2013 Recap: Doubling to 500 Members, Hosting 200 Mentoring Sessions, Launching Member Site 2.0 & a Growing Team2 min read

As a follow-up to “Why I started Founders Network“, I thought I’d post part of my internal 2013 Annual Report for our public audience.  The headline of course is doubling to 500 members:

Growing our core expertise: Founders Network launched in April 2011 with a vision of building a problem-solving and peer mentorship community of vetted tech startup founders. Since then we have consistently set and achieved community goals of 100 members in 2011 and 250 members in 2012. Today I’m proud to announce – thanks to your nominations and our membership committee’s review, Founders Network doubled yet again to 500 members in 2013!  Tweet the good news: http://fndrs.net/congratsfn!

We assembled over 250 welcome packages by hand in 2013.  Each package included a carefully folded FN t-shirt aka fnT.  Pictured are members or their "co-founders" sporting fnT's in Nantucket, Las Vegas, Madrid, Venice Beach, Yosemite and LA.

We hand assembled over 250 welcome packages in 2013. Each package included a carefully folded FN t-shirt aka fnT. Pictured are members (or their “co-founders”) sporting fnT’s in Nantucket, Las Vegas, Madrid, Venice Beach, Yosemite and LA.

Helping you succeed: Despite this growth, we’ve been careful to maintain membership quality by limiting cohort sizes to 25 per month. Each new member has contributed to our collective expertise through our forum, functions and member-to-member meetings. Member Domingo Guerra has attributed your feedback to making faster, smarter and safer decisions “all the way from a series of ideas, to our Series A”. Our culture of helpfulness has generated hundreds of founders helping founders success stories.

We organized over 200 functions in 2013.  Pictured left to right: Tyler Dikman of LoungeBuddy shares tips on getting featured in the Apple App Store, our fnNYC'ers hang out on Laurel Touby's famous couch, Rishi Taparia of Matrix Partners mentors our founders on fundraising, our LA members commiserate on startup ups and downs, Will Bunker (Match.com) and Dr. Galen Buckwalter (eHarmony, currently Tidepool) break bread at an fnDinner, Howard Hartenbaum of August Capital (Lead investor on Skype) mentors on fundraising for a billion dollar exit,   Joe Kraus (Excite, Jotspot) of Google Ventures mentors on corporate VC,  we welcomed our April '13 Cohort of new members.

We organized over 200 functions in 2013. Pictured left to right: Tyler Dikman of LoungeBuddy shares tips on getting featured in the Apple App Store, our fnNYC’ers hang out on Laurel Touby’s famous couch, Rishi Taparia of Matrix Partners mentors our founders on fundraising, our LA members commiserate on startup ups and downs, Will Bunker (Match.com) and Dr. Galen Buckwalter (eHarmony, currently Tidepool) break bread at an fnDinner, Howard Hartenbaum of August Capital (founding investor in Skype) mentors on fundraising for a billion dollar exit, our April ’13 Cohort of new members is welcomed aboard, and Joe Kraus (founder of Excite, Jotspot) of Google Ventures mentors on corporate VC.

Continuing to make your membership valuable: To ensure our continued success, we’ve made huge investments back into the community. Most notably we hired Abby Crowley as FN’s first full-time Community Manager. Abby has done a great job helping us scale up the quantity, quality and geographic coverage of our offline functions. We also launched a new member site with the help of Alexey Ghanza, our first full-time Director of Technology. Our team’s long-term goal is to make joining Founders Network one of the most important decisions of your career.

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the 2013 recap and looking forward to sharing more big news in 2014. Thanks for following FN and please support our founders in the coming year!

Cheers!

Kevin Holmes
Founder & CEO
www.foundersnetwork.com

ps – for more about FN, we put this video together and remixed it with the help of member Hendrik van der Meer of www.vilynx.com:

Kevin started Founders Network to help tech founders achieve success through peer mentorship. Prior to Founders Network, Kevin advised hundreds of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs from idea stage through funding. Kevin was named “40 Under 40 in Silicon Valley” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for his work with startups and promoting entrepreneurship. He has served on the adjunct faculty at both Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business and the University of San Francisco School of Business. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University.

Comments 2

  1. Founders Network helped make 2013 a great year. From all the different networking events to the discussions with VCs, I was able to greatly increase my network and learn a lot of things that helped build Vilynx. I also can’t say enough about Kevin and his ability to make sure companies get something out of fN. I highly recommend people take advantage of connecting with him to find out how to better leverage the possibilities. Looking forward to 2014 and wish everyone a great year!!

  2. Thanks Hendrik! It’s been fun watching Vilynx grow. The technology and team you’ve put together are a testimony to the quality of our membership. Keep up the good work!

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