FG Fundraising Cohort

Raising Money to Scale Your Startup

Application Period is Now Closed for FG Fundraising Cohort 18

Founder Gym is the #1 online training program specifically designed to help underrepresented tech startup founders raise money to scale their startups. Over the span of 7 weeks, we provide founders with the information, structure, and accountability needed to level up their fundraising skills and close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Cohort Members will learn how to fundraise from top investors and funded founders, create their fundraising materials and strategy, and become part of a world-class community of underrepresented founders.
Founder Identify
Underrepresented Founders
Founder Location
Anywhere in the world
Application Deadline
Friday, December 17, 2021
Program Start Date
Monday, January 24, 2022
Program End Date
Friday, March 11, 2022
Training Days
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
Training Times
12:00 – 2:00 pm PST

FG Fundraising Cohort Curriculum

Developing a Winner's Mentality

Fundraising is a negotiation between a founder and an investor, and being confident in yourself, your company, and your vision for what you and your team can accomplish is imperative to be successful at fundraising. In this session, you will hear from a seasoned founder who knows who she is (and who she’s not) and commands every room she is in. You will walk away from this session informed and inspired to walk in your truth and step fully into your power.

An Investor’s Perspective

What makes investors excited about some startups, but not others? Is it the product, the traction, the market, the team, the story, or something else entirely? In this live training, you will hear directly from a seasoned investor about what metrics really matter, so you can focus your energy, and stop wasting your efforts on things that don’t really matter.

Numbers Talk

Investors are interested in money. In order for you to get their attention, you must be able to talk about the monetary value of your company – not only as it stands today, but it’s potential to grow into the future. Being able to create financial projections that tell an attractive story about your company is key to getting an investor to say yes.

How I Raised Money

During this live training, you will hear from a founder who has experience raising money – and lots of it! They will walk you through step-by-step how they secured the bag, and highlight the mistakes they made along the way, so you can be sure to avoid them. They are a founder that is several steps ahead of you, and they will offer you a window into what’s possible for you once you raise money and scale your startup.

Pitching Angels and Scouts

There are many sources of capital to scale your tech startup, and one of the best places to look is amongst angel investor groups and VC scout programs. As more tech founders and employees generate wealth, they are now becoming angel investors, and as more VC firms compete for the best deal flow, they are now starting scout programs. During this panel, you will hear from angels and scouts about best practices on finding, pitching, and closing them.

Legal Matters

All businesses are legal entities, and when it comes to securing money from investors to grow your tech startup, it is vital that you have a great lawyer in your corner. This live training will cover the most essential legal matters that every tech startup founder should prioritize, in order to be eligible to accept funding from outside sources.

Perfecting Your Pitch

You only get one chance to make a great first impression and you don’t want to blow it. What you say and how you say it are incredibly important when it comes to fundraising. Whether it is an investor email or an in-person pitch, it is essential to learn the communication etiquette that investors prefer. Investors speak a certain language, and at Founder Gym, you will finally learn what it is.

Graduation Day

Each week, you learned valuable information to increase your odds of raising money to scale your tech startup. Now, it is time to “walk the talk” and show everyone how much you have grown. For graduation, you will present your 2-minute pitch in front of your FG Fundraising Cohort Gymmates and get a chance to be voted “Best in Cohort.” It’s time to show up and show out. Let’s go!

Live Expert Trainings

For six consecutive weeks, you will receive live training from Founder Gym’s expert trainers. All live trainings will be facilitated by Paige Hendrix Buckner, Chief Operating Officer of Founder Gym. Paige has supported over 500 founders in their completion of Founder Gym’s rigorous training program and is on hand to ensure all founders are set up to both graduate from the FG Fundraising Cohort and succeed beyond its completion.

Training Sessions Facilitated By


Paige Hendrix Buckner

COO at Founder Gym

FG Fundraising Cohort 18 Trainers

Trainers are announced as they are confirmed.

Cheryl CamposHead of Venture Growth & Partnerships at Republic

Cheryl Campos

Head of Venture Growth & Partnerships at Republic

Cheryl is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact. She is the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, a one-stop-shop for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. She is focused on introducing underrepresented founders to both traditional and alternative funding sources in order to help their startups thrive. In other direct investing roles, she is a scout for Lightspeed and an investment partner at The Community Fund. Cheryl is also one of the founders of VCFamilia, a community of Latinx VCs supporting current & emerging investors through collaboration. Previously she worked as an analyst in a Connecticut-based private debt & equity firm with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. She started her career in Investment Banking at Barclays, working in the Financial Institutions Group and Structured Finance. She holds a BA in Economics with honors from Harvard University.

Brian DixonPartner at Kapor Capital

Brian Dixon

Partner at Kapor Capital

Brian Dixon is one of the first and youngest African-American Partners at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He is committed to making sure entrepreneurs of all backgrounds have access to advice and capital in order to make their business succeed. For the past ten years, he has worked his way up from intern to Partner at Kapor Capital. Brian is a Kauffman Fellow, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellow, and two-time tech startup founder. Brian has an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science from Northeastern University. To date, Brian has shared his investment experience on over 50 stages, including TechCrunch Disrupt, SXSW, and SOCAP. He has also been featured on NPR and has earned several recognitions, including being named one of Business Insider’s 46 Most Important African Americans in Technology.

Nmachi JidenmaHead of Scouts & Partnerships at Sequoia Capital

Nmachi Jidenma

Head of Scouts & Partnerships at Sequoia Capital

Nmachi Jidenma is Head of Scouts and Partnerships at Sequoia Capital, a top 3 venture capital firm in the world. In this role, she leads partnerships as well as Sequoia’s proprietary Scouts seed stage initiative where founders and influential affiliates invest in pre-seed and seed stage companies on Sequoia's behalf. Sequoia Scouts are the longest standing scout program in the industry and scout investments have been made in several successful companies, including Stripe, Uber, Thumbtack, and Guardant Health. Prior to Sequoia Capital, Nmachi led global strategy and business development at WhatsApp Inc, the world’s leader in mobile messaging with over 2 billion monthly users. She previously led global strategic partnerships at Facebook with financial services industry leaders such as PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Adyen, and PayU (Naspers). Prior to Facebook, Nmachi drove Global Business Development at PayPal for its billion-dollar mobile disruptors portfolio where she launched the company into new verticals such as mobile marketplaces, transit, and cryptocurrencies through partnerships with innovative startups and companies.

Fred BurnsCEO of Safer Management

Fredrick Burns

Founder and CEO of Safer Management

Fred is the first Black Founder Gym Graduate to be accepted by Y Combinator. His company Safer Management simplifies the student attendance tracking process using the power of AI and machine learning. Fred is a software engineer turned founder who built his career with brands like American Airlines, JP Morgan Chase, and Verizon. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has also received national leadership awards from his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, for his community work. Fred earned his BS in Computer Engineering from Jackson State University and Mississippi State University.

Ariel Winton-JonesPrincipal at True Ventures

Ariel Winton-Jones

Principal at True Ventures

Ariel is a principal at True. In her role on True’s investment team, she’s focused on funding passionate, courageous founders with big ideas at the earliest stage. Previously, she has invested in Calendly, Cypress.io, Loopio, and Zipwhip. Prior to joining the True team, she invested in software companies at Boston-based OpenView. At OpenView, she specialized in product-led businesses solving end-user pain points. Ariel started her career as a product manager at sales productivity startup Yesware, where she developed deep empathy for the founder journey and what it takes to build a company from the ground up. Ariel earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science and business from Northeastern University in Boston.

Mandela SH Dixon. CEO. Founder Gym.

Mandela SH Dixon

CEO of Founder Gym

Mandela is one of the most experienced leaders when it comes to accelerating the success of underrepresented founders. After becoming one of the first Black women to raise venture capital in 2012, and later becoming one of the first Black women to work at a venture capital firm, Mandela saw the disparities in funding up close. This is why she built Founder Gym -- to help more women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups in tech -- gain access to knowledge, network, and know-how to raise capital to scale their startups. Mandela has shared her frameworks for success on over 150 stages and in more than 100 publications. She has received various recognitions, including being named as Entrepreneur magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes 30 Under 30, and LinkedIn's Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and Startups.

Nicole JarboCEO of Boost

Nicole Jarbo

Founder & CEO of Boost

Nicole Jarbo is the Founder and CEO of Boost, a company that helps Gen Z run side hustles stress-free. She’s an FG Fundraising Cohort 13 Graduate who raised $1.5M before building a product. Nicole is an educator turned entrepreneur who has worked for brands including Teach for America, 4.0 Schools, KIPP, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and the National Council on Teacher Quality. She has been featured by Fast Company and PitchBook, and earned a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrew Person Corporate Associate At Gunderson Dettmer

Andrew Person

Corporate Associate at Gunderson Dettmer

Andrew specializes in the representation of emerging growth companies throughout their lifecycles. Andrew is broadly experienced with corporate formation and governance matters, venture capital financing transactions, and a variety of M&A transaction structures. Andrew represents a wide variety of technology companies from consumer internet, software, telecommunications, and entertainment technology industries, as well as a number of leading venture capital firms. Andrew was selected as a 2018 Northern California Rising Star by SuperLawyers.

Best in Class Trainers

During the FG Fundraising Cohort, every founder must complete their fundraising toolkit in order to graduate. The toolkit includes the most essential materials needed to successfully raise startup capital. Once a founder becomes a FG Graduate, they are given the option to have Founder Gym share their fundraising toolkit and contact information with FG’s Expert Trainer community, which includes accelerator directors, angel investors, venture capitalists, startup lawyers, funded-founders, and ecosystem partners in Silicon Valley and beyond. If any FG Expert Trainers are interested in connecting with the FG Graduates, they reach out to the founders directly.

Below is a list of the investor groups in the Founder Gym Trainer community:

  • 500 Startups
  • Afore Capital
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • AngelList
  • Backstage Capital
  • Base 10
  • Base Ventures
  • Catalyst Fund
  • Cleo Capital
  • Collaborative Fund
  • Cowboy Ventures
  • Cross Culture Ventures
  • Defy VC
  • Emerson Collective
  • First Round Capital
  • General Catalyst
  • Harlem Capital
  • Kapor Capital
  • Learn Capital
  • Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • MaC Venture Capital
  • Maveron Ventures
  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • NFX
  • Overkill Ventures
  • Owl Ventures
  • Precursor Ventures
  • Reach Capital
  • Sequoia Capital
  • Sterling Road
  • Storm Ventures
  • Techstars
  • True Ventures
  • Unshackled Ventures
  • Unusual Ventures
  • Y Combinator
  • XYZ Venture Capital

Video Library

Over 100 accelerator directors, angel investors, venture capitalists, startup lawyers, and funded-founders in Silicon Valley and beyond have joined Founder Gym to train the next generation of successful tech startup founders. Founders selected for the FG Fundraising Cohort will receive access to select content from Founder Gym’s extensive video library that features world-class trainings from FG Expert Trainers, including:

Cat LeeCo-Founder & COO at Pace Group Inc.

Cat Lee

Former Partner at Maveron Ventures

Topic: Funding Sources

Phin BarnesPartner at First Round Capital

Phin Barnes

Partner at First Round Capital

Topic: Inside the Mind of a VC

Michael SeibelCEO & Partner at Y Combinator

Micheal Seibel

CEO & Partner at Y Combinator

Topic: The Metrics That Matter

Arlan HamiltonPartner at Backstage Capital

Arlan Hamilton

Founding Partner at Backstage Capital

Topic: Communication Counts

Kathryn MinshewCo-Founder & CEO of The Muse

Kathryn Minshew

Founder & CEO of The Muse

Topic: Founder-to-Founder Advice

Charles HudsonPartner at Precursor Ventures

Charles Hudson

Founding Partner of Precursor Ventures

Topic: Sealing the Deal

Tanya SomanFormer Venture Partner at 500 Startups

Tanya Soman

Former Venture Partner at 500 Startups

Topic: Fundraising for Founders Based Outside the United States

Justin HoveyPartner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Justin Hovey

Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Topic: Legal Matters

Kendrick Nguyen

CEO of Republic

Topic: Equity Crowdfunding

Megan Holston-AlexanderCultural Leadership Fund at Andreessen Horowitz

Megan Holston-Alexander

Cultural Leadership Fund Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Topic: The FInances of Fundraising

Structure to Succeed

If you already had everything you needed to succeed, you would not be here. The truth is, everyone needs help to get where they want to go, and Founder Gym is here to provide you with an inclusive community, rigorous accountability, and a clear roadmap that will get you the results you have been searching for. Founder Gym has custom-designed a virtual experience unlike anything out there, and our model continues to prove effective in accelerating founder success.





Global Community of Founders

Being a founder is definitely hard. Being a founder can also be extremely lonely. The Founder Gym community consists of more than 613 founders living in 26 countries that span 6 continents! Once you join our community, you won’t have to navigate the entrepreneurial journey alone. Seeking feedback on a go-to-market strategy? Someone in our community can likely give you advice. Preparing for an upcoming investor meeting? Founders in our community love to help each other practice. Looking for great talent to join your team? Our graduates have amazing networks you can leverage. Our motto at Founder Gym is “We All Go Up Together,” because we know it’s going to take all of us working together in order to succeed.

What People Are Saying

Meet a FG Graduate: Heli PrillimanLacquerbar (Cohort 3)

Meet a FG Graduate: Derrick JohnsonEncounter AI (Cohort 4)

The Founder Gym Impact

Cohort Tuition

Founder Gym does not take equity in startups; we are an application and fee-based training program. Just like college, you must apply to be admitted, and if accepted, a tuition fee is required. The FG Fundraising Cohort is a professional development opportunity for tech startup founders who are ready to make an investment in their growth.

Pay In Full

Pay in full and receive a BONUS group training from an FG Expert Trainer
$ 3,000 one-time
Save 20%

Payment Plan

Divide your tuition into 7 bi-weekly payments
$ 500

Application Process

Read about FG Graduates

FG has trained 613 founders in 26 countries on 6 continents. Read the powerful stories of our founders and the way that Founder Gym helped them gain the confidence and knowledge to level up their fundraising and founder skills.

Read their stories here.

Apply to the FG Fundraising Cohort

Set aside 30 minutes to complete the FG Fundraising Cohort application. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will be notified and be able to secure one of the limited spots in the cohort. Once the cohort reaches capacity, it will be closed, so take action quickly. 

Read this article for tips on how to submit a great application.

Get Notified of Your Status

The earlier you submit your application, the earlier you will be notified of your admittance status. All applicants will receive an email notifying them if they have been admitted in.

Confirm Your MembershipWITHIN 72 HOURS

Once you receive the email notification that you are admitted into the FG Fundraising Cohort, you will be given the opportunity to accept the invitation and submit the down payment for your tuition.

Begin the FG Fundraising Cohort

On Monday, January 24, 2022, you will attend the mandatory FG Fundraising Cohort Orientation, which is where you will meet your Gymmates, receive a detailed overview of the programming, and hear from invited FG Graduates who will share their best advice for what it takes to succeed in the FG Fundraising Cohort.

Graduate from the FG Fundraising Cohort

You did it! You completed one of the most intense founder training programs. Now it’s time to use your new knowledge, network, and know-how to take your startup to the next level.

Attend a FREE Founder Gym Master Class!

Submit your information below, and you’ll receive an exclusive invitation to our next FG Master Class, which is 100% virtual and 100% free!