Announcing the Graduates of Founder Gym’s Inaugural Cohort

Mandela SH Dixon
Feb 13, 2018 · 7 min read
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On August 4, 2017, I purchased the domain FounderGym.com.

On November 8, 2017, Founder Gym made its public debut.

On January 1, 2018, Cohort 1 launched.

We’ve been moving fast, and we’ve been making waves. In just 3 weeks, we received nearly 200 applications from every continent (except Antartica — anyone know founders out there?), and during our first quarter of operation, we received some incredible press coverage (shoutout to Megan Rose Dickey at TechCrunch for kicking things off).

Through it all, we’ve never taken our eyes off our goal:

Create the best online training center for underrepresented tech startup founders.


Ultimately, 26 founders from four continents were admitted into Founder Gym’s inaugural cohort. Here’s a snapshot of who they are:

  • 58% women
  • 42% men
  • 35% Black
  • 23% Asian
  • 19% White
  • 15% Latinx
  • 4% Middle Eastern
  • 4% Pacific Islander
  • 35% in their 20s
  • 38% in their 30s
  • 27% over age 40
  • 84% in the U.S. (of those, 65% outside the Bay Area)
  • 16% outside the U.S. (South America, Africa, and Europe)
  • 39% have a product that is in the market
  • 44% have a product that is in private beta
  • 17% have a product that is in development

Over the span of four weeks, these founders completed a rigorous training regiment that included expert trainings, personal trainings, accountability groups, and a strength and conditioning program. By the end of the cohort, the graduates were equipped with the knowledge, network, and know-how to successfully navigate their fundraising journey.

It is with great honor, that we are proud to announce…

The Graduates of Founder Gym Cohort 1

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The Riveter is a female-forward workspace and community designed for business and impact. Update! Amy raised $4.75MM after gradating from Founder Gym.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Notearise is a preparation company specializing in building conversational note-taking tools.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Equal.ly is a public benefit corporation with a mission of bringing equal education and opportunities to everyone using cutting edge technology.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Rybot creates technology so that parents can influence their kids to make better choices. Our entry product, Ryfi, is a smart router to control kids’ screen time.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Next Play is a mobile enterprise solution for employee development and retention

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Stack is redefining financial services for the unbanked and underbanked.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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QuirkPod is an online platform that coaches students on 21st century skills through hooking learning experiences.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Bibky builds interactive products that let kids go for real-world adventures by combining immersive storytelling and movement — all without relying on screens.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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World Tech Makers is a pioneer in training programs for high-demand technology skills, offering in-person and online bootcamps.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Tassel Software builds intuitive products that augment the ability of college advisors and counselors to collaborate with their students.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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ExemptMeNow simplifies the creation, maintenance and compliance processes for nonprofits, corporations and government entities.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Alchemie is a new path to student understanding and assessment using interactive digital tools, machine learning, and data analytics.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Foodease empowers small business vendors to grow their business and focusing on doing what they by optimizing the way we locate and order food.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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The Brightly is a community-driven, curated marketplace that highlights ethically, consciously made products and the stories behind them with an aesthetic and voice that appeals to a broad audience.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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TechFit makes sure that Your Clothes Fit when you order them online

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Data Simply helps people align their values with their investments by automating
investment research for sustainable investing (Environmental-Social-Governance).

LinkedIn | Twitter

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We Love Work builds highly engaged teams and great company culture.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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FriendFund helps people integrate travel into their everyday lives by avoiding common roadblocks like empty savings, unexpected expenses, and routine spending.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Yaheard is a social network mobile app that takes debating to the next level.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Possip gives schools a weekly pulse on parent feedback.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Because Learning provides exciting a hands-on STEM program for the classroom and home to engage students with hands-on Sensor Kits and over 130 experiments that they can conduct with their kit.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Waggit is the future of pet health with the entry point being a collar and app that can improve and extend the lives of our dogs.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Cognitive ToyBox develops an early childhood platform for kindergarten readiness.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Nitrate is a blockchain enabled video marketplace where content creators save
money marketing their content, and users can make money by discovering
content when it’s new and selling it on to their followers.

LinkedIn | Twitter

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dealWIP is a legal technology company developing integrated, cloud-based, workflow solutions to power seamless business-to-business contract negotiation and world-class attorney-client experiences

LinkedIn | Twitter

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Literator enables teachers to reach every single student with the relevant strategies they need to improve in reading.

LinkedIn | Twitter


Go here to read testimonials from the FG Graduates

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Thank you to the Cohort 1 Trainers

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Founder Gym Cohort 1 Expert Trainers pictured left to right: Mitch Kapor, Charles Hudson, and Ellen Pao

7 venture capitalists and 7 venture-backed founders graciously contributed their time and expertise to train the founders, and we’d like to recognize them for their incredible contributions.

Mitch Kapor, Kapor Capital

Charles Hudson, Precursor Ventures

Ellen Pao, Kapor Capital

Shauntel Poulson, Reach Capital

Marlon Nichols, Cross Culture Ventures

Amit Patel, Owl Ventures

Carolina Huaranca, Kapor Capital

Porter Braswell, Jopwell

Ryan Williams, Jopwell

Jess Gartner, Allovue

Mike Teng, Swing Education

Laura I. Gomez, Atipica

Michael Perry, Kit powered by Shopify

Adam Stelle, Loftium



Become a Cohort Member! Apply at Founder Gym


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