FG Cohort

Raising Money to Scale Your Startup

January 27, 2020 - March 6, 2020

The FG 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 Trainers are announced as they are confirmed. FG Cohort 12 and Cohort 13 operate from January 27 – March 6, 2020, and the application deadline is Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Cohort 12 Cohort 13
Founder Identity Any underrepresented founder Black founders
Founder Location Anywhere in world Anywhere in world
Start Date January 27, 2020 January 27, 2020
End Date March 6, 2020 March 6, 2020
Training Days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Training Times 12-2pm PST 5-7pm PST

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 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 250 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 Cohort and succeed beyond its completion.

Training Sessions Facilitated By


Paige Hendrix Buckner

Program Director at Founder Gym


Mandela SH Dixon

CEO of Founder Gym
avataaars (4)


To Be Announced
avataaars (2)


To Be Announced
avataaars (1)


To Be Announced
Marguerite Pressley DavisFinancial Strategist & Business Expert

Marguerite Pressley Davis

Startup Finance Expert

Exclusive Video Library

Over 65 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 Cohort will receive exclusive access to Founder Gym’s extensive video library that features world-class trainings from select FG 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 SomanVenture Parter 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 the 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 350 founders living in 18 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.

During the FG 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
  • AngelList
  • Backstage Capital
  • Base 10
  • Base Ventures
  • Catalyst Fund
  • Collaborative Fund
  • Cross Culture Ventures
  • Defy VC
  • Emerson Collective
  • First Round Capital
  • General Catalyst
  • Kapor Capital
  • Learn Capital
  • Maveron Ventures
  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • NFX
  • Overkill Ventures
  • Owl Ventures
  • Precursor Ventures
  • Reach Capital
  • Sterling Road
  • Storm Ventures
  • Y Combinator
  • 500 Startups
  • Afore Capital
  • AngelList
  • Backstage Capital
  • Base 10
  • Base Ventures
  • Catalyst Fund
  • Collaborative Fund
  • Cross Culture Ventures
  • Defy VC
  • Emerson Collective
  • First Round Capital
  • General Catalyst
  • Kapor Capital
  • Learn Capital
  • Maveron Ventures
  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • NFX
  • Overkill Ventures
  • Owl Ventures
  • Precursor Ventures
  • Reach Capital
  • Sterling Road
  • Storm Ventures
  • Y Combinator

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 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
Save 20%

Payment Plan

Divide your tuition into 5 bi-weekly payments
$ 500

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.

Designed Just for You

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

Underrepresented Founder 

Tech Company 

Billion Dollar Market 

Scales Fast 

Application Process and Important Deadlines

Attend a FREE Master ClassNovember 14th - December 16, 2019

On Mondays and Thursdays, the FG Team will be hosting a FREE Master Class for founders who are interested in experiencing the power of the FG Cohort before submitting their official cohort application. Master Class attendees will receive exclusive bonuses, not offered anywhere else, so be sure to register here.

Apply to the FG CohortNovember 5, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Set aside 30 minutes to complete the FG 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. The last day to apply is Sunday, January 5th. Late applications will not be accepted.

Get Notified of Your StatusNovember 10 - January 22, 2020

The earlier you submit your application, the earlier you will be notified of your admittance status. By Wednesday, January 8th, all applicants will receive an email notifying them if they have been admitted into the cohort or not.

Confirm Your MembershipWithin 72 Hours

Once you receive the email notification that you are admitted into the FG 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 CohortJanuary 27, 2020

On January 27th, 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 Cohort.

Graduate from the FG CohortMarch 6, 2020

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.

Ready to go to the next level?

The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 5, 2020.
Read this article for tips on how to submit a great application.

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