I’m super delighted to share our story with you. About three years ago, I started a small community of founders in Canada called Founders Canada. Initially, I was looking for a cofounder for my other startup and hoped to connect with the early-stage community. I wasn’t able to find any useful resources so I decided to do something about it. A group was launched with a few founders as way to share knowledge and experience. We all know the best startup advice comes from founders who have been there and already done it. Peer-to-peer support is huge in startups! A while back, I came across a funny article titled “do you qualify to give startup advice?” which really encapsulates the reality of startups, and how many people think they are certified for the job. One thing’s for sure, you need the right network and resources.
So how did we go about building this massive community?
Rome wasn’t built overnight neither will your startup. In my case, the first step without building the website was to gauge potential interest. I decided to make a newsletter and send out requests in my founders network.
Wanted a cofounder? Raising money? We have it all in the newsletter.
Many startups begun as a newsletter so this may be a good place to start while you’re working on your idea.
It’s 110% more attractive to tell a potential co-founder:
“Hey, I’m working on this idea with 1,000 subscribers and a pre-launch site. Want to help me build it?”
rather than saying:
“Hey, I’m working on this amazing business idea.” But remember, your traction speaks louder than words.
Traction significantly helps in attracting cofounders and team members.
After sending out the newsletter and noticing a rapid growth in our community, the website was built. The take home message is to build your audience before your build your product. Reverse engineering! Don’t go out and build a business asking ‘who wants it?’ Go out, build an audience, and then launch your product.
Within our launch, I remember exactly when we had someone post about raising funds. Shortly after, we gained a higher user base. Our community grew exponentially, encouraging us to open our network to professionals, students, and investors. We reached 4K plus members in Canada with a large set of international users and massive site traffic.
More recently, we’ve had another interesting pivot. After spending many months of working on Founders projects, building our wonderful community, chatting with founders and people across the world, we realized the major potential for a global network. We know entrepreneurship is a global game and has no boundaries. It requires a global reach for the global citizen. World-class products have a global audience.
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of FoundersBeta for connecting early-stage founders, innovators, professionals and students across the world to connect and build incredible companies. This will be the first of its kind: the most international startup community. As global citizens, we want a better world; one full of opportunities, prosperity, peace, and health. We never imagined expanding across the globe, but we believe in the velocity with which we have grown! A big thank you for your support with our team in our journey, and for helping our community create global opportunities. We hope you can embark on a new chapter with us. We’re ready to help build companies that create positive global impact.