De-risk your founder journey and increase your odds of success

Pool your equity with a power network of founders and access the power tools every founder needs.

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FounderPool - De-Risking startup founders by pooling equity | Product Hunt Embed FounderPool - De-Risking startup founders by pooling equity | Product Hunt
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A startup called FounderPool has created a unique 'insurance' to help founders get rich even if their startups fail

FounderPool is running two early-stage pools and a late-stage pool, and plans to ramp up entrepreneurs admitted to the program in early 2021

How It Works

FounderPool matches you with founders from your industry or adjacent verticals and/or complementary backgrounds and skill sets.

  • 1

    Rank founders/companies

    You get to connect with and rate founders and their companies. Pools are constructed based on mutual ratings.

    Frame 1 (1)
  • 2

    Join a pool

    Once you’re invited to join, you contribute upto 5% of the equity you own (your vested common stock) to the pool and get a proportionate amount of pool ownership in return.

    Frame 1 (2)
  • 3

    Leverage your power network and tools for success

    FounderPool tools help you with Investor introductions, growth tactics, customer relationships and whatever else you need. Your pool is your personal support group that helps, inspires, and grows with you through your founder journey. Think of it as your team of Avengers or your own Paypal mafia. 

    Dribbble
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  • 450+
    companies participating in various pools
  • $8B+
    aggregate valuation of companies
  • $3B+
    aggregate funding raised by companies

What founders are saying..

and why they believe in the FounderPool vision 

  • "I’ve done equity swaps before with friends that trusted and who were building companies at the same stage as me. It’s the best way to hedge startup risk and get an advisor with a different skill set in your company. It provides a great incentive to help each other be successful as you scale out your companies" 

    Chris Turlica, Co-founder & CEO
  • "If founderpool had been available back in W16 when I went though YC, I would absolutely have participated. I also think this is a tremendous way to really bring the batch together and learn more about different businesses / maintain relationships for the long term. My perspective is something like this could also offset risk and incorporate diversification into a founder's future wealth pool while maintaining a strong founder community." 

    Matthew Dukes, CEO & co-founder
  • "The greatest trade-off with being a founder is to let go of opportunities to invest in other companies is due to lack of cash & time. Over the period of 5-10 years, there are at least a dozen life-changing opportunities that do incentivize a founder to go-to freelancer or investor round. My batch had at least 10-20 companies that I really wanted to invest time or cash but it wasn't possible due to resource strain but if there was an option to swap equity with the pool, we would've been very glad to do it. Like, give out 20% of my equity to other startups in exchange for theirs. This'll create a massive pool of strong founders who are able to grow"

    Haseeb Awan, Co-founder & CEO
  • "Starting a company should not be all or nothing. De-risking will open up entrepreneurship to under represented demographics, especially people who grew up in lower income households."

    David Park, Founder
  • "I believe that in order to succeed as a startup founder, you need to be incredibly hard working and creative at the same time. Hard work - that's on you, but creativity... Creativity is largely collaborative. I believe FounderPool can help me and founders like myself to be more creative, therefore find unique solutions to problems which we (mostly) can't solve by ourselves.

    Martins Bratuskisn, Co-founder
  • "I've always been a zero-hedge all-in kind of guy because I get max performance with that kind of commitment. I hope to connect with others like me and I can't think of a better way than to pool equity and invest along side fellow peers."

    Ben Chow, Founder of Friended

What the community is saying...

Being a founder is filled with uncertainty

Pandemics. Market crashes. Unexpected risks always threaten your years of work and sacrifice

  • Engineer your own luck

    Your startup may become the next great company. It’ll take years and sacrifice and opportunity cost to find out.

  • Use equity as leverage

    FounderPool allows you to unlock the value of your equity and diversify your risk before an exit.

  • Grow together

    Advisors who rarely help you are dime a dozen. Founders who are in your shoes are the best resource. Share the best insights from the people in the trenches like you.

A Community of founders invested in your success

  • Learn from the best

    When you are part of a pool, every founder is incentivized to help you succeed.
  • Grow together

    Introductions to investors, customers, strategic partnerships, your pool is your support network and your tribe. Share, educate and develop relationships.

FAQ

  • How does FounderPool equity sharing work?

    Founders pledge a small portion of their vested equity to a pool consisting of equity contributed by other similarly situated, mutually selected founders. This group becomes jointly vested in each other’s success, and each member has a long-term hedge provided by the overall performance of the pool’s equity.

  • Do I need board approval?

    Your transfer of a portion of your personal equity stake in your own startup is governed by the transfer rules that your company has in place. In some cases, this could require approval by your board of directors. We can help explain to your board why participation in FounderPool is a win/win that helps ensure that you as a founder remains aligned with the interests of your company’s investors (by providing some measure of hedging against a loss that allows the founder (you) more flexibility in pursuing an ambitious, long-term, high-value exit for the company while building a helpful network and focusing on your company instead of financial worries).

If you see an early stage startup that you really love and want to own equity in, FounderPool may work for you.

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The Pooled-Risk Company Management Company

If company management companies existed, there would be an additional service they could offer clients: they could let them insure their returns by pooling their risk. After all, even a perfect manager can't save a company when, as sometimes happens, its whole market dies... 

When you signed up, you'd trade your company's stock for shares of this pool, in proportion to an estimate of your company's value that you'd both agreed upon. Then you'd automatically get your share of the returns of the whole pool. 

Paul Graham
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Luck and Startups

Startups require luck.

All successful founders (those that have built “Unicorns”) had great skills and great luck. Skills need no definition, as they are widely understood and recognized. We know them when we see them, be it in engineering, product development, sales, marketing, or operations.

But luck is hard to define, so I use Michael Mauboussin’s definition. According to him, luck has two key attributes:

Chandra Duggirala

Fixing Founder Scarcity

TL;DR: The world appears to be suffering from a shortage of entrepreneurs. The main reason is the very risky nature of entrepreneurship: Society pays average founder millions of dollars but pays nothing to the median founder. We could build a financial fix (a founders’ mutual) to ever so slightly reduce this risk. This would move hordes of talent from their safer BigCo jobs into entrepreneurship. It could also give society more innovation per venture dollar risked.

Burak Yenigun, Founder at Stylus Capital

Progress depends on tinkerers and entrepreneurs.

FounderPool’s mission is to reduce the risks of entrepreneurship and encourage startups. Built by founders, for founders.

Talk to us

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