Founders Live started in March 2014 as a small humble event in Seattle, WA called Feature Friday. We would gather once a month on a Friday night with a drink (or a few) in hand, meet and greet other Seattle entrepreneurs, showcase five new startup founders where each had 99 seconds to pitch, the audience enjoyed 4 minutes of questions, and then we all voted for what we thought was the best pitch of the night.
Amazing to me, much has stayed the same as that very first event on March 29th, 2014. Even back then a strong, vibrant and supportive entrepreneurial community was important to me and my Seattle based founder friends.
(March 29th, 2016 – Founders Live first event – which was called Feature Friday at the time.)
What started in Seattle on a rainy March evening has now traversed the entire world from Boston, to Buenos Aires, Argentina to Fukuoka, Japan expanding to almost 60 cities, reaching 25 countries, and inspiring tens of thousands of promising and high potential humans. Even with a global pandemic raveging our world it is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the world needs Founders Live more than ever and we’re intent to bring it to many more people and cities as the years go on. But the shifting soil of our global society requires Founders Live to implement significant enhancements to our experiences if we are to achieve that vision.
This month, we are excited to be rolling out the most significant changes to Founders Live in our short but powerful history. This includes a move towards a stronger business model encompassing monthly member subscriptions allowing us to hire more talent, launching the Prime Time Global competition series which is fed directly from our city level events, opening up access to growth capital and equity fundraising opportunities for you and your startup in partnership with Netcapital, launching the Founders Live Pro Entrepreneurial intelligence platform and startups index, and rolling out a mentorship and advisor network. All of which pave the way for much more enhancements in the near future.
The most direct change to the Founders Live experience will involve the paid monthly membership subscription. Our virtual competition events and some other experiences and content will remain free, but starting this August a small monthly subscription starting at $9.99 US will be in place to access most of the Founders Live offerings, including our global community on Founderslive.com and the newly launched Founders Live Pro platform.
This change is important for a few reasons I’d like to quickly illustrate. First, with the world changing so rapidly it was important we put a more consistent recurring and scaling business model into place for the future growth and success of Founders Live. We are exploding in growth, and to be transparent, I have been the only full time employee of Founders Live up to this point. Keeping all of Founders Live free would actually hinder our growth and all but guarantee failure in our vision to power the pulse of entrepreneurship around the world. We are drastically in need of hiring an internal team, and as CEO I am failing in my efforts to put out all the daily fires that need extinguishing and to *light other ones* that need igniting. Simply put, if you believe in Founders Live and would like to see how much more we all can impact the world together, your monthly subscription goes a long way to help us achieve that mission by allowing us to grow our team and hire the needed talent. (Maybe that is YOU!? Please reach out if you’d like to jump on this rocketship and we’ll see if there is a fit.)
Secondly, in recognizing an interesting phenomenon which people place higher value in what they pay for, keeping Founders Live 100% free drastically undermines the value we bring to your entrepreneurial life, your relationships, your community, and your business. We believe the improvement in all those areas of your life is at least worth a few lattes each month. If you don’t agree with that stance we must not be a good fit for you and ask you to step aside and don’t continue as a paid member.
And lastly, we encourage you to take your growth, transformation, and success more seriously and believe a small monthly investment in yourself and your business will achieve that goal much better than a free offering. By stepping up into a paid Founders Live membership it solidifies your commitment to yourself, your company, your cofounders, your employees, and your growth as an entrepreneur. We are here to make you better and if you feel the same way your first step in that is to jump into our new membership.
With that being said, we are launching the new Founders Live membership with special pricing for a short time in thanks to you all who have previously joined our existing community. We are opening up an option to pay $69.99 one time for an annual 12 month membership, which is less than $6.00 per month, an almost 50% discount to the normal $9.99 monthly subscription. This launch offer is only good until August 31st.
After August 31st, we’ll remove that special launch option and will only offer the regular tiers of US $9.99 or US $16.99 monthly options (annual payment options will be associated with the tiers).
Of course the transitioning from free experience to a paid membership model can be seen as a nuisance for many, and I have been one of those people many times as I gripe about not being able to read a random article someone tweeted due to a paywall. So I get it. But this enhancement represents the transition from an ‘interesting and highly promising concept’ to the beginning of a serious global business for Founders Live – one that touches and helps many people on all continents. We hope you feel the same way and join in the fun we intend to have over the next few decades.
What we are rolling out:
- Founders Live Premium Paid Community Membership
- Founders Live Pro – An Entrepreneurial Intelligence Platform
- Founders Live Mentors and Advisors
- Founders Live Virtual City Level Experiences (already in motion)
- Founders Live Prime Time Global Championships 2020
- Founders Live City Expansion and Leader Submission system
Founders Live Premium Membership Subscriptions
With the paid monthly subscription you will have full access to the Founders live social community network (https://www.founderslive.com/) and the new Founders Live Pro platform. The subscription comes with two tiers to start with.
Professional – $9.99 monthly
Perfect for professionals, entrepreneurs and founders who desire to improve themselves, grow as leaders, and connect with a growing network of high potential global entrepreneurs.
- Access to Founderslive.com and all that comes with the online community.
- Member only livestreams, educational talks, chats and calls
- Access to Founders Live Pro and all that comes with the intelligence platform
- Access to newly launched Founders Live Mentors
- All city and global events are free and included
*join for the special Yearly rate and you can own your profile… since it gives you the Startup membership.
Startup – $19.99 monthly
Perfect for high performing entrepreneurs, founders and those who are serious about building their own world changing companies and opt to take advantage of the vast opportunities and resources available within Founders Live.
- Everything included in the Professional membership
- Founders Live Pro company profile ownership and editing capabilities (coming soon)
- Qualify to pitch at our city and global events
- Access to pitching prep resources and trainings
- Access to investment and capital resources
- Access to our partner marketplace
Founders Live Pro – Entrepreneurial Intelligence Platform
We are excited to release a whole new experience within Founders Live – Founders Live Pro. We have indexed almost 1,000 startups from around the world and are excited to launch a new tool that will allow people to search and find emerging and high potential companies based on city, gender and other factors. These company profiles provide basic overview information on the startups, their website, their founders, the pitch decks they used for their Founders Live pitch and their pitch video from a recent Founders Live event (if applicable and if they have pitched at a recent event). Below is an overview of what else you’ll find in Founders Live Pro.
Founders Live Startups
With almost 1,000 startups from around the world, this new tool allows you to search and find emerging and high potential companies based on city, gender and other factors. These company profiles provide basic overview information on the startups, their website, their founders, the pitch decks they used for their Founders Live pitch and their pitch video from a recent Founders Live event (if applicable and if they have pitched at a recent event). Over time, we’ll enhance this system to allow founders to add to their profile growth metrics and other details about the health and growth of their company. No doubt these enhancements will help startups land the customers and investors they desire. Feel free to shop around!
Listing Your Company on Founders Live Pro
With your Professional membership you can now list your company in Founders Live. The benefits to be listed on Founders Live are vast. You will be discovered by other members, investors, partners, and possible future cofounders or employees. It will help you get noticed, and your info in aggregate adds to the intelligence we’re creating globally which in turn helps you even more. With the Startup Membership, you can take ownership of it and edit/add to the profile, which we would recommend, since going forward the most active and growing startups will get the most attention Founders Live. Add your company to Founders Live Pro Startups here https://airtable.com/shr3IeEtRzxLawGmt
Founders Live Mentors
We are excited to announce Founders Live Mentors, where our global community can access a growing number of Mentors who have chosen to list themselves and open their calendars for you to book time with them. The listings showcase the Mentor, the region of the world in which they reside, their areas of expertise, the languages they speak, and their Linkedin Profiles. Feel free to check them out and reach out to book time in the slots they have opened on their calendars. If you are interested in listing yourself as a Founders Live Mentor, feel free to fill this out. https://airtable.com/shrcXQ91BxJROYWv9
Attend Upcoming events
We have created an area to organize a schedule of the upcoming Founders Live city and global events. You can check out the calendar, click in and learn more about the event and be taken directly to the event page to quickly sign up for the event. All these events are available to you and we encourage you to participate and attend!
Past Founders Live Pitch event recordings
As the Founders Live pitch competitions are now virtual and livestreamed on a popular social networks, we have indexed our previous events (of the new virtual versions) and will place any event which is complete in this list for you to watch post – live event. Lots of great stuff in these recordings, and hundreds of great pitches.
The Founders Live Podcast
As The Founders Live Podcast podcast is growing in popularity and episodes, we are excited to create a quick list of all past episodes and the ability to listen to the Podcast right in Founders Live Pro! You’ll hear from past winners of our pitch events, past Founders Live Conversations guests, investors, high quality educational talks, The Founders Live Learning Series, and much more. We release numerous episodes each week so check them out.
Founders Live Prime Time Global Competition
If you sat at a founder’s live either in seattle or other cities and ask what happens to the winners and do they go on to compete at something else, well the answer today is now yes! And we are so excited to start layering on a global competition we call Founders Live Prime Time where the winners of the city events will advance to additional competitions that are going to be oriented in continent focused regions.
Founders Live Prime Time has the potential to be our marquee events, to drive brand awareness on a global level and massively fill the top of the funnel. Keep pushing the limits and polishing this, and discover how to weave musical talent and entertainment into startup business pitching. Performance, Competition, and Connections. The Prime Time experiences will be known for the new hot things, the up and comers, king and queen makers, and the place to be seen.
This means there will be founders live Prime Time North America, Founders Live Prime Time Latin America, Founders Live Prime Time Europe/ Africa given that are in the same time zone or in the same area of the world so we’ll have them compete on their level, and then we’ll have Founders Live Prime Time Asia/SE Asia we’ll throw in Australia in that group once we launch over there as well.
We’re also announcing that we are going to have a shorter version but a 2020 World Championships we are launching this in September where five regional events taking the five winners into one global event from that and there will be one world champion of the Founders Live Prime Time edition of 2020.
The fun starts September 9th.
Sep 9 – N. America – 1 winner
Sep 23 – Latin America – 1 winner
Oct 7 – Europe/Africa – 1 winner
Oct 21 – N. America – 1 winner
Nov 4 – Latin America – 1 winner
Nov 18 – Founders Live 2020 Global Championships
Founders Live Prime Time clearly illustrates that as we now go forward there is so much more on the line for our events, which is exciting and as we grow Founders Live these Prime Time events will become something that will be a lot more eyes on there we’re excited about it a lot possibly more money involved or at least more prizes, awards, and recognition.
Founders Live Virtual City Level Experiences
As you have probably seen start to take place around the world, we are now in full swing expanding the new Founders Live Virtual Pitch Competition and Networking Event to all of our cities. Our new online experiences are in a tightly produced and fun format.
1. Opening Performance and entertainment
We highlight a musical guest, band, DJ or special guest interview to open the event. This usually lasts for about 30 mins and allows people to get settled in and arrive a few mins late and not miss the main pitch event. Also something to consider: musicians and entertainers are entrepreneurs as well, and they have had an equally hard time (if not more challenging during the pandemic) to reach their audiences. We decided we’d include them in our events to give them exposure to our audience as well as provide fun opening entertainment.
2. Startup Pitch Competition
Founders Live still holds true with our pitch competition of 99-second pitches and 4 minutes of Questions from the audience. The only difference is each person is on their own device and quite amazingly this aspect of the event is much better now from a viewer’s perspective. We take questions from the audience and are able to pop them right on screen, as well as add messages and banners on the screen which add much more professionalism to our online events.
3. Open Networking Happy Hour
Since the community aspect of Founders Live is so strong, we believe it’s important to still have a time to connect with others who are attending the event as well. After the competition we open up a space online for people to turn on their cameras, sit and enjoy a beverage of their choice and chat with the others in the group. We use Zoom rooms or other similar platforms and these post event discussions turn out to be an engaging and fun time. Hey, you never know who you will connect with – especially now that Founders Live events are virtual and global in nature.
Watch a few recent Founders Live events below.
- Seattle (opening Musical guest)
- Seattle (Opening Investor Interview)
- Boston (Opening Startup Trivia)
Founders Live City Expansion and Leader Submission system
Finally, we have launched a more open Submission system for Founders Live expansion. Want to see Founders Live in a new city or country? Does the thought of being a Founders Live City Leader sound exciting to you?
We are taking submissions for the next 50 cities we should expand to, and we need your help. In this process we are also looking for our next class of leaders who want to join our global city leaders team. Is this you? To suggest a new city please fill this out expand.founderslive.com and we’ll contact you to talk further.
Well, we believe that is enough new stuff to announce for this week at least! We hope you join us in this next chapter of Founders Live, it’s not to be missed.