When people mention startup hubs, San Francisco, Boston, and now even New York come up right away. But after returning from the West coast in mid 2011, Eli Aleyner and Mani Fazeli saw huge potential in Toronto’s booming startup community. Amazing talent, great universities and new startup accelerators have them believing that Toronto can be part of this short list. That’s why they are Managing Directors of FounderDating for Toronto – working to solve what they believe is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs today – connecting with the right people to get started (aka cofounders).
“What Eli and I saw when we returned was a rich tech scene for the startup community to interact. On the other hand, it was difficult to find people with complementary skills and mindsets that were also ready to get started on something new” says Fazeli. “There was no good way to identify and talk with people that were ready to make the leap.”When the Toronto community unlocked
FounderDating in mid 2012, Mani and Eli volunteered to help lead local efforts for the premier online network for entrepreneurs to the local community. FounderDating is an invite-only online network, with a balance between technical and business focused members (in fact 50% of FD members are engineers), that caters specifically to people who are ready to to start their next side-project or company. Every few months new members are welcomed through a kickoff event, but FounderDating delivers most of its value through its LinkedIn style online network. The difference? Not only does FounderDating screen members but they also have information about what people want to work on next.
“The focus is on people, not their ideas – since at the earliest stages ideas almost always change, but people rarely do,” says Aleyner. In fact you don’t even need to have an idea to apply. “Having reviewed hundreds of applications, it is clear to us that Toronto has some of the most talented people around, and they are ready to jump into new ventures.” Both believe that finding the right co-founder makes all the difference. “It is apparent that finding the right co-founders is a huge part of any company’s success and we are happy to be helping entrepreneurs increase their odds of starting off right” Fazeli added.
If you’ve been working on a side-project and are ready to find the right partners or even waiting for an opportunity to meet the right people before you get started, now is the time to checkout FounderDating and apply online. If you want to be included in the next kickoff, do it by January 11, 2013. What are you waiting for – let’s make Toronto part of that short list!