FG Graduate Accomplishments

Founder Gym Graduates continue to win pitch competitions, get admitted into accelerators, earn investment dollars from angels and venture capitalists, and get featured in the press. Below is a shortlist of some of the organizations who are excited to be associated with FG Graduates:

VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMS Investing in FG Graduates

  • 43 North
  • ArlanWasHere Fund
  • Backstage Capital
  • Bronze Valley
  • HearstLab
  • Kapor Capital
  • KiwiTech
  • Make in LA VC
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Newark Venture Partners
  • Overkill Ventures
  • Pipeline Angels
  • Precursor Ventures
  • Seed Invest
  • Sterling Road
  • WeFunder

ACCELERATORS Admitting FG Graduates

  • Backstage Accelerator
  • Chloe Capital
  • Investor Accelerator
  • Conscious Venture Labs
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Jaguar Land Rover Accelerator
  • Mass Challenge
  • Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab
  • Portland Incubator Experiment
  • Quake Capital
  • Samsung Next
  • Seed Rocket
  • Telefonica Open Future
  • Techcode
  • Techstars
  • Village Capital
  • Y Combinator


  • American Underground
  • California Climate Cup
  • Hatcher+
  • Kapor Center
  • Latinx Startup Weekend 2019: NYC
  • New Voices Fund Pitch Competition
  • People Ops Tech
  • Pitch Latino
  • Shark Tank
  • SXSW

MEDIA Featuring FG Graduates

  • Black Enterprise
  • Bloomberg Business
  • Boston Globe
  • CNET
  • CNN
  • Essence
  • Fast Company
  • Financial Times
  • Forbes
  • FOX News
  • Inc. Magazine
  • Lonely Planet
  • New York Times
  • Out Entrepreneur Podcast
  • Startup Playground Podcast
  • Supermaker
  • Symbion
  • Washington Business Journal
  • Wired
  • Vice

FG Graduates Keep Winning

Each Founder Gym Graduate completes a rigorous virtual training program designed for underrepresented founders who want to raise money to scale their startup. Learn more about the next FG Fundraising Cohort and apply before the deadline.

What Founders Are Saying

"Stoked! Our 2019 numbers are in. A HUGE milestone achieved. Hit $1M in product sales our 1st yr. Now we go raise. Thank you, Founder Gym!"
Lisa Love
Founder of Tanoshi
FG Cohort 7
“Before joining FG Cohort 15, I knew little to nothing about the nuances of raising capital from angel investors and venture capital firms. I didn’t have a pitch deck, investor email template, or a concise pitch. Now, I have all of those things as well as access to an extraordinary community of founders who inspire me to level up my game. I now feel more confident about LevelUp Prep’s plans to begin our pre-seed round this summer.”
Kevin Covarrubias
Founder of LevelUp Prep
FG Cohort 15
“Since Founder Gym, I am leading a very different type of investor discussion. I really get that process now, in a way I did not before. I'm having fun and not afraid of those discussions anymore. I think there is a very unique place FG holds in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it is around fostering that CEO knowledge and spirit for under-resourced, under-represented, and under-voiced entrepreneurs.”
Dr. Carol Barash
Founder of Story2
FG Cohort 12
“There is no question I am a better founder now than I was six weeks ago. I have learned how to more direct and more concise with my purpose. Six weeks ago, I could not clearly articulate the problem we are solving. Today, I can.”
Steven Leach
Founder of linqrs
FG Cohort 13
“BY FAR, the network. It's worth TWICE the amount of money, seriously. We are connected to some heavy hitters both in the cohort and outside of the cohort. So I must say, I'm honored to be attached to such bad asses.”
John Doan
Founder of Mobility for All
FG Cohort 11
“Because of Founder Gym, I have my fundraising paperwork in order and a new community of amazing founders that I look forward to supporting and elevating along the journey.”
NanaEfua Afoh-Manin
Founder of Shared Harvest Fund
FG Cohort 5
“During the cohort, I gained such a positively stimulating amount of information about fundraising, investors, legal prep, pitching, networking, nationwide communities, and more!”
Isaiah Johnson
Founder of Project Beanstalk
FG Cohort 8 Pre-Seed
“What I'll remember most about the FG Cohort experience is the feeling that I am no longer alone. Now, I know that there are others like me and that we are good enough to be funded. We just need to find the right investors.”
Mandana Salahei-Stewart
Founder of ZibaHub
FG Cohort 5
“When I started Founder Gym, I was a brand spankin' new entrepreneur and it was the launchpad that catapulted my personal and professional development as an entrepreneur. Being a part of the Founder Gym community has afforded me so many opportunities to develop myself and Queerly Health, while also allowing me to hold space for other founders.”
Derrick Reyes
Founder of Queerly Health
FG Cohort 6
"Before Founder Gym I felt overwhelmed by all the material available about fundraising. All the different opinions made it difficult to apply. Founder Gym provided me the confidence and motivation I needed to create a clear path for myself."
Laura Aiken Tett
Co-Founder of Tusk
FG Cohort 10 Pre-Seed
“I was so anti-VC, mostly because I didn’t understand the VC universe at all! But Founder Gym truly opened up this enigmatic world and broke it down to a point where not only do I understand so much more, I know where to go to get started and be successful!”
Kimba Williams
Founder of KUSHAE
FG Cohort 16
"After having to undergo this 6-week journey with FG Cohort, I have learned what it takes to design a winning investor pitch deck. In the past, I have always assumed that the approach taken to design both sales and investor pitch decks are the same. BOOM! They are not! Having to learn by doing, I had to adapt my thought process by asking myself tough questions about my story, product and competitive advantage."
Vivien Koh
Founder of VK Transformation
FG Cohort 12
"Before FG, I was a person with a vision, a great idea, but lacked confidence. After these 6 weeks being among some of the best and brightest founders, I fully accept that I am the person to lead this company."
Joresa Blount
Founder of GoFlyy
FG Cohort 13
"It's wild to think this time last year I first decided to become a tech entrepreneur and had just applied to Founder Gym! Now just 1 year later, Prototype ✅, Team ✅, Advisory Board ✅, 200+ pre-registered brands ✅, press seeking us ✅. We would not be here without you!"
Kristina Williams
Founder of ZiM
FG Cohort 6
"Because of Founder Gym, I am ready to get this bag. I have more affirming voices encouraging me to persevere. I have a more polished toolset to execute on the fundraising process."
Brian Ovalles
Founder of The Orange Market
FG Cohort 10
“Before, I was afraid because I did not know this space. I felt I had to have the next Uber idea and look a certain way. Now, I know that there are investors out there who want to fund ideas like mine and investors that look like me. I belong here. Entrepreneurship is in my blood."
Arlene Perez
Founder of CoCo: My College Counselor
FG Cohort 9 Pre-Seed
"Before Founder Gym, I didn't know where to begin with venture funding and I believed venture was the only way to grow my company. After Founder Gym, not only was I confident in my knowledge of venture funding, I also know when meeting with investors, I get to decide who I will make rich and have the power to walk away from unfavorable deals and situations."
Kai Frazier
Founder of Curated x Kai
FG Cohort 4
Before Founder Gym, it felt like the road to building a startup was very lonely and depressing. After Founder Gym, I’ve realized there are thousands of entrepreneurs facing the same uphill battle. Knowing that ultimately gave me the confidence and resilience to keep pushing regardless of how hard the journey seems. Founder Gym creates a culture amongst its founders, in which turn into communities and those communities turn out to be a great ecosystem for like-minded founders, to help, to push and inspired each other when we’re feeling low. “We all go up together”!
Pierre Laguerre
Founder of Fleeting
FG Cohort 5

What Trainers Are Saying

"What I enjoyed most about the FG trainings was hearing the concerns of the founders and being able to help with some of my experiences."
Ellen Pao
Former CEO at reddit, tech investor, author and advocate
FG Cohort 1
"I enjoyed the FG interview style rather than presentation, the ease of set up, the engaged audience and the high impact."
Arlan Hamilton
Founder and Managing Partner, Backstage Capital
FG Cohort 6
"This was probably one of the best organized talks/webinars/podcasts that I have done."
Tanya Soman
Venture Partner at 500 Startups
FG Cohorts 8 & 10
"What I enjoyed most about the Founder Gym training experience was hanging out with the incredible host and getting the tough, but insightful questions."
Vanessa Larco
Partner at New Enterprise Associates
FG Cohort 7
"We have met a lot of the entrepreneurs who have gone through Mandela SH Dixon's program Founder Gym, and I am *so* impressed by the quality of founders she attracts to the program. Continually impressed by the community she is building."
Charles Hudson
Partner at Precursor Ventures
FG Cohorts 1 & 8
"I was extremely impressed with the pre-meeting communications."
Justin Hovey
Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
FG Cohort 8
"The experience was fantastic. Being able to see (and read) the enthusiastic respond real-time was energizing and my interviewer was incredible!"
Adeyemi Ajao
Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Base10
FG Cohort 6

What Partners Are Saying

Pictured: Gaza Sky Geeks Director Ryan Sturgill, [past Partner of the Year Winner]; Founder Gym Program Director Paige Hendrix Buckner; and Google for Startups Partnerships Manager Nicole Froker

“At Google, we know that accessing the right resources at the right time is crucial for a startup’s success. That’s why we’ve been a proud partner of Founder Gym from the beginning. The program is truly unique in the ecosystem — their strong network of world-class investors and educators paired with their curriculum equipping founders with the tools to effectively raise funding sets up founders for long-term success in their journey to grow their companies.”

Genna McKeel
Global Partnerships Lead at Google for Startups
Nicole Froker
Partnerships Manager at Google for Startups

“At Shopify, we understand that not every business owner starts from the same place, with the same opportunities. That’s why we not only provide resources for our merchants to grow, but also a community to hold open, honest, and inspiring conversations like the one at our ‘Build Black: The Future Is Now’ event. The ability to bring together founders with lived experiences from all over the world to discuss breaking through industry challenges, while sharing gems for aspiring business owners, will only pave the way to create more equitable entrepreneurship opportunities. Our mission is simple — level the playing field for underrepresented entrepreneurs. With collaborators like Founder Gym, we’ll be able to do this by building initiatives, resources, and a community for Black business owners and with Black business owners.”

Natasha Singh
Senior Marketing Manager at Shopify

JP Giannini

Vice President of Early Stage Practice, Silicon Valley Bank

Chris McLemore

Former Program Manager of Oakland Startup Network

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!