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About Founder Gym

Founder Gym is the first online program that trains underrepresented founders on how to raise capital to scale their tech startups.

The inaugural FG Cohort debuted in January 2018, and over the span of that year, 170 underrepresented founders were trained. Since then, Founder Gym’s alumni base has grown to 329 founders spanning 16 countries, including Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. FG Graduates have raised more than $35 million in startup capital, and that number continues to grow.

The Founder Gym leadership team is comprised of founders, startup advisors, professional educators, and seasoned tech ecosystem builders.

Meet Our Team


Mandela SH Dixon

Founder & CEO

An entrepreneur, educator, athlete, and well-connected Silicon Valley influencer, Mandela is uniquely positioned to lead this movement. Previously at Kapor Capital and Startup Weekend, Mandela is also a member of First Round Capital’s prestigious Angel Track.


Paige Hendrix Buckner

Program Director

Paige has worked for Apple, Teach for America, the Urban League, and TiE Oregon. She has founded two companies, and has a Master’s Degree in Education. As the facilitator of the FG Cohort experience, Paige excels at helping founders succeed in the Gym and in the real world.


Cordelro Brown

Operations & Marketing

Cordelro Brown is a graduate of the University of Alabama (Go Bama!). He joined Founder Gym in 2017 as the company's first Fellow and has since advanced to playing key roles in the company's cohort operations, marketing, and digital engagement activities.

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Karen Ponciano-Rodriguez

Operations & Design

A creative strategist with experience in marketing, design, people operations, and inclusion, Karen is a UC Berkeley alumna, who has previously worked at Google, the Kapor Center, and Adobe. Karen is passionate about using technology to empower individuals and communities.


Cristal Harris, JD

Digital Engagement

Cristal is a queer East Oakland native, Butler Koshland Fellow, and USF Law School graduate. She flourishes at the intersection of social impact, entrepreneurship, and storytelling. Her work has been featured in the USF Law Review and Afrotech.


Jeremy Young

Visual Storyteller

After teaching for six years in schools like Khan Labs, Jeremy transitioned into sharing knowledge with a larger audience using multimedia. He specializes in photography and videography, and you may have seen his work featured on ATTN: or TechCrunch.


Jonathan Hackworth

Operations & Technology

An advocate for representation in tech, Jonathan uses his experience to help startups scale by reducing operational friction. He is currently a fellow at Notley Ventures, prior to that he led business intelligence at Ascendant Capital and was an early employee at Tenfold.

Subscribe here to get notified about our next call for Trainers.

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Ready to Make an Impact

Founder Gym is always looking for incredible people to join our global movement to create wealth and fulfillment for underrepresented founders. New job and fellowship opportunities are announced via our weekly newsletter, so be sure to subscribe here.

Thank You to Our Partners

Ready to go to the next level?

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 10, 2019.
Read this article for tips on how to submit a great application.


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