Founder Institute Sponsors

Spiegel Sohmer

 Spiegel Sohmer is a firm of attorneys offering state-of-the-art expertise to a diversified business clientele seeking solutions that are innovative, concrete, and pragmatic. Our firm groups some forty five attorneys who concentrate principally within three broad specialties: business law (including Intellectual Property), tax law and litigation.  Spiegel Sohmer has extensive experience representing companies at all stages of their life cycle, from start up through to exit, and also represents a wide array of investors: 


Richter is, above all, a financial consulting services firm offering strategic support and has been a recognized member of the business community since 1926. Richter entire team consists of more than 450 partners, experts, high-level professionals and administrative employees. Because of this collective expertise, our firm has an unrivalled reputation and has earned the respect of the business community.

Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-profit organization to provide financing, mentoring, and support tools for every business stage to aspiring business owners and startup founders:


Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers, tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy and wines and spirits. The Company is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the United States. (



Community Partners

NACO Canada

The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) accelerates a thriving, early-stage investing ecosystem in Canada by connecting individuals, groups, and other partners that support Angel-stage investing. NACO provides intelligence, tools and resources for its members; facilitates key connections across networks, borders and industries; and helps to inform policy affecting the Angel asset-class.

Anges Quebec

Anges Québec’s mission is to help its angel investors make profitable investments in innovative companies in a wide range of industries and in all regions of Quebec. To this end, Anges Québec identifies the best entrepreneurs and business projects and supports the Anges Québec members who finance them.


Le RJCCQ soutient un réseau de jeunes chambres de commerce et d’ailes jeunesse à travers le Québec, représentant plus de 8 000 jeunes professionnels, cadres, travailleurs autonomes et entrepreneurs âgés de 18 à 40 ans.


La Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (JCCM) est un regroupement de près de 1 600 jeunes cadres, professionnels, entrepreneurs et travailleurs autonomes âgés de 18 à 40 ans, ce qui en fait un des plus grands réseaux de jeunes gens d’affaires au monde.

Hacking Health

Hacking Health is designed to improve healthcare by inviting technology creators and healthcare professionals to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line problems.


Noticias Montreal is a Spanish-language media based in Montreal and founded by a group of immigrant journalists. Its main goal is to provide the latest news, information and features about Montreal, Quebec, Canada. NM wants to offer a helping hand in the immigration and integration process of the numerous newcomers as well as promoting the Spanish language.

La Gare

La Gare is a collaborative workspace. A place to work, connect and learn in the heart of the Mile End.


Why You Should Never Pay to Pitch, by Sajad Ghanizada

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2013-09-23

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, Sajad Ghanizada shares critical advice for new entrepreneurs: Don't pay to pitch. Ever. He says, "One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received from a mentor within my network was, 'If you can’t get accepted to pitch at a free event…there is probably a legitimate reason that reputable venues have passed you by and it isn’t because you haven’t slipped them enough cash".

Below, Don’t Pay To Pitch. Ever. has been republished;

"As a first time entrepreneur, I find myself making mistakes all the time and seeking advice often (but not enough).

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received from a mentor within my network was, “If you can’t get accepted to pitch at a free event…there is probably a legitimate reason that reputable venues have passed you by and it isn’t because you haven’t slipped them enough cash.”

He’s right on the mark. I get invited to pitch events maybe once a month throughout the east coast, most of them cost a moderate $50-75 which I assume is to cover costs.

But once in a while, I receive an email for an event that seems more like a Nigerian 419 scam than a selective pitch event. Angel Venture Forum in the Mid-Atlantic region stands out as the most costly of the pay-to-pitch schemes. Apply and if you’re selected to present, for a cool $1,500 you can pitch 30 angel investors from 24 groups. No guarantee that they’re actively looking to invest.

You should easily be able to find a warm introduction to any of these 30 investors outside of AVF. If you can’t find an introduction, can’t get a meeting or an investment, don’t think that throwing away $1,500 is going to change any of that.

I don’t know of any events like this on the west coast but I would love to hear from you if you’ve had any success at a pay to pitch event.

For those who’ve shelled out the money and received nothing, I can be a shoulder to cry on. Reach out to me."

Sajad is a graduate of the Washington DC Founder Institute and the Founder of EventStir, a crowdfunding platform for events. To hear more from Sajad, follow him on twitter @TheRealSajad.

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