F6S, the community and deal platform for startups, announced today that they are launching a new, invite-only membership for select startup founders. Dubbed the Alpha Card, membership includes VIP access to $1 million of free growth services for each founder.
Membership will be free to any of the founders who are selected and is slated to include perks like:
- Free flights on American Airlines
- Travel discounts with companies like Avis
- Priority access to startup events like Mobile World Congress 4YFN,
- Access to co-working spaces, such as WeWork
- Free Rackspace hosting
- Free email infrastructure from SendGrid
Initially, 2000 founders have been selected for the first round of benefits delivery (invites go out today), however another 18,000 will be invited in the coming weeks. So if you do the math that means the plan is for up to $20 billion worth of services to be made available to select founders and startups. That’s a massive amount and I confirmed this with F6S.
As a community for startups, F6S already has over 1.2 million free members. We’ve covered this before and these members already receive a host of services including everything from job/talent postings to skill profiles to discounted and free services. However, Alpha membership is a “higher tier of membership for top founders who have qualified by gaining ecosystem recognition.” I’ll come back to that.
There are more than 100 other companies supporting each F6S Alpha founder with other growth services. Alpha founders are able to see what benefits others are taking, share reviews and engage with supporting organizations.
I spoke with F6S cofounder Sean Kane and he let me know that the Alpha benefits are geared to help these top founders scale-up their business.
He also detailed to me a bit about their selection process for the first 2000 founders—those who have gained the “ecosystem recognition” that I mentioned earlier. Essentially, F6S are choosing founders from major venture groups, accelerators and incubators like TechStars, Rothenberg Ventures, Dreamit, 10,000 Startups and Y Combinator to name a few.
They are considering selection by these reputable venture groups as a vouch for Alpha selection and this eliminates their own need for a vetting process for the first 2000 startups. For the following 18,000 there will be other selection criteria and that’s why it may take a little longer to reach them all.
Speaking of which, I should also mention that anyone is free to signup or nominate others for Alpha Card status, but eligibility will have to be confirmed by F6S.
The Alpha Card itself is not a credit line. Rather, it’s more of a badge of honor and “cred” than anything but it will help founders gain access to events and services where it’s accepted.
Additionally, it will be emblazoned with the likeness of one of five different “Startup Heroes” in the form of Danae Ringelmann (co-founder of Indiegogo), Tim Draper (founder of Draper University and Draper Dark Flow), Céline Lazorthes (founder of Leetchi), Shai Wininger (founder of Lemonade and Fiverr) and Dennis Wang (founder of Easy Taxi).
These Startup Heroes—F6S members themselves—serve as inspiration for the up and coming Alpha members. There will be more startup heroes on future card versions.