ups.

Naomi Goldapple
Head of AlayaLabs, Alayacare

Our Mentors

Mentoring in FounderFuel since 2013 has allowed me not only to pay it forward, but also learn from the talented next generation of startup entrepreneurs.

Sebastien Provencher
Senior Product Management
Executive and Entrepreneur

Our Mentors

FounderFuel is Montreal’s premiere accelerator, providing a fantastic opportunity for founders to rapidly refine their business models, accelerate corporate growth and gain early market traction.

Jason Van Gaal
Co-Founder Soul Labs

Our Mentors

FounderFuel is the proof that it is absolutely possible to build world-class startups from Montreal.

Ian Jeffrey
Co-Founder and CEO at Breathe Life

Our Mentors

Being a mentor at FounderFuel allows me to meet incredible entrepreneurs who are passionate about solving big problems.

Amanda Levin
COO at Local Logic

Our Mentors

I love to see the new cohorts every year. We have invested in many of the successful FounderFuel graduates!

Steven Abrams
Partner for the IT Venture Fund, Strategic Investments and Women in Tech, BDC Venture Capital

Our Mentors

The FounderFuel program has excelled year after year at helping diversified groups of smart and passionate entrepreneurs bridge the gap between their technologies and markets, as well as successfully raise venture financing.

Caroline Pelletier
Vice President Screening at Anges Quebec

Our Mentors

FounderFuel always puts a lot of energy in supporting their startups, the program is a complete game-changer for these young entrepreneurs.

Paul Orchtanian
Founder and CEO, Bain Public

Our Mentors

FounderFuel is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs to have access to the best tips from dedicated and engaged mentors. It is always a pleasure for me to meet and support eager individuals. It is my way of passing it forward

Pascal Audette
Founder and CEO, Carebook

Our Mentors

FounderFuel provides quality resources and support for taking your company to the next level. I’m consistently impressed with the high quality of companies coming in, and the results achieved in such a short period of time.

Dov Amihod
Co-Founder and CTO, Stealth Startup

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


FounderFuels mentor community is one of Canadas 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.


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.


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.


Our sponsors’ contribution goes far beyond funding. With their deep expertise and networks, they are also key allies for our companies as they navigate the twists and turns of the venture-backed path.