The Founder's Field Guide for Navigating This Crisis

The wisdom of community.

No idea is too early for First Round. We love rolling up our sleeves to help build from day one. Together, our partners have spent 100+ years working with founding teams — and every day, our community of thousands of operators shares knowledge about building from scratch.


Bringing Together the Smartest People We Know

Starting a company is lonely, and founders have to make difficult decisions every day with imperfect information. In our experience, the best safety net is the advice and experience of fellow entrepreneurs.

Whenever we get members of our community in a room, magic happens. That’s why our Knowledge Program’s robust events — ranging from cozy dinners to major summits — are designed to get real, vulnerable conversations started. People leave with new ideas and actions they can apply immediately to keep growing and getting better. You won’t find any stick-on name tags here — we hate them.


Events a year connect our community


Tech leaders attend our CEO Summit

Pitch Assist

The Fundraising Agency
You Wish You Had

You’re up all hours sweating your PowerPoint. You want to have a sounding board or a second pair of eyes to tell you you’re on the right track. With Pitch Assist, you do. We’re here to bring what we’ve learned seeing our founders raise over $17B across 1,000 rounds. Our team of design and content pros helps First Round companies improve their odds in the fundraising process — helping them craft a compelling narrative, set the right strategy and build a visual presentation that gets the job done.

After Pitch Assist (Hover to See Before)

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Software & Data

Hacking to Get Founders the Knowledge They Need

Curious founders are the best founders. That’s why we built First Round Network, our platform that connects startup builders across the entire portfolio. And not just their leadership either — we connect all employees at every First Round company. Today, our CEOs can reach out to other CEOs, marketers to marketers, and engineers to engineers to get the data, advice, and support they need. We’re constantly fielding feedback from members of Network to build tools they actually want and need.

With this focus on building a digital community, we can mine some fascinating data. We publish our most interesting findings every year, including the State of Startups report, to give companies even greater insight into the tech ecosystem.


Problem-Solving on Demand

Eventually, all founders run into a problem they can’t solve — they haven’t seen it before or don’t know where to start. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to work with hundreds of people who have defined what success in tech looks like.

Today, these people are our Expert Network. When you need help, we find you the exact right person to dive in and help work through big one-off challenges. Experts include executives with decades of know-how, all willing to meet over coffee or help as official advisors to put you in the express lane.

Meg Makalou, Chief People Officer at The Climate Corporation, leads training workshops for managers at our startups and helps them devise employee handbooks that take everything into account.

Arielle Jackson is a former Google and Square product marketing manager who now advises startups full-time. From the very beginning, she helps our companies define their branding and carve out space in the market.

— Experts hail from these companies and more —


Making Hiring That Much Easier

Hiring is the hardest thing founders do, period. And in this crazy talent market it’s getting more grueling. The average founder dedicates 50% of their time to the task. But our talent team is willing to share this heavy load, making intros to the best people we know for critical hires, rewriting job descriptions, walking through compensation strategies, and helping close win-win deals.

We helped Uber find its Head of Machine Learning.

We intro'd LendingHome to its Director of Product.

Connect to careers at First Round startups


Real Stories, Real Advice

Founding a startup is a delicate and ridiculously new science — but there’s fresh wisdom emerging every day. We’re out to collect it in one spot: The First Round Review. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of the most successful operators in tech (Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, Stripe COO Claire Hughes Johnson and Airbnb Founder Joe Gebbia, for example), we’re turning their hard-won lessons into a playbook for the entire startup community.