TFO | FAQs

+ Why connect with successful founders?

No matter how successful our business is, there’s always more to learn. We believe the best teachers, and friends, are our peers. Whether it’s integrating new software, firing employees, or balancing that long distance relationship, your fellow founders are always there to help, encourage and inspire.

+ How can TFO impact my business?

Here are actual examples from our members regarding the impact TFO has had on their business:
-Meeting new investors
-Locating new investments
-Learning about industry leading trends
-Early access to opportunities and programs
-Referrals for new business
-New clients & vendors
-Support & guidance in HR matters
-Introductions to decision-makers at key vendors, social media companies, and more
-Meeting new business partners or co-founders
-Avoiding vendors who are low-quality or scams

+ How is this better than a Facebook Group?

Do you like watching television with or without commercials? We don’t like them either. That’s why we’ve stripped away all the annoyances, privacy breaches, and mixed intentions on our platform. Our group also allows you to enter specific subgroups according to your unique interests & experience. Crypto, women, non-profits, and every major region has their own group to help you fit in wherever you’re most comfortable. It’s time to “network & chill” founders!

+ What information is shared on TFO profiles?

All information is private to group members, so you don’t have to worry about anyone stumbling across it when they google your name. Here are the major fields visible to your TFO members:
-Company you founded
-Your industry
-Your LinkedIn Profile
-Topics you’re an expert in
-Topics you’d like insight on
-Regions you do business in

+ What is Mobilize?

Mobilize is our online community management platform. It allows you to make public posts, chat privately with specific members, find all of our TFO events, host events yourself, access a directory of all members, and join topic specific groups for an even more curated experience.

+ What makes TFO different than other “entrepreneurial” organizations?

TFO is the central hub for all founders. We have founders who are also members in a myriad of other professional networking groups. However, TFO is the place they come to strip off the name tags and pretense and pursue more than just transactional connections. Our members do everything from major business deals, to ski trips, to playdates with the kids together. We would never tell you to leave the other groups you may be a part of, but we hope you’ll come to enjoy the added layer of humanity we cultivate amongst founders.

+ Do you allow non-profit founders to join TFO?

Yes! Non-profit founders bring great diversity of perspective and experience to The Founders Organization community. Qualifications for Basic & Full membership are the same for both for-profit and non-profit founders (See membership qualification below)

+ I have a co-founder. Do we both qualify?

If one qualifies, both likely do! However, we examine every applicant on a case-by-case basis.

+ I’m a founder, but not CEO. Do I qualify?

Yes. We welcome executive and non-executive founders alike.

+ How long is my TFO Membership?

Commiunity requires commitment. Because of this, all TFO memberships are one year in length. Monthly membership rates reflect 1/12th of the Annual Membership Fee. There are no early terminations.

+ What’s the difference between Basic & Full?

Perks of a Basic Membership include Founder Directory access, Full event calendar access, Event hosting & Founders Dinners.

Perks of a Full Membership include all of the previous mentioned plus TFO Concierge, Priority access to TFO parties, All-inclusive Retreats, Verified-only subgroups, Linkedin Verified Badge, Monthly Promotion in Founders Newsletter, Premium special interest groups & SXSW Founders House.

+ Do I qualify for Basic Membership?

To qualify for basic membership you must have founded a business that:

-Is an original idea.
-Cannot be a licensed or franchised business.
-You started it from the ground up.
-You did not purchase, inherit, or otherwise acquire.
-You have experience actively managing.

+ Do I qualify for Full Membership?

To qualify for a full membership in The Founders Organization, you must also have done ONE of the following:

-Grown your company to at least $1mm in revenue. This actual, collected revenue over the last twelve months. Projections are not accepted.
-Sold your company for at least $2mm within the last five years.
-Raised at least $3mm in outside funding. Must be equity funding from a bona fide third-party. Friends, family, and debt financing cannot be included.
-Currently employ at least 10 full-time staff members.

Qualifications for non-profit founders to gain full-membership:

-Annual operating budget of $1mm+
-Collected contributions/donations of $1mm+ within the last twelve months

+ How do you verify that members are founders?

We employ a number of strategies to verify members’ status as founders, including:

-LinkedIn Verification
-Secretary of State registration
-Business Licenses
-Domain Registrations
-Interviews

+ How do you verify financial/ employee information?

TFO accepts a variety of documents to confirm financial and employee information, such as:


-Bank statement
-Credit card processing statement (Square, Stripe, etc)
-Payroll summary from your payroll provider (ADP, Gusto, etc)
-Letter from your CPA or banker
-Tax return
-Reports or filings from Federal or State agencies
-Press release from a third party

We only need to confirm that you meet the minimum requirements, so you can limit the information you pass to us.

+ Why does Basic membership cost more than Full?

TFO members that allow us to verify the size of their business create additional value for the community. This verification process lets the rest of the community know that you have a high degree of experience. It’s valuable for the integrity of our community, so we reward you for it!

+ What if my application is not accepted?

YES. We do reject applications.

TFO works hard to keep out non-founders, so we reject applications if we cannot confirm the information you provide. If your application for Basic Membership is rejected, we will reach out to you for additional information via email. If your application for Full Membership is rejected, we’ll contact you via email regarding the supplemental documents you provided. If you cannot provide clarifying documents within 10 business days, your membership will be converted to Basic Membership and your membership dues will be adjusted to reflect the change.

If we are unable to verify that you are a founder or you withdraw your application, your application will be rejected and you will be assessed an application fee of $98.00 USD.

+ Why do you verify?

Verification adds value to the community. This vetting process lets the rest of the community know that niche members have a high degree of experience and offer additional insights into the hardships & triumphs of founding a business.

+ What is the information used for?

The information is simply used to verifiy that you reach a required benchmark in your past experience as a founder to be considered for Full Membership status.

 
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"My fiance left a box full of purses in our airbnb...We were upset when we discovered it would cost nearly 4x the price to ship them back to the states. We had almost given up hope when Blake Bell, who I met at a Founders Dinner, reached out to me on Facebook and saved the day!"

Chad Rogers, Founder of Lemonlight Media

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“It’s inspiring to learn from those who have been in the business a long time as well as those who are just getting started.”
 

payal beri, founder of i-connect