FounderDating, which helps entrepreneurs with co-founders through online networking and offline events, announced a big geographic expansion earlier this year. But what if you don’t live in a traditionally startup-heavy city like San Francisco, New York, or Boston? Do you have to slave away on your awesome idea all by yourself? Not necessarily.
To figure out where to go next, FounderDating is launching an initiative called Unlock Entrepreneurship In Your City. Founder Jessica Alter says she and her team have been inundated with requests for new locations, with people claiming that Portland, Ore. Tel Aviv, and Detroit (for example) are all hotbeds of entrepreneurship. In essence, Alter is now responding, “That’s awesome. Just show us.”
So if you want FounderDating to start operating in your city, just go to the Unlock Entrepreneurship website and apply, and convince other entrepreneurs to do the same. If there are at least 50 unique applications from a city, Alter says FounderDating will set up shop there. (Update: Whoops, FounderDating changed the number at the last minute to 60.) She’s not committing to a specific timeframe for any of those cities, especially since she has to locate a managing director to run the program from each location, but she says that it will happen, and that if FounderDating expands somewhere, “We want to be there long-term.”
Meanwhile, the startup is also trying to ramp up its presence in cities that it has already expanded into, by increasing the frequency of its application rounds. Now there’s a round each week (though in different geographies), so if you’re geographically flexible, you could theoretically apply at any time, rather than waiting for a specific window to open. The next FounderDating rounds are: San Francisco & NYC May 17th (Apply by May 7th), Los Angeles June 6th (Apply by May 23rd), Austin May 23rd (Apply by May 15th), Seattle June 11th (Apply by June 3rd), Boston June 26th (Apply by June 16th).
Jessica Alter is the Founder & CEO of Formative Labs, a startup hoping to encourage energy conservation through social mechanics. She is also a Mentor at 500 Startups. As a 500 Startups Mentor, Jessica guides our companies with Business Development, Community Creation, Fundraising, Product, and Social expertise. Formerly, she was the Director of Platform and Business Development at Bebo. She leads the platform strategy and community at Bebo. Prior to Bebo Jessica worked in business development at Hands-On Mobile.