The Most Intimate Founder Community
Community of founders from Stanford, YC, and more
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For early stage solo(ish) founders who want to raise from top funds like YC
Stanford Founders CafeY Combinator Founders CafeTech Stars Founders Cafe
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160 Members

Where founders help founders grow

John Whaley from Stanford raise 100m from a16z and more
John Whaley
CEO of Inception
Raised 100m from a16z+
Ben Sand raised 100m, solo founder from Austrialia
Ben Sand
CEO of Strong Compute
Raised 100m from Sequoia+
Y Combinator Founders Cafe
CEO of Causal Labs
Raised from Pear VC, & 3 more
Sarah Nagy
CEO of Seek AI
Raised 7.5M

Member Successes

Raised 8.1m after joining
Subbu Rama
CEO of Balkan ID
Raised 1.4m after joining
Luigi La Corte
CEO of Provision
Y Combinator Founders Cafe
Raised 2m after joining
Orri Bogdan
CEO of Vae Labs
Raised 820k after joining
Calum Bird
CEO of Trelent
Raised 7.5m after joining
Sarah Nagy
CEO of Seek AI
Raised 2M after joining
CEO of Woo More Play
Raised 4M after joining
Pat Yiu Founder of Raise 4 million Tech Stars Web3
Pat Yiu
COO of Valts
Raised 7m after joining
Alexandre Jais
CEO of HeyWear
Raised 7.8m after joining
Ben Sand raised 100m, solo founder from Austrialia
Ben Sand
CEO of StrongCompute
Y Combinator Founders Cafe
Raised 2M after joining
Ananya Jain
CEO of Full Circle
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The Secret Sauce

The secret sauce is learning how to get paying customers.

Once our members got paying customers (50k ARR+), they were able to get into YC.

For Example:
Before Vaibhav joined, he had 0 customers. Through our mentorship each week, he was able to get his first pilot customers and get into YC.

Got in YC W23 after joining
Before Luigi joined, he had 0 customers. After he joined, he practiced sales and discussed B2B strategy with us each week. Without our help, he wouldn't have gotten his pilot customers, raised money, or gotten in to YC.

Got in YC S22 and raised $1.4m after joining
Before Chine joined, she had with a few customers. Our mentorship, recordings, and advice from our YC members helped her get into YC.

Got in YC S22 after joining
Before Ananya joined, she had $500k funding. After she joined, she met new founders each week, including John (100m raised) who helped her close her round.

Raised 2M after joining

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Track 1: Traction

Or approach is helping you hit 5k-10k in MRR.
Once you hit that, you will be able to graduate to Track 2: Fundraising.

Milestone 1: How do I meet 30 of my target customers?
When Ying was first starting, he didn't know how to get her customers on a call. After joining, he got 10 consistently each week. We have a playbook of what messages to use. What platforms/tools to use. How we get them to bite ;)
Milestone 2: How do I convert them to paying customers?
When Frankie was stuck, we helped practice sales scripts with him. Shortly after, he made his first conversion :) We'll role play the best sales strategies with you. How to test willingness to pay. How much to charge. How to convert them.
Milestone 3: How do I get PMF with my first customer?
When Robert joined, his initial plan was to code out the entire product. We helped him test the offering and get to PMF without a drop of code. What tools should I use. How do I measure PMF. How to validate a MVP in 3 days.
Milestone 4: How do I fundraise from top tier VCs & angels?
When Sarah first starting fundraising, she got a lot of nos. After our pitch deck review, she raised 1.4M  for Seek (and later 7.5M). We will teach you techniques our members used to raise $1M+ from top tier VCs. We will link you to our highly connected funded members and friendly VCs to practice the pitch.
Milestone 5: How do I hire & automate everything?
After fundraising, Luigi needed support on hiring his first engineer. After a session with one of our mentors, he was able to figure out his strategy for hiring. Who to hire. What to say.  What comp to start with.

We'll help you get your first paying customers by month 3.
Like we did with Luigi (YC), Chine (YC), and Vaibhav (YC).

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Track 1: Traction

Or approach is helping you get paying customers in 3 months or less

Bootstrapped to 1M in profit.
1. Apply
We are looking for coachable founders who want to validate their startup faster
2. First 4 weeks
1. Onboard and setup plan (eg: Milestone 1: Get 30 customer calls)
2. Weekly group coaching with Maddie & other Traction members
3. Weekly private 1:1 mentoring sessions
4. Join our private community to get support from our team & community
3.  After 4 weeks
1. Hit your first milestone. Setup the next milestone (eg: 5 paying customers)
2. Continue joining weekly group coaching and monthly 1:1 mentoring until you hit 50k ARR. 
3. Once you're ready to raise, join Track 2

Track 2: Fundraise

We have a special track for founders with incredible traction

Raised 7.5M after joining
1. Apply
We're looking for founders who have PMF/revenue (eg: 50k ARR), and want to raise from top tier VCs.
2. First 4 weeks
1. Onboard and setup milestones
2. We setup pitch deck reviews and office hours with seasoned founders, angels, and VC mentors
3. We setup 5-20 intros with funded founders in relevant spaces
4. We setup 5-15 intros with relevant VCs/Angels
5. Join our private community to get support from our team & community
3.  After 4 weeks
1. We intro you to more members, alumni, & investors to support you further
2. We setup lifelong access to fireside chats and office hours
2. We setup lifelong access in our private community

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Raised $2m after joining
I love the community I've built at FC. Nils was instrumental in my fundraise. He helped me prepare my pitch deck, meet Pear VC, and close the round.

Christina Pawlikowski
CEO of Causal
2M Raised
Wouldn't have raised 2m without FC
Wouldn't have raised 2m without FC. Founders Cafe supercharged my network and led to VAE getting into the DSH Accelerator. This culminated in Draper Associates leading our round, as well as meeting industry-best investors and mentors to take us to the next level.
Orri Bodgan
CEO of Vae Labs
2M Raised
Went from 0k to 10k MRR after joining
FC is a pretty big investment for me money wise. However, it changed my trajectory and now it's peanuts compared to my ROI. I met Pat who helped me go from 0 to 100k rev and became my advisor. I'm forever grateful for you curating the community so there's less bullshit, just goodness.

Harsha Abegunasekara
CEO of Metana
10k MRR


How much does this cost?

If you’re treating startups as a hobby, this program probably isn’t for you. But if you’re serious about raising VC capital, then investing money in saving time and increasing your odds of success seems like a no-brainer. Especially given (a) how much your life can change, and (b) how much money you stand to raise if your startup goes well. Most founders have raised anywhere between $100k-1.4M after joining.

Here are the prices:

Grow or your money back

We guarantee your startup will grow faster because of our results. When Sarah first joined, we helped her close her first enterprise deal. Now she's raised 7.5M.

We make sure our whole experience is 10/10. Every time we setup a live call, intro, or office hours for you, we check in with you afterwards. If it wasn't helpful, we'll setup a new one for you. If you're still unsatisfied after meeting 5 founders, coming to all live sessions, and attending 2 office hours your first month, we will issue a full refund.
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Raised 2M after joining, CEO of VAE Energy Spray

When I had no connections and knew next to nothing about startups, I joined the Founders Cafe community on Discord and met Maddie Wang who introduced me to the Jinx Drinx founders, Colin Michael & Maddie Largey. They eventually led us to the Draper Startup House Accelerator in Austin, Texas, where we received our first investment and became part of Cohort 1.


Raised 7.5M after joining, CEO of Seek AI

Before joining Founders Cafe, I was about 2 months into Seek. I remember feeling a little lost. I didn't have a ton of connections outside of the quantitative finance world. I was very much a solo founder in the very early stages. I mean to be honest, I didn't even know what go to market was

I remember I met another member who really helped me understand LOIs. When I was starting out, I did not understand why. Why do I need to sign a contract with a customer before building stuff for them? I remember getting this advice, "That's the wrong way to think about it. You should get people to pay before you build stuff."

So I asked some of the customers I was working with, "Hey, could you sign an LOI?" And they were like, sure.

The advice I got helped me get my first couple of pilot customers.

Once I had these pilot customers, I was able to raise my preseed round. That led to me making my first hires. That led to getting more traction. We were able to raise our seed round after that.

Looking back, I was really finding my way in the beginning. Being part of the community, talking to a lot of people and forming the path to getting to the next step. That was very valuable.

I would say I got a lot of value out of it, and if your goal is to raise some pre-seed funding as a founder, I think it's a really good investment. The 500 investment, or however much it costs, the amount that you would learn could pay off like many multiples of that.

I would add you were just personally really helpful. You introduced me to some people in your network that really helped me. I even made some hires that I met through you. I would say you really care about this community. And you've been doing this for a long time.

Charles Javelona Founders of Buji.Tv


1 Exit, Raised 8M, CEO of Buji

I built a good network in Founders Cafe to take Buji next level. Network from SF to which helps me get introes to investors. Additionally, I learned new things from other founders that I wouldn't have learned by myself.


5-20k MRR after joining, CEO of AriseDaily

The value I get from the Founders Cafe community is a group of successful founders who already have revenue. Every time I ask a question, multiple people will respond with customized answers and options. Since everyone is pre-vetted, I know it's information I can trust from people who understand my position. And since its only founders - no investors or mentors - I can ask "dumb" questions freely and get the help I really need.

I love the community of people who genuinely want to help and learn from other founders. Its nice to feel like you are working on a team when you are a solo founder.

For who should join: Anyone in the startup space that is working solo. They have to value being committed and your annual fee helps weed out the people who don't. I think you are on to something.

Pat Yiu Founder of Raise 4 million Tech Stars Web3


Raised 4m after joining, COO of Valts

FC been a great way for me to chat quickly with other founders and share ideas / support them. Meeting other founders, bouncing ideas in the subgroups, learning about topics I'm not familiar with. There's a mix of serial entrepreneurs and new founders and it's really cool to see both sides.

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"By far the most active, supportive community I've been in"
- Orri, 2M Raised

Tried Launch House, On Deck, and 4 other founder communities.
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Maddie Wang founders of founders cafe solo founder
Maddie Wang
Gay / Stanford / Made $180k through Minecraft & Amazon

I'm building Founders Cafe because being a solo founder can be really tough. When I left Stanford to work on another startup, I lost 4 co-founders and a best friend. I woke up with anxiety, coded all day alone, and slept alone.

This community was the only thing that pulled me out of that nightmare.

They helped me get my shit together. Build a profitable business, get VC money, and have an amazing founder support network.

It makes me happy to give others the support I wish I had.
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When did you start Founders Cafe? Founders Cafe was founded 1.5 years ago, and quickly grew to 160 members. Many of our members are from YC, Stanford, a16z, and more.

Can member around the world join? Yes! We have members across the world in USA, London, India, and more. All events are recorded.

Contact us: or jump on a 10m call
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Book a Free 1:1 Zoom Call with the Team
We'll be happy to honestly answer any questions you might have about the community, and about whether it's right for you or not.
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Sep 27, 2023

Learn how to go from 2 calls per week to over 15 calls per week! :D

How to deal with uncertainty as a founder (Can’t sleep!)
Aug 9, 2023

These strategies help me survive the horrors of uncertainty. I hope these would help you too!

Strategies for Startup Triumph: Maddie's Expert Guide to Product-Market Fit
Jul 25, 2023

Learn about the PMF engines that will pave the way towards your startup's success.

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