History of Startup Fundraising
In order to effectively raise funds for your startup, it’s important to understand the big picture of how startup fundraising works, how it’s evolved over time, and what direction it’s headed in next.
Founder Gym is an online training center for underrepresented founders who want to build successful tech startups. Incorporating best practices from entrepreneurship, education, and sports, Founder Gym offers an innovative approach to develop the world's next great entrepreneurs. During the span of 4 weeks, founders complete structured exercises to increase their strength in a core area of startup success, and receive personal training from Silicon Valley investors and venture-backed founders. The program is 100% virtual and highly selective.
From Silicon Valley investors to venture capital-backed founders, our trainers are some of the best in the game.
Mike is a Co-Founder of Swing Education (raised $7.5MM). He was previously the Director of Technology at Rocketship Education.
Prior to launching the Founder Gym, the CEO Mandela SH tested programming with 22 founders around the country. Here’s what they said:
Since joining this program, I have solidified the vision and mission of my company, finalized our B2B sales deck and investor pitch deck, created project management systems that REALLY work, clarified co-founder roles, and secured three of NYC’s top media companies, including Getty Images, as our first paying clients!
Before this program, I had a difficult time prioritizing tasks and effectively reaching out to potential clients. Within just two months of coaching, I have become more effective and efficient with planning my company’s goals, my clients have increased by 14x (yes, you read that right), and I’ve developed a game-changing partnership that will help scale my business.
As a first time entrepreneur, I cannot recommend this training enough. Before starting, I lacked strategic direction and focus in getting my business off the ground. This coaching taught me to think big and start small. I learned how to break down my business goals into small achievable steps and develop a systematic approach to understanding my target market. After learning how to conduct user interviews, market research, and competitive analyses, I now feel 100% more confident about launching a private beta this winter.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - W. Gretzy. Review the application, set aside 30 minutes to complete it, and give yourself a chance to get in!
You will receive an email letting you know whether or not you passed the first round screen and are being invited to virtually interview with the Founder Gym team.
Interviews will take place via video conference and only the founders of your team will be invited to participate.
You will receive an email notifying you whether or not you’ve been selected for the cohort. You have 72 hours to submit your $99 down payment to reserve your spot.
Congratulations! You’re officially a member of the cohort! You will be granted access to the orientation materials, and begin preparing for the start of the cohort in January.
It’s go time! Over the next four weeks, you will complete structured exercises and receive personal training from Silicon Valley investors and founders.
You did it! Four weeks of intense training is over. Now it’s time to use your new skills, strengths, and network to catapult your startup to the next level.
We do not take equity in startups; we are an application and fee based program. Just like college, you must apply to be admitted, and if accepted, you must be able to pay the program fee of $396 (which amounts to $99/week for the 4-week cohort). The first payment of $99 is due December 18th. Payment plans are available, and a limited amount of scholarships are also offered. Within the application, you will find more details on how to qualify for these options.
In the future, Founder Gym will also offer free solutions, but as of right now, we are focused on creating a high touch, high quality experience for a limited number of founders. Our goal is to use these cohorts to test, learn, and perfect our trainings, so that we can eventually make them available for the general public to access and benefit from.
Applications for Cohort 1: Fundraising Basics are closed. We will be launching new cohorts covering a variety of startup topics, including bootstrapping, recruiting technical talent, securing product market fit, budgeting and forecasting, etc. Subscribe below to find out when the next cohort launches.
Founder Gym is an online training center for underrepresented tech startup founders who are serious
about taking their business to the next level, but they lack access to people who can help them.
There are more people like you represented in the population than there are in the startup industry.
A company that uses technology (whether your own or someone else’s) to grow as big as possible as fast as possible.
You would rather work 24/7 building your own business than 9-5 working for someone else.
You have already built something (MVP counts) that people are using and/or buying.
You don’t have people in your network who can teach you how to build a successful tech startup.
A former Division I soccer player and professional educator, Mandela began her career in Silicon Valley in 2011 as a startup founder backed by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12 (acquired by Y Combinator). Thereafter, she led a global entrepreneurial program called Startup Weekend Education (acquired by Techstars) that spanned six continents and empowered thousands of entrepreneurs to launch edtech startups. Most recently, Mandela worked at venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where she supported the success of over 120 tech startups and launched the Founders' Commitment, a first-of-its kind initiative teaching founders how to bake diversity and inclusion into the DNA of their early stage startups. To-date, Mandela has shared her frameworks for success on over 65 stages, including TEDx, Google, and Facebook. She has also received several recognitions, including being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, LinkedIn's Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and Startups, and Medium's Top 10% of Writers.
A former professional table tennis player for her native country, Peru, Gabriela Zamudio began her career in Silicon Valley in 2013 as a software engineer at ThoughtWorks. After developing products for clients such as Gap and Kaiser, Gabriela opened her own consulting practice, providing website development services to startups and non-profits as well as serving as a technical advisor for Mission Asset Fund. Over the past 4 years, Gabriela has taught software engineering (in both English and Spanish) to over 500 people at Women Who Code, Girl Develop It, General Assembly, and Dev Bootcamp. She has also organized and facilitated multiple events that have impacted over 10,000 women entrepreneurs and engineers, including Empowering Her. Most recently, Gabriela built a platform to teach Spanish-speaking women how to code their first website and developed programs and workshops with it.