FounderContact.com promises to be a friend for entrepreneurs looking for funding for getting their idea off the ground or those who seeks additional funding for growth. It was co-founded by Andre Maljaars, who is also the CEO, with the vision of creating the world’s premium online marketplace for entrepreneurs and investors.
Andre claims to have 3000+ contacts in their database. I could only access lot less than this. I could not find more than one or two who resembled a VC. Perhaps this is due to I being registered as a FC Guest. Quick look at my Outlook shows that I have 1469 contacts (few entrepreneurs in there!). So, 3000 is not a big number, but a good start. Since registering, I have also managed to introduce number of my friends to the web portal, e.g. Sam Sethi from TechCrunch, Ivan Pope from Snipperoo, Robert Wakeling from Wadaro, David Terrar from D Squared C, etc.
UK specific web portal has not yet been activated, but the Indian portal is run by Vivek Kalyan of Symphisis, whom I met on Skype today. Most notable experience is meeting Billa Bhandari of Akoura Biometrics, and the subsequent dialogue on Skype through the last couple of days. We spoke critically of what is needed to be done to improve the service as well as make it the preferred portal for entrepreneurs. The discussions will continue…In case you did not know, I am a keen networker…just ask Paul Treloar..
So, how did this all came about…According to FounderContact, the story is…
Andre Maljaars from Leaderboard and Coen Meischke from JCM Pension met early 2004 and were convinced that networking for SME entrepreneurs could be organised more effectively. Their vision was to build an online business club for entrepreneurs where ‘no salesman will call’. Like every businessman they visited numerous network meetings and were disappointed with the results.
As a result they founded in May 2004 DGAcontact that is a Dutch databank where entrepreneurs write their own profile. Members can search throughout the protected database and communicate directly with entrepreneurs with 2 clicks of a mouse. The membership offers a mix of online and ‘traditional networking’ where also interesting events are organised where you can meet fellow-entrepreneurs. On the website you can check who is who and who is coming to these events, which increases the effectiveness of networking.
At summer 2005 they decided to partner with Stephen Howard and Bas Welles from BDIS Ltd. at London and founded Foundercontact Ltd. that is the international networking initiative for entrepreneurs worldwide. At october 2006 foundercontact India ltd. has been founded.
Does this means it is too late for AngelPitch? Perhaps not. But it certainly increases the awareness, which can only be considered positive?
I also managed to convince Andre to post the NW Start Up 2.0 event. I wish Andre and the team well and will continue to speak to Billa. Who knows what this might leads to…