Meet the Graduating Class of Founder Gym Cohort 2: The Fundraising Basics

The fact is: there’s money out there, but it’s not getting to us: underrepresented founders.

And people are fed up.

There’s conferences about it.

There’s articles about it.

There’s definitely tweetstorms about it.

In general, there’s a lot of talking about it.

We wanted to take a different approach. We wanted to take action and DO something about it.

So in January 2018, we launched the inaugural Founder Gym Cohort, training 26 underrepresented founders across 4 continents in just 4 weeks on how to raise venture capital.

During those 4-weeks, members of Founder Gym cumulatively raised over $1MM and soon after, several founders, like Amy Nelson, went on raise to significantly more.

Now, four months later, we’ve graduated our second class of underrepesented founders — nearly double the original cohort size at 43 — and today, we’re excited to announce who they are. But before we do…

Here’s a quick breakdown of Cohort 2 as a whole:

Gender

  • Female: 52%
  • Male: 43%
  • Trans Male: 2%
  • Trans Female: 2%

Race

  • Black: 64%
  • White: 24%
  • Asian: 14%
  • Latinx: 10%
  • Middle Eastern: 2%

Age

  • Twenties: 24%
  • Thirties: 52%
  • Forties: 21%
  • Fifties: 2%

Parenting Status

  • With children: 50%
  • Without children: 50%

Geography

  • Bay Area: 21%
  • NY Area: 17%
  • Boston: 0%
  • Other areas in the U.S.: 57%
  • Outside the U.S.: 5%

Immigrant Status

  • Native to the country they reside in: 83%
  • Immigrated to the country they reside in: 17%

Employment Status

  • Full-time founder: 57%
  • Part-time founder and full-time employee: 29%
  • Part-time founder and part-time employee: 14%

Product Stage

  • Product in the market: 69%
  • Product in private beta: 21%
  • Product in development: 10%

Technical Ability

  • Engineer: 21%
  • Designer: 12%
  • Other type of technical ability: 14%
  • Non-technical: 52%

Previous Fundraising Experience

  • No previous fundraising experience: 41%
  • Family and/or friends: 38%
  • Incubator and/or accelerator: 7%
  • Venture capitalists: 7%
  • Angel investors: 5%
  • Pitch competition: 2%

Meet the Graduates of FG Cohort 2

Adetayo Adesanya

  • Company: Agbara Life, a wearable tech benefits corporation that creates designer powered accessories and apparel with the mission to bridge the technology gap in under-resourced areas.
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Ava Pipitone

  • Company: HostHome, an accessible housing platform for the LGBT community.
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Bianca Jeanty

  • Company: MiMConnect, (Minorities in Media Connect) is the LinkedIn for mid-to-senior level professionals of color that provides a direct pipeline between forward-thinking companies and diverse candidates.
  • Location: Elizabeth, NJ
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Boyede Sobitan

  • Company: Oja Express, a marketplace for small grocers that sell cultural specific groceries.
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Chanel Melton

  • Company: Rose Gold Dropship, a community-driven, curated marketplace that highlights ethically, consciously made products and the stories behind them.
  • Location: Hollywood, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Damien Peters

  • Company: Wealth Noir, a media and financial services company targeting high-income African American Millennials.
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Darren Harris

  • Company: PANN, (Pan-African News Network) is a mobile application made for sharing news that takes place within the Black community.
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

De’Angelo Wisdom

  • Company: Agbara Life, a wearable tech benefits corporation that creates designer powered accessories and apparel with the mission to bridge the technology gap in under-resourced areas.
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn

Delores Brown

  • Company: Agbara Life, a wearable tech benefits corporation that creates designer powered accessories and apparel with the mission to bridge the technology gap in under-resourced areas.
  • Location: Pleasanton, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Derrick Ashong

  • Company: Amp.it, an interactive digital media platform that helps brands know who’s watching their content and why, so they can own their audience.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Eric Warner

  • Company: Style Trail, connects shop owners to talented beauty professionals to fill their empty booths.
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Erica Peterson

Faseeha Khan-Jensen

  • Company: The Level Market, the world’s first e-commerce platform aimed exclusively at the $100B humanitarian industry.
  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Faye Hayes

  • Company: PlayLoops, a one-stop-shop for social justice organizations to create narrative-shifting GIFs using our proprietary design tools.
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Jasmine Shells

  • Company: Five to Nine, a SaaS B2B platform that provides company employees access to a marketplace of curated events and perk benefits in order to enhance work culture and productivity.
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Jelica Baker

  • Company: Saddle Shoppe, an e-commerce startup that features luxury equestrian brands that suit both style and technical advancements for the modern rider.
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn

Jessica Estrada

  • Company: Hue for Every Man, specializing in men’s premium grooming products marketed to the poly-cultural male demographic.
  • Location: Hollywood, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Jibril Sulaiman

  • Company: Spendwith, a platform that empowers people to organize shopping based on cultural identity.
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Karisa Peer

  • Company: Mother Squad, a video chat support group platform that gives new moms a space to connect from the comfort of home — via computer, tablet, and/or smartphone.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Kati Radziwon

  • Company: iFlipd, a platform that lets students rent textbooks by the week.
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Kedar Reddy

  • Company: PlayLoops, a one-stop-shop for social justice organizations to create narrative-shifting GIFs using our proprietary design tools.
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitte

Kimberly Moore

  • Company: CarpooltoSchool, the first product in the market available on web and mobile, exclusive to the parent community to meet, coordinate and see their children arrive safely to their destination.
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Kishau Rogers

  • Company: Time Study, a software provider on a mission to eliminate time sheets.
  • Location: Richmond, VA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Kyle Frazier

  • Company: Hue for Every Man, specializing in men’s premium grooming products marketed to the poly-cultural male demographic.
  • Location: Hollywood, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Lauren Elliot

  • Company: CandleLit Box, a subscription service that offers a practical approach to self-care through stress management and unique discovery of personal care products.
  • Location: Ozone Park, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Lennie Carter

  • Company: TruCircle, a web and mobile video chat tool that allows behavioral health professionals to connect with their patients in a safe and secure way.
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Luther Lawoyin

  • Company: Lucy, a Nigerian e-commerce, wholesale and retail technology company that provides B2C and B2B sales of branded merchandise via web portals.
  • Location: Lagos, Nigeria
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Makazi Mtingwa

  • Company: Funderdust, a crowd-funding platform which seeks to promote tech startups traditionally excluded from venture capital and angel investing.
  • Location: Laurel, MD
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Marie Condron

  • Company: Arsenal, a consumer-driven marketplace for discovering and sharing favorite beauty and personal care products from people you trust and admire.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Max Goodman

  • Company: HostHome, an accessible housing platform for the LGBT community.
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Michael Purnell

  • Company: Sievent, a VR ticketing platform that lets fans buy virtual tickets and have an immersive front row experience at any event right from their home.
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Netta Dobbins

  • Company: MiMConnect, (Minorities in Media Connect) is the LinkedIn for mid-to-senior level professionals of color that provides a direct pipeline between forward-thinking companies and diverse candidates.
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Quincy Ewell

  • Company: PANN, (Pan-African News Network) is a mobile application made for sharing news that takes place within the Black community.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Ryan Boyd

  • Company: Shelfspace enables people to have their luggage sent from the hotel to the airport on-demand via mobile app, allowing them to move freely in their down time before their flight.
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Sama Jashnani

  • Company: DownToDash, a millennial focused app that connects people in the same location based on what they are down to do, whether it’s workouts, sports, movies or other activities.
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Sandeep Purwar

  • Company: Bevov, a new all-in-one recruiting platform that uses machine learning, sourcing and automated testing to help you find the Top 5 candidates.
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Sara Campbell

  • Company: Arsenal, a consumer-driven marketplace for discovering and sharing favorite beauty and personal care products from people you trust and admire.
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Summer Suleiman

  • Company: The Distillery, a media platform that covers the challenges entrepreneurs endure as they start and grow companies.
  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Tammy Bowser

  • Company: Rodexly, an app created to make your network both searchable and monetizable.
  • Location: Frisco, TX
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Tegan Spinner

  • Company: Lokalist, a marketplace for local used goods that enables instant price negotiation between buyers and sellers, and integrated payment processing.
  • Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Tes Macpherson

  • Company: Plan Social, enables volunteer groups to harness untapped potential in terms of volunteers and sponsors, currently focused on school PTAs.
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Winston Frazer

  • Company: Danae Prosthetics, an app that engineers 3d printed parts in the cloud for lower limb amputees to customize their prosthetic legs.
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Shoutout to the FG Cohort 2 Peer Trainers

There was so much talent in Cohort 2 that for the first time, Founder Gym hosted Peer Training sessions. Select cohort members stepped up to train their peers on popular startup topics. Thank you to these amazing founders:


Meet the Incredible Trainers of FG Cohort 2

During the cohort, 12 venture capitalists and 7 venture-backed founders trained FG founders on the nuances of raising venture capital. We’d like to thank them for their candor, consideration, and commitment in helping us bridge the knowledge, network, and capital gap for underrepresented founders.

Expert Trainers

The following investors trained Cohort 2 founders in whole group sessions focused around a particular fundraising topic.

Monique Woodard

  • Role: Investor
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Parker Thompson

  • Role: Partner at AngelList
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Suzy Ryoo

  • Role: Partner at Atom Factory and Cross Culture Ventures
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Personal Trainers

The following investors and venture-backed founders trained Cohort 2 members in 1:1 sessions.

Amy Lin

  • Role: Head of Product at NFX
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Bhavin Parikh

Cat Perez

David Phillips

Frederik Groce

Joah Spearman

Jorge Davy-Mendez

Lynzi Ziegenhagen

Marcus Singleton

Maria Salamanca

Nasir Qadree

  • Role: Associate Director of Social Investments at AT&T
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Get connected: LinkedIn and Twitter

Peter Marculans

Sian Morson

Sydney Thomas

Vinit Sukhija


Shoot your shot! …and apply to Cohort 3

Photo by Levi Elizaga

Cohort 3 The Fundraising Basics:

  • June 4th — July 13th, 2018 (one month duration)
  • 100% virtual, so you can participate from anywhere in the world.
  • Live virtual programming takes place weekdays at 5:00pm PST.
  • Cohort 3 Expert Trainers will be revealed on April 30th, but if you want to learn more about the general details of the cohort experience, visit FounderGym.com
  • The application deadline is May 20th.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION HERE


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Meet all the Cohort 1 Graduates and Trainers

Announcing the Graduates of Founder Gym’s Inaugural Cohort

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