Montreal-based accelerator program FounderFuel is publicly announcing the teams in its fourth cohort, ahead of Demo Day on July 11. A crowd of over 800 people, including investors from Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, London and more, are expected attend.
General manager Ian Jeffrey wasn’t shy when commenting on how much he felt the accelerator helps its startups. “With 37 portfolio companies in just 2 years of operation and over 80% of them still active, FounderFuel is currently one of the most active accelerators around and now a market leader on the international stage,” said Jeffrey. "The traction and staggering progress made by our fourth cohort is clear evidence of that.”
At least three teams made headlines in Techvibes over the past two months while participating in the program. In early June The Transit App collected 35,000 downloads in just three days, partly based on the decision to make the app free. The Transit App continues to be the second most popular free navigation app in the Canadian app store.
A few weeks after that, fellow startup Groove music app made a splash by notching 85,000 downloads in a day. Jeffrey said Groove is currently counting 175,000 monthly active users. Finally, FounderFuel’s Provender was featured in an article that compared up-and-coming fresh vegetable startups in Canada.
“The nine companies we have now are some of the most advanced we’ve had at FounderFuel, even in companies that came in with almost nothing,” Jeffrey told Techvibes. “It’s just remarkable how much these companies have done in the 12 weeks and I think part of that is us doing a better job at finding good companies and making sure they have enough resources.”
The remaining six teams include LoginRadius,a unified social authentication API for web and mobile platforms to engage, understand and leverage users; CrowdMedia, a curated marketplace that captures newsworthy photos in real-time for publishers; SwiftIdentity, The API powering the next generation of secure online authentication; Instagrad, the social fundraising platform for college and university savings; Dashbook, the platform that satisfies your information cravings by delivering the content you care about; Now In Store, the wholesale marketplace that connects independent fashion designers to retailers.
After having guided four groups of startups over the three-month programs, Jeffrey said he’s learned a great deal. Every cohort is “completely different” to him in terms of planning and how mentors and investors are involved. Like a startup, FounderFuel is always iterating. He also said the expectations he has with each cohort has changed over the past few years. He’s learned to accept that early in the cohort’s calendar, startups seem to fall into the “valley of death.”
“During week three or four the teams are completely destroyed because the first month is so hard and they’ve never been challenged before, but they always come out on having a much bigger vision for their business,” he said. “The first time around I was freaking out because I thought they were all going to drop out, but now I expect it. Its not a comfort level, it’s an expectation,”
Here’s the full summer 2013 cohort:
• Transit App | Powering public transit
• Groove | Reconnect with your music
• LoginRadius | The social sign-on API
• Provender | Your farmteam
• CrowdMedia | Reinventing news photography
• SwiftIdentity | Whoʼs next?
• Instagrad | Making higher education a reality
• Dashbook | Satisfying your information craving
• Now In Store | Redesigning fashion wholesale