Expansion Brings Founder-to-Founder Mentorship to Booming Startup Ecosystem
Home to tech giants including Microsoft and Amazon as well as droves of other locally based tech startups, Seattle’s pipeline of locally based tech startups has been strong for years but recently climbed to be the nation’s fastest growing tech hub. Many factors cooperate and feed off of each other to position Seattle for success: Global companies that attract the world’s best tech talent, local venture capitalists that continue to invest in emerging and mature local startups, University of Washington’s world-class computer science program and the sought-after graduates it produces, and a wide network of startup incubators and accelerators.
The launch of the Founders Network Seattle chapter means that the local Seattle ecosystem of startup founders have now gained a different kind of resource to tap into – invaluable peer mentorship from a community of founders helping founders. Founded in 2011, Founders Network has offered lifelong peer mentorship to over 600 tech startup founders globally. Our Founders Network platform, programs and high-touch service facilitate authentic experience sharing, warm introductions and long-term professional relationships.
Founders know firsthand how valuable their network is. Their personal network can mean someone taking a chance on their idea, their first round of funding, meaningful introductions, their founding team, their first customers. Founders being able to get advice and feedback from others who are doing what they’re doing – that’s where Founders Network comes in.
“It’s the type of community you haven’t heard of until another trusted founder, after listening to you talk about your current startup challenges, mentions: “Have you heard of Founders Network?”. – Will Bunker, Founder of match.com.
The Founders Network Vision
“My vision was never to build the largest network of startup founders, it was not to become a LinkedIn or Quora for founders. Being the biggest has its place, but when it comes to advice and support, big can be noisy and impersonal. So initially, I sought to build a small, close-knit peer network of founders where offline relationships could form and advice could be more trusted” says Founder Kevin Holmes when asked why he started Founders Network.
Staying true to Kevin’s original ethos of quality connections over quantity, every single member of the invite-only Founders Network community is screened and onboarded along with their small cohort of tech founders. Each month a new cohort is added to the thoughtfully growing community made up of founders in the technology space who are working on their startup full-time.
Founders Network Seattle Pitch Competition
On April 24, 2019, Founders Network kicked off its Seattle Chapter with a pitch competition featuring a panel of Seattle-based movers and shakers in partnership with Create33, Microsoft for Startups, and Stackpath. Join us in thanking our panelists for sharing their expertise with the Founders Network community!
Meet the Panelists
CreativeLive is the world’s leading e-learning platform for creative entrepreneurs. Classes span topics including Photo, Music, Design, Craft, and Business. More than 10 million students have consumed more than 3 billion minutes of video via CL’s online education.
Emergent Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in Silicon Valley and India that invests in Seed to Series A stage IT and IT enabled businesses.
Outlines Venture Group is chartered to source and fund diverse founding teams who are building better ways to live and work together. Their mission is to increase opportunities for all people of all genders and ethnicities, regardless of age, location, or accessibility requirements, to build profitable, scalable companies.
Right Side Capital Management, or RSCM for short, invests in pre-seed technology startups. They make 75-100 investment per year and often work with incubators including Accelerprise, Alhemist, and TechStars.
M12 is Microsoft’s Venture Fund with the goal of empowering entrepreneurs through investments, insight, and unparalleled access to Microsoft.
Pioneer Square Labs is a Seattle-based studio that creates and launches technology startups. They are funded by 14 VCs and 50 angel investors from Seattle, Silicon Valley, Colorado and other parts of the country.
Meet the Founders who Pitched their Startups
Congratulations to Melissa Strawn, the winner of the Founders Network Seattle Pitch Competition!
My People Now is a peer-to-peer network for social productivity. What does that mean? You can offer services for the things you enjoy doing on the platform, earn money, and connect with others. You can find dog-walkers, video editors, foreign language instructors, artists, bakers, professional organizers and more right on the platform.
Lapa Lopa provides services and tools to help people who live in apartment (multifamily) communities consolidate neighbor buying power, starting with cleaning service Lapa Lola Clean. The population density of neighbors in these communities allow Lapa Lopa to optimize the scheduling of services, so vendors walk from unit to unit rather than drive from house to house across town.
Tribute is a modern mentorship app for the enterprise that connects users for mentorship on-demand through shared life experiences and stories. Tribute’s mission is to redefine mentorship by providing a mobile-first platform for employees to discover and connect with mentors.
Leasera is a unified listing, leasing, & loyalty-management platform. The Leasera platform effortlessly merges a long term rental marketplace with the travel ecosystem. Leasera replaces the previously fractured services, marginalized consumer and accessibility issues formerly caused by duration-of-stay limitations.
Globespinning is a travel app that creates a picturesque and informative itinerary of your past trips by using photos on your phone. It can then be shared with friends to help them plan their next trip to that location. Globespinning is easy to use, fun, and free.
Meet our Launch Partners
Over the next two years, Microsoft has pledged 500 million dollars to support startups with access to technology, community spaces, and sales opportunities.
Fenwick & West provides a broad range of services to emerging companies in technology and life sciences. We currently represent more than 600 VC-backed companies, and are ranked by Dow Jones and Chambers USA as one of the top VC practices in the U.S.
Launching a successful startup requires more than hard work and a big idea. You need tangible resources, strong insights, and expert advice. We created StackPath Propel to provide qualifying early-stage companies thrust to get off the ground and accelerate towards success.
Founders Network is thrilled to now be a part of the fabric that makes up the Seattle tech startup ecosystem, and we’re looking forward to continuing to build our community of Seattle-based founders and provide value through peer mentorship.