Cohort

FG Fundraising Cohort

Raising Money to Scale Your Startup

The FG Fundraising Cohort is a 6-week virtual program designed for underrepresented founders who want to raise money to scale their startup. The entire cohort experience is 100% virtual, so founders can participate from anywhere in the world. Cohort Expert Trainers are announced as they are confirmed. For our next FG Fundraising Cohort, we have updated our curriculum to cover topics that specifically train founders on how to thrive as business owners during a crisis, such as the one we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we have added a bonus training that will train founders on equity crowdfunding.

FG Fundraising Cohort 14
Founder IdentityAny underrepresented founder
Founder LocationAnywhere in world
Application Launch DateJuly 7, 2020
Application DeadlineAugust 4, 2020
Start DateAugust 17, 2020
End DateSeptember 25, 2020
Training DaysTuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Training Times12:00 - 2:00 pm PST

Designed Just for You

The FG Fundraising Cohort was specifically designed for founders who meet these qualifications:

Underrepresented Founder 

Tech Company 

Billion Dollar Market 

Scales Fast 

FG Fundraising Cohort Curriculum

Week 1: 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.

Week 2: 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.

Week 3: 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.

Week 4: 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.

Week 5: 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.

Week 6: 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 CEO, Mandela SH Dixon, and invited expert trainers. All live trainings will be facilitated by Paige Hendrix Buckner, the FG Program Director. Paige has supported over 400 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

Paige Hendrix Buckner

Program Director at Founder Gym

FG Fundraising Cohort 14 Trainers

Trainers are updated as they are announced.

Mandela SH Dixon

Mandela SH Dixon

CEO of Founder Gym

Mandela SH Dixon went from a 6th-grade teacher in South Central Los Angeles to one of the most influential leaders in Silicon Valley. She is one of the only Black women to build a tech startup, raise venture capital, scale a global startup ecosystem, work at a venture capital firm, and invest in and advise founders all across the world. Mandela has shared her frameworks for success on over 100 stages (e.g. TEDx, SXSW, Startup Grind) and across 100 publications (e.g. NPR, Forbes, Business Insider). Mandela is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Alumni, LinkedIn Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and Startups, and Google for Startups Partner of the Year.

Alfred LinPartner at Sequoia

Alfred Lin

Partner at Sequoia

Alfred Lin is a Partner at Sequoia Capital and focuses on consumer, mobile, and enterprise investments. According to TechCrunch, he has the Midas Touch: “If you’ve got a company and you want a big acquisition in a year or two, you may want to consider hiring Alfred Lin. Every company he’s worked for has been acquired, and the smallest deal was $265 million.” Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2010, Alfred worked in a variety of operating roles including Chairman and COO/CFO of Zappos.com [sold to Amazon for close to $1 billion], VP of Finance and Business Development of TellMe Networks [sold to Microsoft for $800 million] and VP of Finance of LinkExchange [sold to Microsoft for $265 million]. Alfred also co-founded Venture Frogs and invested in companies such as Ask Jeeves, MongoMusic, MyAble, OpenTable, and other well-known brands. He is a Director of Airbnb, Cobalt Robotics, Dia & Co., Dolls Kill, DoorDash, Houzz, NEXT Trucking, Truework, and Zipline. Alfred has a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard and an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford.

Irma L. Olguin Jr.CEO of Bitwise Industries

Irma L. Olguin Jr.

CEO of Bitwise Industries

Irma L. Olguin Jr. decided to build Bitwise Industries to strengthen the tech industry in Fresno, California, and leverage it as the economic driver to remake the city. In 2019, she secured $27 million - one of the largest series A ever raised by a female Latinx founder - to scale Bitwise. Led by Kapor Capital and New Voices Fund, investors include Motley Fool Ventures, Lumina Foundation, Libra Foundation and Pi Investments Innovation (both investments facilitated by Candide Group), Acumen America, Plum Alley, Aera VC, GingerBread Capital, Arlan Hamilton’s joint venture with Mark Cuban, Kat Taylor, Morgan Simon, Derrick Morgan and Reach Capital, among others. The company has a valuation of $100 million and 2019 revenue Forbes estimates at $20 million. Bitwise Industries now operates with the goal of activating human potential for the technology industry in underdog cities across the United States. As CEO and co-founder, Irma oversees the company’s operations teams, technology-focused training program of Geekwise Academy, and software development firm, Shift3 Technologies. Irma has been featured in Forbes, Forbes Mexico, The Atlantic, and The Business Journal. Irma was recently named to Fast Company’s Queer 50 2020 List.

Sarah KunstManaging Director of Cleo Capital

Sarah Kunst

Managing Director of Cleo Capital

Sarah Kunst is the Managing Director of Cleo Capital. She is an investor and entrepreneur who has worked at Apple, Red Bull, Chanel and Mohr Davidow Ventures. She was the founder of LA Dodgers backed ProDay. She has served as a senior advisor at Bumble where she focused on their corporate VC arm Bumble Fund. She is also a contributing editor at Marie Claire Magazine.

Sarah is a well-respected thought leader who is transforming investing and startups. In 2019, Cleo Capital closed a $3.5 million fund to invest in women scouts to both diversify representation in venture capital and diversify the world of funded founders. In 2020, she created a six-week fellowship called Chrysallis for anyone who has faced job cuts as a result of COVID-19.

Kunst has been named a Future Innovator by Vanity Fair, Forbes 30 Under 30, a top woman in VC by the Wall Street Journal, as one of the top 25 African-Americans in tech by Business Insider and Pitchbook, and a top 25 innovator in tech by Cool Hunting. She has written for Techcrunch, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Entrepreneur.com.

Jason GershensonAttorney at Masur Griffitts Avidor LLP

Jason Gershenson

Attorney at Masur Griffitts Avidor LLP

Jason is an experienced corporate transactional attorney, and serves as outside general counsel for venture backed startup and technology companies. Jason represents innovative businesses at all stages of growth with, angel and venture capital financing, acquisitions, complex transactions, and advisory on corporate strategy.

Prior to joining MGA, Jason represented venture-backed startups at a top Silicon Valley law firm. He is licensed to practice law in New York and Oregon. He is a member of the National Bar Association and New York City Bar Association.

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, their fundraising toolkit is shared with Founder Gym’s exclusive network of accelerator directors, angel investors, venture capitalists, startup lawyers, funded-founders, and ecosystem partners in Silicon Valley and beyond.

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

  • 500 Startups
  • Afore Capital
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • AngelList
  • Backstage Capital
  • Base 10
  • Base Ventures
  • Catalyst Fund
  • 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
  • Sterling Road
  • Storm Ventures
  • Unshackled Ventures
  • Unusual Ventures
  • Y Combinator
  • 500 Startups
  • Afore Capital
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • AngelList
  • Backstage Capital
  • Base 10
  • Base Ventures
  • Catalyst Fund
  • 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
  • Sterling Road
  • Storm Ventures
  • Unusual Ventures
  • Unshackled Ventures
  • Y Combinator

Exclusive Video Library

Over 80 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 exclusive access to Founder Gym’s extensive video library that features world-class trainings from select FG Expert Trainers, including:

Cat LeePartner at Maveron Ventures

Cat Lee

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

Venture Parter 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

Megan MaloneyAssociate at General Catalyst

Megan Maloney

Associate at General Catalyst

Topic: The Math 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.

Community 

Accountability 

Roadmap 

Results 

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 440 founders living in 22 countries that span 6 continents! Once you join our ranks, you will never again have to navigate the entrepreneurial journey alone. Seeking feedback on a go-to-market strategy? Someone in our community can 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 training from Founder Gym's CEO, Mandela SH Dixon
$ 2,000 one-time
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Save 20%

Payment Plan

Divide your tuition into 5 bi-weekly payments
$ 500
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Compare: 2-Day Conference vs 6-Week Cohort

Up to this point, most founders have been limited to in-person conferences as their only option to participate in live learning experiences. Founder Gym is changing that. Our new model provides greater benefits than most conferences and is offered at a lower daily cost. Review the comparison charts below to learn more.

Application Process

Read about FG Graduates

FG has trained 440 founders in 22 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 CohortAPPLICATION OPENS TUESDAY, JULY 7th
DEADLINE TUESDAY, AUGUST 4th

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 StatusFRIDAY, AUGUST 14th

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 have 72 hours (or 3 days) to accept the invitation and submit the $500 down payment for your tuition.

Begin the FG Fundraising CohortMONDAY, AUGUST 17th

You will be onboarded into the cohort. The following day, you will attend the mandatory orientation, which is where you will meet your Gymmates, receive a detailed overview of the 6-week programming, and hear from invited FG Alumni who will share their best advice for what it takes to succeed in the FG Fundraising Cohort.

Graduate from the FG Fundraising CohortFRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th

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!