At BUILDUP our mission is to mentor, educate and connect underrepresented entrepreneurs in technology. To achieve our goal BUILDUP provides the following opportunities to underrepresented technology entrepreneurs:
A two week fellows program
Educational fireside chats with investors/founders
This year we’ve held two pilot programs to prove our hypothesis and show the need for such resources for underrepresented technology entrepreneurs . The first was a month long workshop and the second was the Fellows Program.
The BUILDUP Fellows Program is an intensive two week program designed to prepare founders for their entrepreneurship journey. Throughout the fellows program teams will experience workshops lead by industry experts, connect with successful mentors and work on key areas of their business such as achieving product market fit and pitching.
The Fellows program took place from September 28th to October 9th in San Francisco at Galvanize HQ. We received over 80 applications from startups across the globe and selected six great startups for the inaugural class.
During the Fellows Program the startups worked out of Galvanize, participated in one-on-one office hours, pitch practice, workshops on finance, leadership, and product market fit. The Fellows Program also featured talks from investors and successful founders such John Maeda of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, Heather Hiles, founder and CEO of Pathbrite, Sean Percival, partner at 500 Startups and Ken Norton of Google Ventures.
All together the fellows program featured 18 mentors and speakers during the two weeks. Also during the two weeks the fellows visited and learned more about bay area startups such as Yelp, Twilio, Pivotal Labs, Airbnb and Twilo. The fellows also learned about various startup resources from Pivotal Labs and Facebook via the FBstart program.
Meet the first Batch of Startups in BUILDUP Fellows Program below.
The fellows program concluded with demo day at Twitter HQ where each founder pitched for five minutes to a room full of angel investors, accelerators, and venture capitalist that included investors from SV Angel, Kapor Capital, Google Ventures, 500 Startups and more.
As for what’s next with the first batch of BUILDUP Fellows; the six startups are just getting started on their journey and our goal is to assist each one in getting accepted in incubators accelerators such as 500 Startups, TechStars, Y Combinator, Launch Accelerator or continue to raise angel capital.
Below are some testimonials from the fellows after participating in the fellows program.
BUILDUP may be the most important thing we’ve been a part of since we started MobilePhire. I am consistently blown away by the caliber of mentors and speakers we have the privilege of meeting with. It’s amazing that we’re able to connect with them in such meaningful ways, as opposed to just listening to speakers.
Due to the mentorship we received from BuildUP, we received more investment interest and aligned our focus to a better defined growth strategy. The other startup founders were also amazing! Together, we built a strong founder family and community of support. I would recommend BuildUP to all early stage startups that are looking to better understand and improve their fundraising efforts, strengthen their network, and fine tune their business strategy.
– Cocoon Cam
A big thank you to all of the BUILDUP partners, sponsors, mentors and supporters.