Founderfuel to Send Graduates to Silicon Valley

FounderFuel has announced that it will send several graduated startups to Silicon Valley through a new partnership with the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA).

Moving forward the Montreal-based startup accelerator will now send three teams per cohort to either Plug and Play or RocketSpace, both in the Bay area. Each team will be given a flexible three-month time period.

“The FounderFuel teams will benefit from unprecedented opportunities to develop partnerships, accelerate their customer acquisition and raise additional funding,” said Ian Jeffrey, General Manager of FounderFuel.

“Free office space in Silicon Valley is an invaluable advantage to our teams and we’re very excited to be the first program to partner with the CTA.”

The perks will certainly be there for those teams selected: They’ll share office space with like-minded global entrepreneurs and gain direct access to industry leaders and talents. They’ll also network with investors, mentors and organizations such as the Canadian executive expatriate group and The C100.

Since November 2011 FounderFuel has graduated 28 startups, including eight at its recent DemoDay earlier this month. This evening turned out to be a memorable one for at least one startup that signed a term sheet at the bar.

While recent graduates My Customizer didn’t do any signing that night, they are heading to San Francisco as part of the new initiative.

“We’re very happy about this, it’s an incredible opportunity for any startup to spend time in California,” said co-founder Christian Painchaud. “We’ll have to think a little bit about what really matters for us to get the maximum out of this time and what we really want to do while we’re there.”

The new initiative is both meant to benefit past graduates of the program (retroactively) and to serve as an additional perk for potential new applicants.

Teams already have access to $150,000 in general assistance through the program, additional cash upon entry and potentially an extra $150,000 through a partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

“They’ll have access to everything that’s going on, including mentors, investors, partners, and events,” said Jeffrey. “So we think it makes our offer even more interesting than it has been.”

Not every startup can easily gain access to innovative co-working space in Silicon Valley.

“They’re in high demand, but with FounderFuel they get right in,” he said.

One team from a past cohort that will also be taking advantage of this is Wavo.Me, a new social network for music.

Co-founder Conor Clark feels that not only will the new initiative benefit the program, but also the Montreal community. Stronger ties to Silicon Valley will mean better access to capital, connections and mentors, something Montreal just can’t match right now.

“Connecting to Silicon Valley is one thing that it was missing,” said Clark. “As soon as FounderFuel teams start raising money from Silicon investors DemoDay is going to become a much hotter thing.”

The following nine teams have been selected to take part in the initiative:

  • Appifier – Creates captivating apps that bring visibility, discoverability and monetization to web publishers. 
  • HealthAware – The online destination that takes the pain out of booking health appointments. 
  • LISTN – #LISTN is an iPhone app that lets people share and connect through music. 
  • MyCustomizer – Empowers brands and their retailers to offer unique customization experiences with a ready-to-use SaaS platform. 
  • NoteSolution – Crowd-sourced course resources for university prep and exam season survival! 
  • Oohlala – A mobile platform that helps students take control of their college life by powering the events, conversations and deals on campus. 
  • ooomf – The engagement platform that allows app developers to “socialize apps,” turning their followers into users and fans into advocates. 
  • Openera – Openera automatically organizes email and cloud files to meet corporate compliance requirements and allow the right people to find files fast.  
  • Wavo – The easiest way to collect, manage and play the music and videos being shared on your social networks.