Meet the Graduates of Founder Gym’s Fundraising Cohort 14

Paige Hendrix Buckner
Oct 6 · 26 min read
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“Founder Gym demystified the venture industry for me. I am more confident I can raise investment after going through the FG Fundraising Cohort. The structure was perfect for a 6-week program. The topics for each week had an excellent flow from one week to the next.”

  • Mutuk Karpakakunjaram, Founder of All Elements

“Joining Founder Gym allowed me to sharpen my knowledge about the investment landscape. Every week, I either learned something new, a better way to do something, or context behind a process. It allowed me to quickly level up. Now, I am confident knowing that I have the tools I need and the support system to efficiently navigate the fundraising jungle.”

  • Jimi Tele, Founder of Chekmate

“The best part about Founder Gym was my cohort and the community that encompasses the FG experience. I learned that Founder Gym was not a race, but a journey taken amongst a group of determined founders who want nothing more than to see you succeed.”

  • Dana Wilson, Founder of CHIP

We are excited to debut the graduates of Founder Gym Fundraising Cohort 14. For six weeks, from August 17th to September 25th, we trained 45 founders in 4 countries on 4 continents on how to successfully raise money to scale their tech startups. With this latest set of graduates in FG Fundraising Cohort 14, the total number of Founder Gym Alumni is now 485.

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Since graduating our first FG Fundraising Cohort in January 2018, Founder Gym’s Alumni community has grown 1762%.

FG Graduates are building world-class companies.

  • A platform that accelerates the time it takes to design drugs to treat and cure diseases like COVID-19 and cancer
  • A mask-less, wearable air filtration device that utilizes advanced filtration techniques and fluid mechanics principles to purify the air of the user
  • A fin-tech platform that makes it easy to find Black and Latinx financial professionals
  • A digital travel assistant that makes it safer for marginalized communities to travel

But, as underrepresented founders, they face unique challenges.

  • 1% of venture-backed founders were Black
  • 1.8% of venture-backed founders were Latinx
  • 2.4% of venture-backed founders were Middle Easterners

Another report revealed that women received only 2.8% of venture capital.

This is why we built Founder Gym.

But before you meet the founders, take a look at the numbers.

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Meet the FG Fundraising Cohort 14 Graduates!

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“Because of Founder Gym, I know what a good investor looks like for me. And am not embarrassed to ask, or search for, the partnerships and investments that reflect my morals and mission.”

  • Founder: Anade Situma
  • Company: HABARI Media
  • Description: A news production company built on a network of typically ignored journalists & producers; injecting the Global South’s perspective into mainstream news services through streaming technology.
  • Location: Washington DC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Not only did we have outstanding content with Founder Gym, but we also received real-world application anecdotes, advice, and interactions with many different founders who have already traveled this path. I think my cohort friends would agree that the real-world experiences and successes combined with the hands-on creation exercises created incredible learning and growth for all of us in Cohort 14!”

  • Founder: Anne Johnson Oliss
  • Company: Minds Untapped
  • Description: Minds Untapped uses our scalable platform to power the Blue Hope app for autism that trains and supports individuals and families affected by autism.
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“I have transformed my pitch and how I communicate my business tremendously. The expert training and videos helped me to get a better understanding of what investors are looking for and how to be prepared to make the ask for investment. My pitch is tighter and I am more confident in my ability to raise capital.”

  • Founder: Anthony Lewis
  • Company: Harmonee
  • Description: Harmonee is a telehealth-backed social platform addressing low to middle-level mental wellness concerns, like anxiety and stress, in college students.
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best thing about the FG Cohort was sharing space with a community of diverse entrepreneurs from across the globe. The products that the individuals in Cohort 14 are creating will change the world. It’s inspiring and empowering to witness and join forces with folks taking an active and brave role in designing the future. It felt like being part of the Startup Avengers.”

  • Founder: Briaan Barron
  • Company: Grail
  • Description: Grail is the video-on-demand platform making self-care simpler for the African Diaspora.
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Being a female founder of a deep-tech company, I always receive a 2nd look when I present to startup events and it’s always hard to pitch a deep-tech company. After my FG training, I am able to come up with a pitch that makes it easy for the audience and investors to understand. FG has also boosted my confidence to fundraise for our go-to-market, improved my overall leadership skills, and widened the reach of our market. All my experiences are gems, being connected to diverse founders, and learning to collaborate and share experiences with each other.”

  • Founder: Cherry Murillon-Cubacub
  • Company: Cawil.AI
  • Description: CAWIL.AI is an industry-agnostic artificial intelligence solution that provides data labeling and annotation to train machine learning models for businesses, internet-of-things, and the environment.
  • Location: Philippines
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best part about Founder Gym was my cohort and the community that encompasses the FG experience. I learned that Founder Gym was not a race, but a journey taken amongst a group of determined founders who want nothing more than to see you succeed. We work hard, but we celebrate each other’s wins like we all have just won the lottery.”

  • Founder: Dana Wilson
  • Company: CHIP
  • Description: CHIP (Changing How Individuals Prosper) is a fin-tech platform that makes it easy to find Black and Latinx financial professionals
  • Location: Montclair, NJ
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I am ready to raise money for my company and join FG’s Million Dollar Club.”

  • Founder: Derrick Miles
  • Company: CourMed
  • Description: CourMed is an enterprise software and innovative delivery of health care products.
  • Location: McKinney, TX
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best part of Founder Gym was gaining confidence and knowledge on how to raise money and approach investors as a black woman. Along with what realistic expectations I need to set in order to be successful.”

  • Founder: Destiny Harris
  • Company: SolutioNow
  • Description: SolutioNow connects individuals to underrepresented financial professionals through client-advisor chemistry.
  • Location: McDonough, GA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best thing about the FG cohort was learning from the trainers. It was amazing to successful people like our trainers and be able to connect with them! Made the startup world less intimidating.”

  • Founder: Diamond Hawkins
  • Company: Pothos Beauty
  • Description: Pothos Beauty is an inclusive beauty and wellness marketplace.
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I know my startup is a great idea and I can successfully fundraise for it. Founder Gym is a family, but the feedback is direct and honest. Outside of your market validation, your idea will be further validated through the feedback you receive through the program and from your fellow gymmates. Due to this, you can be confident that the holes in your company and your pitch will be effectively identified and coached up before you graduate.”

  • Founder: Donovan Wright
  • Company: Guilde
  • Description: Guilde is a free marketplace using AI & ML to streamline and automate the home renovation process to get jobs done.
  • Location: Harper Woods, MI
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I had the opportunity to readjust my business goals to more accurately reflect the goals of a VC firm. I had the courage to seek out an opportunity to discuss those goals with a $400M VC firm in my industry and I have a clear pathway to get to my fundraising goals in the next three to six months.”

  • Founder: Ebonique Boyd
  • Company: Budget Collector
  • Description: Budget Collector provides products and services to help the middle-class invest in fine art.
  • Location: Cedar Falls, IA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“I’ve learned a ton! There was so much I didn’t know about fundraising prior to FG and now I feel much more equipped to go raise capital for my business. I’m still fine-tuning things, but I’ll be so much more prepared for my pitches than if I didn’t go through this experience.”

  • Founder: Ethan Bailey
  • Company: TNER
  • Description: TNER is a men’s clothing rental service that offers the latest designer fashion and luxury streetwear brands.
  • Location: Beaverton, OR
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“I am a better founder because of Founder Gym. At the beginning of the program, I did not own who I was as a founder. I felt the bad experiences in my life worked against me. Founder Gym helped me own them and realize that those experience made me who I am today which is the perfect person to found this company.”

  • Founder: Jael Marajh
  • Company: NurtureUp
  • Description: NurtureUp is an on-demand marketplace for the family’s pre and post-baby needs.
  • Location: Laurel, MD
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best part of FG was the community. There are so many talented founders that are changing the world in FG Fundraising Cohort 14. I was inspired by their gifts, their transparency, their traction, and friendship. Building a new business - especially a tech startup - can be a very lonely task. Having a cohort of peers made this part of the journey much more enjoyable.”

  • Founder: Jeff Ponders II
  • Company: Steamster
  • Description: Steamster is an interactive platform that leverages streaming media and cutting edge learning tools to help students engage in STEM education from home.
  • Location: Southfield, MI
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Before Founder Gym I knew if I wanted to become a transformative founder and scale my startup, I needed to acquire a solid knowledge of fundraising. As a graduate, the Founder Gym has provided me with the resources and invaluable connections I need to climb up the ladder in the VC world to make my vision successful.”

  • Founder: Jess Okoroji
  • Company: Naturally Free
  • Description: Naturally Free is a beauty + tech brand that manufactures allergy-friendly hair and skincare products, while their food app makes it easier to discover allergy-safe brands.
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Joining Founder Gym allowed me to sharpen my knowledge about the investment landscape. Every week I either learned something new, a better way to do something, or context behind a process. It allowed me to quickly level up, now I am confident knowing that I have the tools I need and the support system to efficiently navigate the fundraising jungle.”

  • Founder: Jimi Tele
  • Company: Chekmate
  • Description: Chekmate is a Dating Marketplace designed to facilitate genuine connections by bridging the gap between online and offline interactions.
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Founder Gym has given me the confirmation and confidence that as a European founder, I will have no major obstacles doing business or fundraising in the United States.”

  • Founder: Johanna-Mai Riismaa
  • Company: Zelos
  • Description: Zelos is a private task management app for gig recruiters and leaders of large scattered teams.
  • Location: Tallinn, Estonia
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“I have become a more well-rounded founder. Before Founder Gym I was a little lost when it came to raising capital. Founder Gym cleared the muddy waters and gave me tools to put in my toolbox for when that time comes!”

  • Founder: Juan Young
  • Company: Melanence
  • Description: Melanence is an online professional ecosystem that empowers communities of color to grow skills, build strong networks, and earn additional income.
  • Location: Upland, CA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I now have a network of entrepreneurs who will go on to change the world.”

  • Founder: Julius Bryant
  • Company: Jax
  • Description: Jax is creating inclusion in the gig economy by renting cars to car-less people and empowering them to make money through gig work.
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I’m ready to close my seed round.”

  • Founder: Karen Rios
  • Company: Lifesaver
  • Description: Lifesaver turns legacy community banks and credit unions into cutting edge digital players–where customers can open, fund, track, and transfer between accounts instantly.
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best part of the FG Cohort is hands down the community! I’ve been part of other founder groups and programs before, but never have I come across a community that champions and cheers on their own the way Founder Gym does. Hats off to their team for instilling a culture of shoutouts and support.”

  • Founder: Karthy Chandra
  • Company: Goalden Hour
  • Description: Goalden Hour is a goal-driven life management tool that helps people prioritize and plan for the things that are truly important.
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Before Founder Gym, I was unsure if I actually had a company that would attract investment or the knowledge to navigate the world of fundraising. Now I know that Nile and I have what it takes, and I’m ready to show that to investors.”

  • Founder: Khadijah Robinson
  • Company: The Nile List
  • Description: Nile is a digital platform that connects conscious online shoppers with Black-owned e-commerce brands quickly and easily!
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I have all the fundraising tools I need to secure the bag. I have learned what it takes to design a winning investor pitch deck. I am a better founder because of Founder Gym.”

  • Founder: KingPeter Cazeau
  • Company: Staout
  • Description: Staout is a social video app and talent discovery tool designed for creators of color, with artificial intelligence to automate the editing process by analyzing images, speech, and audio to create beautiful staouts that can be easily shared on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Think Instagram stories, but on professional topics.
  • Location: Simi Valley, CA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“I’m much better now at telling my story. I wasn’t as confident in articulating what we do succinctly, but now am confident in being able to do so.”

  • Founder: Laramie Mergerson
  • Company: SOCPOC
  • Description: SOCPOC is a platform focused on closing the wealth gap by connecting professionals of color to each other and companies committed to improving diversity.
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Before the 6-week FG Cohort, I was a solo founder completing my digital prototype, with zero fundraising materials developed. By the completion of the 6-weeks, I had a cofounder, paying customers, VC meetings, and was voted Best in Cohort by my peers for my short pitch and deck.”

  • Founder: Lauren Fitzpatrick Shanks
  • Company: Keep Wondering Out Loud (KeepWOL)
  • Description: KeepWOL is the first HR team-building gaming marketplace allowing companies to purchase expertly facilitated gaming events optimized for common video communication platforms.
  • Location: Gilbert, AZ
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“After 6 weeks, I feel like I can take on anything. Not only because of the work that I completed during the program but because of the FG staff and incredible expert trainers.”

  • Founder: Lindsey Lener
  • Company: Vanter
  • Description: Vanter is a digital travel assistant for underrepresented communities.
  • Location: Warwick, RI
  • Get Connected: Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I further understand the fundraising game and feel confident to begin pitching to investors.Because of Founder Gym, I further understand the fundraising game and feel confident to begin pitching to investors.”

  • Founder: Margo Baines
  • Company: Youth Enrichments
  • Description: A SaaS self-esteem based e-learning platform that delivers social and emotional learning to kids while collecting actionable data and connecting key decision-makers with trusted resources.
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I am definitely more confident in the way that I present myself and my company. I have shed the imposter syndrome that plagued me for many years.”

  • Founder: Martel Metellus
  • Company: Soko
  • Description: Soko is a discovery platform for Black talent to connect, collaborate, and find new career opportunities.
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“FG was a life-changing experience. This was everything I needed to take my business to the next level and become a better entrepreneur.”

  • Founder: Martha Diaz
  • Company: Hip Hop CU (Communiversity)
  • Description: Hip Hop CU is a curated project-based virtual immersive school offering youth age 14–24 personalized education, mentorship, career training, and job opportunities.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best thing about FG to me was the diversity across the board — The FG team, the trainers and, of course, the founders. It was refreshing and inspiring to look at my Zoom screen and see the diversity of talented people and everyone being themselves.”

  • Founder: Marvin Johnson
  • Company: Dashible
  • Description: Dashible is helping local retailers find new customers and keep them coming back through our integrated deals and loyalty platform that we deliver via a SAAS model
  • Location: Briarwood, NY
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Prior to participating in Founder Gym, I wasn’t sure that my company was an investable company. The training and assembling the toolkit helped me frame my pitch and fully understand the value proposition of my company. Having a recorded pitch deck is also amazing. I’ve sent it to two potential investors since mine became available.”

  • Founder: Mikhaile Solomon
  • Company: Prizm Art Fair
  • Description: Prizm is the producer of a cutting-edge art fair exhibiting international artists from Africa & its Diaspora who reflect global trends in contemporary art.
  • Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Founder Gym demystified the venture industry for me. I am more confident I can raise investment after going through the FG program. The structure was perfect for a 6-week program. The topics for each week had an excellent flow from one week to the next.”

  • Founder: Mutuk Karpakakunjaram
  • Company: All Elements
  • Description: All Elements is reinventing “people management” for the experience economy.
  • Location: Cary, NC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Founder Gym provided me with an environment that not only allowed me to gain confidence in my fundraising skills but also as an entrepreneur in general.”

  • Founder: Pradeep Ramasubramanian
  • Company: AirWear Devices
  • Description: AirWear Devices designs and manufactures mask-less, wearable air filtration devices that utilize advanced filtration techniques and fluid mechanics principles.
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I am more confident and feel I am in a better spot than where I was when I started. My gymmates were great and I loved my accountability group. Office hours with Paige were great!”

  • Founder: Prince Mlaudzi
  • Company: Nombolo
  • Description: Nombolo is an experiential-based content sharing application that helps users discover and engage with the world around them through geo-positioned video and requests.
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“The best thing about FG is you have a tribe of creative and relentless creators and visionaries. They have one of the best networks you can be in and become long term friends!”

  • Founder: Regina Santos
  • Company: Dyosa
  • Description: Dyosa, a platform where we encourage the embrace of oneself by unleashing your inner goddess and normalizing womXn of all colors.
  • Location: Daly City, CA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Prior to Founder Gym, I was misguided and had little knowledge of the fundraising experience and the path to successfully fundraise. Founder Gym not only gave us the ‘inside scoop’ on fundraising but through their program, cultivated confidence in myself and so many other founders.”

  • Founder: Rodeline Joseph
  • Company: Medsembly
  • Description: Medsembly is a one-stop-shop app for healthcare students and professionals to network and access tools to aid in their success and journey in medicine.
  • Location: Powder Springs, GA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I am more confident in how I speak about my company and the problem we are solving.”

  • Founder: Ronald Alin
  • Company: Those Untitled
  • Description: Those Untitled is the first lifestyle ecosystem serving the purpose-driven youth consumer.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I feel more capable, less of an imposter, and more empowered with myself. I am enough.

  • Founder: Ruka Osoba
  • Company: Launchmark
  • Description: Launchmark is a localized (gamified) marketplace that leverages Artificial Intelligence to help businesses of color test and launch new local goods.
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I finished my video pitch, refined my pitch deck, have a list of investors to contact, and developed an investor email template.”

  • Founder: Sandhya Padala
  • Company: Rex Academy
  • Description: We make it easy to learn and teach technology skills.
  • Location: Irving, TX
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I am hungry to succeed. FG lit a fire under me like no other.”

  • Founder: Saraa Green
  • Company: THEBRAIDRELEASER
  • Description: TheBraidReleaser is a tool that acts as an aid to maintain healthy hair.
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“I am much more confident in my pitch. Also, before I felt isolated. Now, I’m part of a community of other founders who are underrepresented (like myself), share the same difficulties, and support each other. This is extremely powerful!”

  • Founder: Shahar Keinan
  • Company: Polaris Quantum Biotech
  • Description: Polaris Quantum Biotech is using Quantum Computing, AI/ML, and personalized medicine to design drug leads to treat and cure all diseases for all people.
  • Location: Cary, NC
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Because of Founder Gym, I am now more knowledgeable and can confidently fundraise in order to expand my business.”

  • Founder: Tracee Gilbert
  • Company: System Innovation
  • Description: System Innovation provides engineering services, and is expanding to deliver next-generation technologies to solve critical national defense problems.
  • Location: Arlington, VA
  • Get Connected: Linkedin
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“I am certainly more confident in myself and my company today than I was 6 weeks ago. During the cohort, we went through a rebranding and redefined our target. Narrowing down our focus allowed us to make more of an impact on the work that we are doing.

  • Founder: Tracey Hobbs
  • Company: Vanter
  • Description: Vanter is a digital travel assistant for underrepresented communities.
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin
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“Before Founder Gym I wasn’t confident in fundraising. I didn’t know where to start and what to do. Now I am equipped with all the knowledge and toolkits to both fundraise and confidently grow my business.”

  • Founder: Yan Lawrence
  • Company: The Regime
  • Description: The Regime provides a personalized hair care routine for your unique hair.
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Get Connected: Twitter and Linkedin

Congratulations to the FG Fundraising Cohort 14 Best in Cohort Winners

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To be considered FG Fundraising Cohort Graduates, founders deliver their 2-minute pitch at Graduation Day. The FG Fundraising Cohort members voted for the top four founders based on the effectiveness of their pitch and the strength of their deck. Congratulations to our FG Fundraising Cohort 14 Best in Cohort winners Julius Bryant, Lauren Fitzpatrick- Shanks, Pradeep Ramasubramanian, and Jimi Tele.

Meet the FG Fundraising Cohort 14 FG Trainers

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Alfred Lin is a Partner at Sequoia 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.

Get connected: Twitter and Linkedin

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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.

Get connected: Twitter and LinkedIn

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Kendrick is CEO and co-founder of Republic, an investment platform that provides both accredited and non-accredited investors around the world with access to curated startups and crypto projects. Republic counts AngelList as an institutional co-founder, and is backed by Binance, Algorand, Passport Capital, and other noted venture firms. Prior to Republic, Kendrick served as General Counsel and Venture Hacker at AngelList and, before that, Fellow of Stanford Law School and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. Formerly a securities litigator, he frequently lectures on topics at the intersection of law, finance, and entrepreneurship.

Get connected: Twitter and LinkedIn

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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.

Get connected: LinkedIn

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Tanya is an investor and mentor at Mozilla Builders working with companies who are fixing the internet. She was a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, one of the most active seed stage venture capital firms in the world. She focuses on seed stage investment opportunities in the consumer space and has worked hands-on with 100s of companies globally. Most recently, she launched Silicon Valley Squares, an online pitch show for founders around the world to get feedback on their pitch from Silicon Valley investors. Previously, she worked in AdTech in NYC and holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from Babson College.

Get Connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

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Mandela has trained hundreds of founders around the world on how to build successful businesses. Prior to launching Founder Gym, Mandela was the founding Portfolio Services Director at venture firm Kapor Capital, the Global Director of Startup Weekend Education, and a tech startup founder backed by some of the most prominent investors in Silicon Valley (e.g. Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12, which has since been acquired by Y Combinator). Mandela is an inaugural member of First Round Capital’s Angel Track program. Mandela is a sought-after speaker and has shared her frameworks for success on over 90 stages (e.g. TEDx, SXSW, Startup Grind) and 100 publications (e.g. Forbes, Wired Magazine, Business Insider). Mandela has received various recognitions, including being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, as well as LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and Startups.

Get Connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Special thanks to the FG Graduate Orientation Guest Speakers

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Dawn Myers is Founder and CEO at THE MOST and Director of The Vinetta Project. She started THE MOST to make products to meet the nuanced needs of women of color, but engineering and manufacturing tech-enabled hardware takes an incredible amount of capital and training. Dawn had to get creative to raise funds to surmount the heightened barriers to entry for minorities in this space and quickly found herself advising and coaching other women on how to work what they have to get what they need. Along the way, she acquired a passion for helping women learn and grow in entrepreneurship. A JD and graduate of Dartmouth’s Business Bridge Program, she is committed to creating quality programming for women founders, as well as other underrepresented founders striving to innovate for their communities.

Get Connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Derrick Reyes uses they/them pronouns and is a social entrepreneur, consultant, executive coach, speaker, model, and skincare enthusiast. They identify as an Afro-Latinx, queer, gender non-binary, native New Yorker. Derrick leads Queerly Health, a social mission-driven company leveraging concierge health and digital health to end LGBTQ+ health disparities by 2030. Derrick has a clinical research background and earned their M.A. in Human Development and Social Intervention from NYU, along with an Advanced Certification in LGBTQ+ Health, Education, and Social Services. Derrick and Queerly Health have been featured in Forbes, SXSW, Product Hunt, NASDAQ, and SuperMaker. Derrick often advises and mentors other startup founders and, on occasion, co-facilitates a college class, walks a designer runway, or spends time at the United Nations as a delegate.

Get Connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Meet the FG Fundraising Cohort Leadership Team

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“Each FG Fundraising Cohort sets a new bar of excellence and FG Fundraising Cohort 14 did not disappoint. Eager to learn, they attended office hours in record numbers, requested and implemented feedback excitedly, and supported each other at a level that blew me away. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve them and be part of their larger journey. Watch out! This group is making moves!”

Paige Hendrix Buckner, FG Program Director

Location: Portland, OR

Get Connected: Twitter and LinkedIn

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“I have been so impressed with the level of commitment and the desire to improve that this Cohort demonstrated. They will go on to have many success stories and I am grateful that we have played a part in their journey.”

Cord Brown, Operations and Marketing

Location: Birmingham, AL

Get Connected: Twitter and LinkedIn

JOIN THE MOVEMENT

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The FG Fundraising Cohort is a 6-week program designed for underrepresented founders who want to raise capital to scale their startup. The entire cohort experience is 100% virtual, so founders can participate from anywhere in the world.

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FG Fundraising Cohort 15 operates from January 11, 2021 — February 19, 2021. 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 Trainers are announced as they are confirmed.

Apply by the deadline on Friday, December 11, 2020, at 11:59 pm PST.

Structure to Succeed

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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.

We’re Here to Help You and Your Company Succeed

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You’ve heard from our founders. You’ve seen the results. Join one of the world’s fastest-growing communities of world-class underrepresented founders.

Set aside time to complete the FG Fundraising Cohort application today. 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 Friday, December 11th at 11:59 pm PST. Late applications will not be accepted.

CLICK HERE to apply to FG Fundraising Cohort 15.

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