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"I would definitely recommend FOWNDERS to any female entrepreneur out there."
Rebecca Lima, CEO of Ment
What is a FOWNDER?
FOWNDERS is a place where a FOWNDER goes to crush it and OWN everything they do. They OWN their destiny and work tirelessly to become the best versions of themselves. For the past 18 months our team has accepted millennials from all walks of life, from all over the country through our doors . . .
all of them very different yet all of them having one thing in common . . . a burning desire to make an impact.
Our team at FOWNDERS has worked hand to hand with some of the most amazing people on this planet. We have seen these courageous human beings come to us with an idea and pure passion.
We have consulted with them and guided them to OWN each and everything they set out to do. With our help and access to our elite network, we have been blessed to be a part of their journey and we have seen them turn into fearless and successful MILLENNIAL ENTREPRENEURS!
Meet your new mentors...
Coming from a team of entrepreneurs who have all taken risks, and succeeded. That is why we have dedicated our lives to deliver an exclusive educational platform accessible to those who are driven to take action, and need mentorship, guidance, and support along the way.
For 10 years, Peter has worked on numerous consulting projects related to startups, order-to-cash improvement, process re-engineering, business process management and workflow automation, platform consolidation, large-scale program management, and application and system development and integration.
Ryan Blair is a serial entrepreneur who established his first company at age twenty-one and has since created and actively invested in multiple start-ups. As the CEO of ViSalus, he took the company from start-up to more than $1.6 billion in cumulative sales, sold the company in a $792.4-million-dollar transaction, started venture fund HashtagOne, which has invested in several very successful start-ups, and was named an Ernst & Young’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year. His first book, Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain, was a number one international New York Times bestseller and his second book, Rock Bottom To Rock Star is on sale now! He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Yahya Bakkar is an author, speaker and coach who’s confidently stepped on stage over 300 times to share his inspirational story and life-changing work. He’s also a certified relationship coach who’s spoken to nationally recognized organizations such as Harvard, TedX and Yale.
He’s been labeled the world’s leading authority for millennials and entrepreneurs by entrepreneur.com, and many of international publications, stars in his own tv show called “The Entrepreneur Grind” on the Whatever it takes network, founder of The Game Changers Academy, which is the premier networking community for young entrepreneurs, Author of the 27-time international best selling author of the book “6 Months to 6 Figures,” and Creator of The Young Entrepreneur Lifestyle podcast which is one of iTunes top podcasts. Peter’s strategies have been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Time.com, Yahoo Small Business, CBS, Yahoo Finance, MSN, and many other international publications. He strongly believes the more people you help to succeed, the more successful you become.
Eric D. Thomas, Ph.D.
Eric D. Thomas, Ph.D.
From homeless, high school drop out to Entrepreneur, C.E.O. and Ph.D.! Hear first hand how Eric was able to defy the odds, and single-handedly break the negative generational cycles that plagued his family for decades. Educators, corporations, and organizations around the world seek out ETA in reliance on the reputation of trust, quality, integrity, and dedication that has been established by the brand. Here, at ETA, we understand the necessity of equipping our clients with the tools they need to not only respond to changes and adversities in their environment, but also adapt in a way that will enable them to stay ahead of the competition, thrive in the midst of misfortune, and arouse them to initiate their own movement of motivation and encouragement in their own communities, organizations, and subgroups.
Joseph’s purpose in life is to inspire others to find their voice as leaders. As such, Joseph is trained as a business coach, workshop facilitator and leadership trainer through the National Speakers Association Academy, Toastmasters International, Peak Potentials and Landmark Education. Joseph has head coached the Self Expression Leadership Program at Landmark Education. He has also worked with top Peak Performance coach Anthony Robbins and Getting Things Done productivity expert David Allen. Joseph currently co-organizes the largest monthly leadership and personal development Meetup in New York called the NY Powerteam.
Ramon is Small Business Evangelist, Infusionsoft and Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com. He is passionate about helping small businesses grow their businesses by educating them about technology and marketing best practices. He is a journalist, freelance writer, event producer (including Small Biz Big Things with Seth Godin), speaker (including the Computer Electronics Show with Guy Kawasaki), emcee (including Association for Enterprise Opportunity Awards with Daymond John of FUBU and Shark Tank) and author. His third book is Amazon.com best seller “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing”, (Wiley, Winter 2013). Ramon is not just an ivory tower geek, but as a former technology consultant has hands on experience in a variety of technologies including social media, mobile computing, computer networks, online software and more. Ramon’s expertise is technology, marketing and sales (personal branding, networking, business growth). Over his extensive career Ramon has written thousands of articles, spoken to thousands of business owners and impacted hundreds of thousands of small businesses to help their businesses thrive, using technology.
Nextt is a platform that helps exceptional people validate big ideas before taking big risk. We launched this summer as a remote pre-accelerator that helps mission-driven folks (from New York to Capetown) turn business ideas into time-boxed experiments before leaving their job or trying to raise money. And it’s been a wild ride since: 100+ applications, 10+ MVPs shipped and multiple real businesses with paying customers/awesome investors in just a few months. While we started as a high-touch accelerator program, we're quickly iterating into a software platform that scales. Our mission is bold but simple: build a must-have product for anyone with a new idea and streamline the path to fundable business for thousands of prospective entrepreneurs across the globe in the process.
Entrepreneur, technologist, digital strategist, artist and life automation enthusiast. Leveraging my Brooklyn bred tenacity, I have built and supported several startups for 15 years. I'm most notably known for being the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Take the Interview, a digital interviewing startup located in the heart of NYC and Belgrade, Serbia. I've also had the privilege of consulting for companies such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Young & Rubicam and Arnold Worldwide. When I'm not working with early-stage startups on their strategies, I love sharing my passion and experience through thought leadership channels. I believe that failure is the most transparent feedback, and it is wise to pay close attention to when it happens and learn from it.
I'm passionate about helping individuals and organizations learn more effectively. And I'm fortunate to have done so running the content teams at both Everwise, Grovo, and most recently in building Nextt. At Nextt, we help ambitious individuals and teams learn faster using experiments. In addition to having run a "pre-accelerator" program, we've built a software platform to support the experimentation process from end to end: coming up with an idea to test, launching your experiment, and building trust with the people who can help you along the way.
David S. Briones is the founder and managing member of the Brio Financial Group firm with over fifteen years of public accounting and executive level experience. He consults with various public companies in financial reporting, internal control development and evaluation, budgeting and forecasting. David has developed a specialty representing private companies as the outsourced CFO/Financial reporting specialist as a private company navigates toward becoming a public company through a self-filing, a reverse merger or through a traditional initial public offering. David’s client list crosses various industries: Technology/Internet, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Food and Beverage, Bio-technology, Software, Medical Device, Entertainment, Hedge Funds and Insurance.
Ben Cohen is a mobile and social media entrepreneur. Based in New York City, known for his decorated career in the mobile space, having produced and executed countless apps & games. In 2011, he founded Ten 5 Studio, which grew to become a prominent mobile production studio in the industry. Most notably having worked with LG and Universal Studios, producing the Talking Ted App which drew 25 million installs. The company was acquired by Vertic in late 2013. Shortly thereafter, he founded BJC Advisory and Consulting, continuing his success in the mobile world. Ben began marketing his own mobile products, which was when he recognized a need for digital distribution, and pursued social media content publishing, which was the birth of Scopus Media. Ben keeps a finger on the pulse of GenZ and Millennials, in order to identify and execute the companies growth strategy. In addition, Ben is a Partner at Umbrella Games which is a premium mobile game developer & publisher.
Co-founder @Elemental Path - the creators of CogniToys. CogniToys are changing the way kids learn and play for an entire generation of kids who have grown up with cell phones and tablets. CogniToys give a dynamic, personalized, speech based play experience without the need for a screen - and a lot more. Blending educational and emotional intelligence to create a true learning companion.
Jon is an award-winning digital, growth, and product marketing expert, and a recognized global educator. He established his career at high-growth tech companies such as MakerBot Industries, General Assembly, and Stack Overflow. Jon further demonstrates his passion for marketing by teaching at New York University and General Assembly, while also mentoring startups at Techstars, Chobani and FOWNDERS.
Imroze Shaheen is a Systems Developer, Business Executive, and Research Scientist. Imroze works with Fortune 500 industry leaders and startups at East Agile to launch market-tested, innovative software products. Imroze is currently living in New York City while doing research in machine learning and artificial intelligence at Columbia University Medical School.
I build things that help people, and I help people build things. I am incredibly fortunate to work with some of the best startups and entrepreneurs every day to design and develop amazing software products. I'm also super passionate about health and nutrition, and I'm always looking to connect with people on a similar mission.
I am a highly motivated individual, interested in the intersection of behavioral science and business. After graduation, I will be working as an early-stage venture capital investor in NYC. Please feel free to shoot me an email or a LinkedIn request if you'd like to chat! I love to help ambitious founders grow their companies.
I'm the founder of boogie, a multicultural mktg agency for today's generation. We're a diverse team of 20-somethings helping brands stay relevant in today's culture. We do this by creating experiences that focus on, and are informed by, this generation’s shared interests and the diverse sub-cultures they belong to. We recently closed down our 3 offices (Upstate NY, Brooklyn NY, Los Angeles CA) to go 100% remote. Learn more about us at www.boogie.co or shoot me a message for our capabilities deck.
Eleanor is an external-facing guru and growth strategist focused on building the capacity of social impact entrepreneurs and business owners. She has worked in partnership development, outreach strategy, community, corporate, and public engagement for experiential education initiatives across the USA and Europe. Throughout her international work, she has inspired others to think, do, and collaborate in new ways -- oftentimes, by taking initiative to ask the tough questions that identify one's true values and vision. She has learned that organizations reach their fullest potential when aligning internal and external values. This process sets a strong foundation for the developing the strategic partnerships that elevate their brand. Eleanor brings her own passion for unabashedly exploring the world in helping others glean new interdisciplinary understandings. She is an avid traveler, a voracious learner, a thinker, and a doer. You can typically find her biking through new neighborhoods, contemplating her newest music obsession, and attending entrepreneurial, activism, and personal development oriented events across New York City. She is also a writer working on launching content at her newly created site, hellomisslangley.com.
Steve Gomez is the Executive Director of the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation ( GNEC ). GNEC provides financial assistance to start-up and existing small business owners to start or grow their business. Steven has experience with technology, strategic planning, program development, implementation and management Proficient leadership, communication, training and financial analysis skills Practiced in Non-Profit / CDFI / Economic Development program management, development & underwriting
Vicky Llerena is founder of Social Vibes Media, a full service digital marketing agency in NYC & New Jersey. Vicky brings with her over a decade of experience having worked at Univision WXTV-41, Hudson Media Group, and PRNewswire. She is also an adjunct professor at New Jersey City Institute of Technology.
Natasha Love Rogers is an engineer, lawyer, and emerging economic development financier with almost a decade of experience in the supply chain, healthcare, utilities, and housing industries. Formerly, a Senior Associate at Goldman Sachs, whose focus was underwriting securities for projects that serve a public good, and currently a Vice President at a Private Equity Group, Natasha is dedicated to resolving the complex issues facing urban America.
David Postolski, a partner at Gearhart Law, is a registered patent attorney and Intellectual Property attorney. With over 15 years’ experience, David specializes in assisting inventors, creators, artists, start-ups, entrepreneurs, early stage companies and emerging companies with their U.S and International intellectual property strategy, protection, enforcement and monetization. David remains very involved in the creation of New York State’s first federally approved patent pro bono program in conjunction with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. David is a frequent speaker and author on intellectual property issues surrounding raising capital, business formation, licensing, and reward and equity based crowdfunding. David is also a Professor at Parsons School of Design where he teaches master's level students about IP, ethics and other regulatory considerations in starting business ventures and products around design. David is the current chair of the Professional Issues Division of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property law as well as a member of the CLE Board, Sponsorship Board, and founder of the International Action Group.
Anthony is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Newark Venture Partners. With well over a decade of experience in tech, media, speaking and coaching aspiring entrepreneurs and students from underserved groups, he has developed a thoroughly different world view. Anthony shares with listeners and readers that success isn't something external, it comes from within. You can create your own luck, no matter your background or lack of experience.
Darrick is the Founding Artist of SEAUL studio, a creative venture at the intersection of Art and Technology. As an Artist Influencer, Darrick advocates creative freedom through his studio practice based in New York. In addition to running SEAUL studio, Darrick is a start up professional helping companies grow and scale.
On the surface, Daidria Grayson is a seasoned strategic marketer with over twelve years of experience working with some of the world’s largest brands. With a vivid imagination and strong mastery of building integrated plans, Daidria has led creative strategy and told consumer stories with notable success. However, on the inside, Daidria simply thrives on human connection – personally and professionally. She considers herself a “brand agent” connecting brands with any segment of consumers and building meaningful, long-term relationships between the two via insightful, two-way communication. Daidria also considers herself cultural counsel, advising brands on trends and ways to leverage culture as a guide in authenticity and respect. Her list of clients over the years include Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Delta Air Lines, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Ford Motor Company.
Ethné Swartz, Ph.D., is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University. From 2006 to 2015 she chaired the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department in the College and then served as an associate dean. She earned a Ph.D. in management from the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. A South African native, she holds a B.A. (Hons) in Sociology from Rhodes University, South Africa and a B.A. in Psychology/Sociology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research and teaching interests include strategic management, entrepreneurship and innovation, management of technology, business continuity and crisis management. Dr. Swartz was a Fulbright Scholar based at Zeppelin University in Germany during the spring of 2014. She collaborates in research on how women who own or manage high-growth companies can best participate in negotiating term sheets for capital investment in their companies. Dr. Swartz is an active contributor to New Jersey’s entrepreneurial organizations, including the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship and the Institute of Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been active in the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), serving as a board member and as the Vice President of Conference for the annual conference in January 2011. She has served as the Vice President of Publications, most recently creating the USASBE Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, published by Edward Elgar. She is the co-author of two books and her research articles have appeared in the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Long Range Planning, Risk Management: An International Journal, Journal of Applied Management Studies, Leadership and Organisational Development Journal, Business Horizons, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, Facilities, Education and Training; ET&P. She serves on the editorial board of the Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy and previously on the Journal of Small Business Management. From 1994 to October 1999, Dr. Swartz taught Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at Leicester Business School, DeMontfort University, in Leicester, UK, where she was instrumental in setting up a center for research into business continuity management. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Swartz worked at General Motors (South Africa) and Kodak (South Africa).
Joe Gilani (Co-Founder at Untangl) is a New York City native, networking enthusiast with a corporate sales background in the professional sports industry and a strong passion for making profound impacts in other people’s lives. He is incessantly building relationships through hosting monthly meet ups and networking events around NYC. Strategically partnering and collaborating with forward-thinking people has empowered Joe in accomplishing his mission of leaving the world a better place than how it was found.
Richard is the founder of Vbout.com, a marketing technology platform. Richard has an extensive background in product development, user interface and online marketing. He is an expert in building marketing journey's, growth funnels, creating marketing campaigns and analytics. When not working on his startup, Richard runs an active digital marketing community in NYC with over 5K members.
Tom Bilyeu is the co-founder and president of Quest Nutrition and the host of the weekly thought leadership talk show, Inside Quest. Tom and his business partners have been working as a team for 13 years, across multiple companies. Quest Nutrition, however, was the company that broke the mold. Previously driven by an obsessive focus on profitability and companies designed to be sold, Tom and his partners founded Quest with a different vision: building a company with a mission - a company designed to last. To do so, they asked themselves one question, “What would we love doing even if we were failing?” Enter Quest Nutrition. In just five years, Tom has helped grow the company from a modest passion project into the second fastest growing private company in America, with over 57,000% growth in its first three years alone (via Inc. 5000). For Tom the mission of Quest is deeply personal – he wants to save his mom and sister from metabolic disease. To do that he plans to transform the entire food industry by creating foods that taste as good as they are good for you. That’s what makes Quest more than just a food company, it’s a company that will never stop innovating until global nutrition has been freed from the stranglehold of junk food. Tom is a forever student of life. His obsession with mastering skills has molded him into a well-rounded leader, battle-hardened and unafraid to fire moonshots.
Craig started in sales when he was 21, including “boiler room-esque” phone sales jobs, selling credit card merchant accounts, and Direct TV subscriptions. He found himself at 24, completely broke and specifically recounts one month where he had to sell his TV for $50 to make rent. He also used to go to McDonalds with coupons to get $1 off the value meal for lunch. He discovered that his friend Eben Pagan was making $70,000 a month selling an eBook called “Double Your Dating,” Craig set his sites on learning from him, and was eventually offered a job with Eben. Eben was one of the world’s best sales copywriters, and Craig would have the fortune of learning directly from him for the next four years. Eben’s business eventually grew to $20 million a year in sales, and since then Craig has started multiple internet businesses, partnering with his two brothers and a friend named Josh. His most recent successful sales promotion brought in over 1 million dollars in sales in the first 2 days off of cold, banner traffic – no launch, no affiliates! He is also a co-star in the reality show, “Lucky Bastards”, which follows his life along with 5 other entrepreneurs in NYC”
Carrie Moore is the inspirational Founder and driving force behind Carrie Moore International and the dynamic She Is Excellence initiative. While transforming into an entrepreneur, she has extensive sales and business development experience in the financial services sector with an in-depth knowledge of corporate banking, finance, and capital markets. She has held senior directorship positions at pioneering and leading organizations, most recently at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, previously Citigroup and AEGON NV. Carrie has a proven track record of making positive tangible changes in the organizations she has worked for benefiting both the employer, workforce and clients alike. She has successfully navigated organizations through restructuring challenges and initiatives which make her the ideal person to lead on sales and executive career path development. I’m an Entrepreneur, Advocate and Champion with a tenacious belief in the power of intention. My purpose is simple yet authentic to my life experience, and this is something which never stops growing. I know many amazing people, business leaders and entrepreneurs who are currently living Einstein’s classic definition of insanity; repeating the same action time and time again with the false belief they will create a different result. Disguised under conventional wisdom, we accept preconditions for our roles and responsibilities in life to avoid the fear and judgment of potential failure.We hide behind the status quo that keeps us confined in less than expected realities. We work even harder, spend less time with those we love and ask our people to do so for less return or pay within a world of insatiable expectations that are always increasing. Let’s stop the insanity and look at life’s challenges differently: As a leader of your own life, an example to your family and of your followers in any role you carry, you own the present moment to be true to your mission and to your authentic voice. Your followship is defined by it. In fact, it is the greatest asset you will ever have. The business you own or operate, the career, the life and the financial results you deserve are within reach. The first step towards them is now if you choose it to be. I am in the business of changing the world through human connection. By leading through example, I know we can all create thriving environments where business leadership, team collaboration, diversity of thought and people propel forward the financial results and the quality of our lives. If you are passionate, driven and willing to tap into the greatest driver of your life and business – Intentional Living – then you are in the right place. I look forward to meeting, connecting and working with you soon.
Nick Sarnicola is a passionate young entrepreneur. Since age 18 he has worked relentlessly to create a life full of amazing experiences which inspire others to pursue their dreams, while providing the platform and mentorship so they may see them through. Being from a very blue collar, middle class family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nick knew as a kid he wanted to be “rich one day.” Unbeknownst to him, the world had a little known and controversial industry waiting for him to enter. As a teenager, Nick left a promising collegiate athletics career in search of the “American Dream” through the industry of Direct Sales/Network Marketing. 14 years later, at age 32, Sarnicola has risen to become the clear leader of the next generation of this industry. Empowering over 150,000 people to start a home-based business, helping well over 250 people earn a six-figure annual income, and creating 6 millionaires along the way, Nick has generated over $10,000,000 in earnings thus far. He has also delivered over 5,000 speeches, sales presentations, trainings, and keynote addresses in his career.Not only has he been a top leader in the industry as field distributor, but he is also the Co-Founder and prior CSO of the fastest growing Network Marketing company in North America today, ViSalus Sciences which has done over a billion dollars in sales.
Arvin Lal is the Chief Executive Officer of SHREDZ Supplements, the fastest growing brand in the fitness industry. He started the company with a product and an Instagram account and his since been featured Forbes magazine and other business journals for his exceptional use of social media. Lal has developed and improved upon an innovative business model that is revolutionizing how corporations use social media to reach customers and drive revenue. Arvin took a risk years ago and hasn’t looked back.
David is an online entrepreneur who began marketing in 2007 from his college apartment. He has focused much of his efforts on social network advertising and retargeting. He manages paid traffic for various seven and eight figure businesses and has consulted with TV personalities and high-end business brands.