Is Founderly an incubator, accelerator, or VC?
We actually come before all of these. Our mission is to help you create and build a success startup so you can then go on to join any accelerator or take seed investment from any VC fund. We are an initiative that helps create successful founders and problem-solving startups.
Do you also offer investment?
We value time and the right resources over money, and we believe in bootstrapping in the early days. We will provide you with all the necessary resources you need to launch your startup and then, once you hit your next milestone, we’ll introduce you to investors to get your first investment.
Can’t I just build my team and do all of it myself?
Yes, you can – everyone can, and we would love that. We’ve designed this program to share our knowledge and the enthusiasm we have for startups and founders. We believe that time is valuable and it’s important to start the right way to save time trying things that don’t work. This is why we work on customer and product development in parallel.
How does Founderly make money?
As well as the one-off commitment fees from new founders, we cover costs with a facilitator fee once investment has been secured. On top of that, we take a small 5% equity from any startup we help to create in return for support, help, and resources. We truly believe in our startups, and having a share in their eventual success shows that. We only make money if you are successful.
How can I validate the idea of building a startup around my day job?
Google introduced the 20% rule for their employees; LinkedIn has InCubator, a program that gives engineers time away from their regular jobs to work on their own product ideas; Apple has Blue Sky, which allows workers to spend a few weeks on side projects; and Microsoft created The Garage, a space for employees to build their own products using Microsoft resources. The 10% Entrepreneur by Patrick J. McGinnis is a great book on this subject if you want further reading.
What if I don’t have a startup idea?
It’s absolutely okay if you don’t have an idea. We can help you connect with other ideas based on your interests and vision. If you do have an idea, that’s great, but we don’t assess your application on that alone. We care more about your passion and the depth of your ambition.
How do I find team members?
When you’re accepted into the program, we match you with a team and a mentor based on your interests and the skills your startup needs. If you already have an idea, we initially try to connect you with people who have a similar vision or idea.
How will a mentor help me?
Mentors play an important role in your startup journey with Founderly. They assign you weekly goals and keep you accountable throughout the process. They will also help you create a success strategy and work as a team member alongside you for the first nine weeks.
How do you calculate equity between team members?
We use the Slicing Pie model by Mike Moyer to calculate the equity between team members. This method relies on the fair market value of the contributions made, from cash, ideas, time, relationships, supplies, equipment, and facilities.
What if my startup fails to get traction or revenue within 9 weeks?
You’ll gain invaluable founder skills and experience that will equip you with a slew of transferable skills to help you in your next endeavor. Many of our past alumni go on to join existing Founderly companies or re-apply to join a later cohort.
Do you offer office space?
This program is location independent and we believe in remote working to get the most out of your startup. We have first partner deals with various co-working spaces so you have somewhere to host your weekly or monthly meetings. We also organize various events with our partners and encourage you to meet your team and work under the same roof if possible.
How can I build a startup in my spare time without getting fired?
Luckily, most companies will have no problem with you starting a business on the side as long as it doesn’t become a conflict of interest within your current realm of employment. The best thing to do is simply ask your employer, as your contract will usually include a clause about working on the side. Usually these come in the form of non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clauses, but you can always consult with us when you apply.
When is the right time to incorporate my company?
Incorporation can be an expensive, lengthy, and confusing process, which is why we advise you to incorporate when you hit your next milestone, whether that’s when you get investment or your first paying customer. We will advise you on the best country to incorporate your startup in.
What tax implications will I face?
There are no tax implications until your startup generates revenue. We usually advise you to incorporate your startup at this stage, but it’s also a good idea to consult with a tax advisor or attorney.
Who owns the IP?
The startup you join owns the IP. Founderly doesn’t own any IP that belongs to your company. Get in touch with us if you have any questions about IP or a current project you’re working on.
What if one of my team members leaves the startup or isn’t performing well enough?
We always try our best to connect you with the right talent, but sometimes things are out of our control. If a team member leaves or isn’t pulling their weight, we will replace them with someone with the same skillset and transfer the shares across to them.