top of page

Paige Hendrix Buckner

Founder Gym

Paige Hendrix Buckner

Gabriel Flores  0:01  

Hello, everyone and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. I am here today with Paige. Paige. Hey, talk. I'm so excited. We've been talking actually for a long time. Yeah. But But now Now we're going to talk about something different. Okay, cool. Founder, Jim. Yes. Before we talk about that, I want to introduce the world to page, please give us a little background.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  0:26  

Alright, I'll give you a little background. So my name is Paige Hendricks Buckner, and right now I'm the Chief Operating Officer at founder, Jim and I live in Portland, Oregon, but I'm originally from southwest Missouri. So I was raised in really small town. I'm one of five and I was just a really nerdy kid growing up. I did band and Speech and Debate proudly and have a lot of fun. And actually, I wasn't very good at band. I was not great. What would you play, I played French horn bass. And I loved it. And I was not great at it. But I was good at speech and debate. And so it's fun to see how that skill sets been carried into my career years later. But after being raised in southwest Missouri, I went off to college at the University of Missouri, and I studied International Studies and geography and I thought, I'm going to be a human rights lawyer. I'm going to travel the world. And then I got into Teach for America. And so I started teaching fourth graders in Las Vegas. And I did that for fourth and fifth graders for three years while I got my master's degree there. And I met my now husband while I was teaching. And so I came into Portland, Oregon to kind of see what it was all about out here and had a really great time, love the community and love my husband. So it's pretty. We I moved here to be closer to him. And it was funny because when I got here, I didn't know what I would be getting into career wise, but I kind of wanted to get out of teaching for a while. And so I tried on a bunch of different jobs. I worked at the Apple store for a while this is 2011 The economy was not poppin. It was hard to find a job. But I started working at the Apple Store. Then I started working at the Urban League helping families get access to health care, and actually was while I was doing both of those jobs, I was teaching at the Apple store and I met this woman who said, you should check out this job at will Noma County as a policy advisor. And public policy is what I thought I was interested in when I was in college. So I got back into that. And I was there for about a year doing that work. And I ended as a policy director and I left to start my first company. And so I was an entrepreneur running a business pivoted I the first iteration of that into the next iteration and learned a lot of exciting and painful, very painful lessons. And while I was doing that, I was also doing some side gigs modeling and teaching entrepreneurship, high school students. I mean, I did and doing it all, oh my god, I think one weekend, or several weekends, I used to pour a cocktail and soda syrup to make cash to buy groceries. Because the same year that my husband Darren and I got married, we also both quit our jobs and started separate businesses. We were talking about that today. And we were thinking maybe we would try it a little differently. But yeah, so I got into that. And then I helped start an organization that served women entrepreneurs called Accelerate, which is still around doing incredible work. And then I found out about founders in this opportunity to join their team. And I joined in 2018. And I've been there since then. And now we're here we are in 2021. And I'm now the chief operating officer here on my podcast. It is really popping.

Gabriel Flores  3:27  

Economy is good. So first, before we talk about founder, Jim, let's talk a little bit about your your previous entrepreneurial experience. Let's talk about your first your first company, what was it?

Paige Hendrix Buckner  3:38  

First Company was called tick box. And it was a monthly subscription box for Portland made things. It was kind of born out of just a weekend with a friend, a few friends of the coast. And we thought this would be really cool. So we started working on that, like nights and weekends. And it was fine. It was a great idea for us to kind of crack into entrepreneurship. And I actually thought entrepreneurship was possible because of a startup weekend. So I went to this event if you have you been to Startup Weekend, I'm talking about like pie cut. Yeah, it's so it's so we can event it's put on by this now I think they're global organization. But basically you get together and you hack on problems for 54 hours with strangers. So my husband had gone when it with his friend, and then said you should come and do this. It's really fun. And so we did this, you know, I I literally left work at the county. On a week. I was like Friday night at five when they're pitched an idea. And we hacked for like 54 hours and it was the best. It was so much fun. I just never thought entrepreneurship was a thing that I would be interested in until I realized, Oh, you can problem solve in the private sector, not just the public sector. Good point. Yeah. So it was really fun. So we kind of that led to starting tick box and then my business partner and I went separate ways. After entering an accelerator. She started a different business. And I started my second business called Client joy. So I worked on that and from 2015 and they sold it last year to somebody who was opera Getting out, which was great because I was ready to transition out of it. What declined do I do? Client tray was basically a pivot out of tick box into serving businesses. So whereas before we were doing a subscription box for anybody who wanted to subscribe monthly, the lessons that we learned there, just first of all, I'm laughing, but nobody is sad or brokenhearted, when they're Portland made, things don't show up. And so this is where we learned the difference between like a headache problem and a migraine problem, right? It was like, I wish I got poorly made things. But what we discovered are the customers that we were identifying, we couldn't identify enough of them at scale in order to make that business model work for us. And for the people that we were buying products from, which of course, were more expensive. They're artisanal goods, right? So yeah, that was a really good experience. But what clients really did was it took a piece of that idea, the idea that big businesses wanted to be able to give unique gifting experiences to their customers, but struggled to do that at scale. So what we could do was we could build essentially a custom gifting form for them, and then they could send gifts anywhere they wanted to. So built out that business, made a lot of mistakes, learn a lot. I'll never forget, one holiday season, we ordered some caramels, and they got shipped to the wrong address. And so they bounced back to the vendor in Seattle. Well, I also had to deliver these gift boxes for DSM 40 custom gift boxes to Seattle. Maybe like in three days. So I used to practice jujitsu. So I had to go out and clean the masks, because I couldn't afford to pay for my whole gym membership, clean the mats in the jujitsu gym, go pick up a rental van, throw all those boxes in drive to Seattle, get the candy, repack the boxes and deliver them the next day by the deadline, because I wasn't gonna be able to ship them. And I wish I could say that was the only time or just you know, it's like, it was it was hard. It was a really hard business. But I'm really glad that I had the privilege of doing it and got to meet all the people that I did and and learn what kind of entrepreneur I am and the things that I'm not good at and things that I really love and am good at.

Gabriel Flores  7:12  

Yeah. And so then you started to transition into founders, Jim now, you're not the owner, right? Founder. Right? That's right, your Chief Operating Officer, however, you've kind of been there. Since you know, pretty pretty early on.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  7:24  

Yeah, I was one of the earliest team members. And we have an amazing team. So the thing that I think is interesting to me about founder, Jim is that we're hoping well, the leading online training center for underrepresented founders who want to learn how to raise capital for their startups. And I remember when I was trying to figure out how to raise capital for client Joy, I just had no idea what I was doing. And there were lots of books out there. But there wasn't anyone who's kind of holding my hand and telling me the truth about what it looked like. I mean, I had really great mentors. But it's not like they can tell me everything that's not their job. Can you please sit down and tell me it's everything to do?

Gabriel Flores  8:00  

Man, I wish to have been for three.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  8:04  

And I have a lot of really great advice. And I didn't follow along with the other part, too. I remember this. My attorney at the time, Jason Gershenson, who's amazing. And the most patient therapist slash social workers slash lawyer that I've ever met my life was like, You should really read venture deals. And I totally ignored him. And it's one of the first books I had to read for my other founders. And I was like, Oh, shit. So anyway, so I think I love about founder, Jim is that joining us nearly team member, I had the privilege of bringing all the mistakes and experience that I had made to space with other entrepreneurs to show them, you know, from the perspective of experts, because a big part of my job is interviewing top investors, top funded founders, top lawyers, financial experts, to help founders really understand what it actually takes to raise capital. And the decisions they have to make along the way the kind of business they have to build in order to be successful. So it feels a little bit like I'm solving page of 20 fourteens problems, but then also helping them just move faster than I moved. Because I did not know what I was doing. Nor asked for the right kind of help or listen to the help that was given.

Gabriel Flores  9:19  

So for the folks at home, let's kind of describe a little bit. You know, what, what founders Jim kind of does and how it kind of helps folks?

Paige Hendrix Buckner  9:26  

Yeah, so founder, Jim helps founders understand, I think, the culture of fundraising, and what it takes to raise capital for their startups. The way that we do that vehicle for that as our cohort structure so we essentially create this six week experience where founders come together, and through a combination of live training sessions with experts I talked to you about to get here from venture capitalists, angel investors, we just added a session about angels and scouts. Nice, because that's not I think the scout programs are not as widely known. And so We added those components as well. But then also the community. So the members of the cohort have accountability groups. And then we also have office hours. So during those sessions, I give folks live feedback on their fundraising materials, to help them really understand how to craft a compelling narrative both through what they say, but then also what they show on screen, or what they email in advance to investors. So it's really fun, because I think folks come to founder gym for the tactical, right, like, I want the exercises, I want the curriculum. I want to build my network. I want to hear from these top investors founders live. But they stay for the community, because what ends up happening is they build this incredible network, a deeply woven network of other underrepresented founders around the world. Because since we started our first cohort in 2018, and we just basically, we just closed our 17th cohort. So we're launching our cohort. I'm so excited to meet these founders. It's our first black women founders cohort. We've served 542 founders in 25 countries on six continents for 16 cohorts. Wow. That's incredible. It's incredible. And they're all amazing. I feel so privileged to serve them.

Gabriel Flores  11:13  

That's It's crazy, because it's not just I mean, you guys are here in Portland, Oregon. Actually, we're

Paige Hendrix Buckner  11:19  

distributed. But Portland. Yeah. And so there are people and I'm in Portland, Oakland, Alabama, and we have a team member in Canada as well.

Gabriel Flores  11:26  

Nice. So when when was founders Jim founded?

Paige Hendrix Buckner  11:29  

So Mandela, Schumacher Hodge, Dixon, Arizona CEO, she's a force of nature, and I love her. She started the company in 2017. The first cohort launch though in January 2018. And so in since 2018, we've been busy.

Gabriel Flores  11:44  

Yeah, I must admit I, you know, did my due diligence and did some research and reading all of the all of the great articles. So if you guys want folks listening at home, you can Google founder, Jim, a lot of great, great content. In fact, just Google page, thank you. You will get a lot of awesome

Paige Hendrix Buckner  12:01  

boring lessons from him his fashion and hair mistakes. Please, no, I was an entrepreneur. I was not a priority. I'm proud of it. I'm

Gabriel Flores  12:10  

fine with doing great. That's great. So So why why was founders Jim kind of created?

Paige Hendrix Buckner  12:16  

Yeah, that's great question. So Mandela has had an incredible track record of experiences that have started with her being a sixth grade teacher, we both did Teach For America together. That's actually how we met in 2018. And so she was a sixth grade teacher. Then she started a startup. And then after starting a startup, she raised capital. She learned from that experience, she had customers, she learned from that. And then she went to work for a top venture capital firm. She has been an investor herself and sitting in all those different seats. Being an ecosystem builder, because she also worked at Startup Weekend Education building a global startup eco ecosystem. She really saw how hard it was for underrepresented founders to successfully raise we know a lot of that has to do with a systemic inequities that have been so deeply crafted, intentionally crafted, right for centuries, that have kept out women, people of color, LGBTQIA, folks. So with all of that in mind, she wanted to really democratize education when it came to raising capital for tech startups for underrepresented founders. And so after seeing all this, and deciding she was going to craft something with that teacher experience, also, she's an athlete. She's a successful collegiate athlete, a soccer player, just just an all around Hustler, two, she works very, very hard. And so she decided I'm going to weave together what I know about this world of entrepreneurship and raising capital, with my experience as an athlete, and then coming together as a teacher. So like all of these things wrapped up to create founder, Jim. So that's what we call it founder, Jim right, because we give our founders a workout. Yeah. It's not easy work. Listen to six weeks of intense work.

Gabriel Flores  14:01  

Let's let's talk about that. Let's Let's go. Let's get through that. I want to I want to kind of hear what does the cohort go through? What can what can one of the clients you know that actually get you? How do they get selected one founders, Jim, and then what exactly do they go through? Some of the training? How rigorous is it?

Paige Hendrix Buckner  14:16  

What can they really expect? Oh, my gosh, yeah. It's so fun. We're getting ready to start another car. I can see how excited it's so funny, because you know, and I always, we have orientation here in two weeks. Is it too late? No, it's next week is six Monday. But it all starts out with founders applying to founder gems, you can go to founder forward slash apply when our applications are open, or you can submit interest and we'll reach back out to you. But when founders apply, we're looking for founders who fit a few pieces of a few criteria. So one is we're looking for founders who are building tech or tech enabled companies. So we've had founders who've come through founder Jim who are building businesses with physical products, for example, but they want to scale that to a global level. They Want to raise money. And they're clear about that, that they need a significant infusion of capital to get to that global size because they want to serve a really large market. But we're also looking for founders who demonstrate collaboration, they really want to be part of a community, they don't want to go it alone. In fact, our tag is we all go up together, because we try to foster a space where people feel welcomed, and also feel excited to learn from other people and their various lived experiences. So when folks come in through application process, we have a selection committee, we review the applications, not everyone is accepted that we've had founders who haven't been accepted, apply multiple times, and be accepted later. So I always encourage people if they aren't accepted the first time, no shame. Yeah, every place has that process, right? Applications for accelerators, top accelerators, top incubators. So once they apply, and they're accepted, then we onboard them, it is a paid program. So people pay to participate. And once they join the program, they have orientation. And we're off to the races. So every week, we're covering a different topic, whether it's an investor's perspective. So live, I will interview a top investor for this cohort, cohort, 17. And I have the privilege of interviewing Arlen Hamilton from backstage capital. amazing, incredible author, speaker, just like mover shaker brilliant, brilliant human beings, I get to interview her and I'm bringing together questions that our founders have. But then also questions that we know founders need to know that maybe they haven't think you know, to to ask. And then of course, we like to, you know, make sure to share some fun things about Ireland people can find on the internet that you can just share there. And so during those live sessions, they also get to ask questions live, the founders who attend. So every week with that theme, whether it's an investor's perspective or numbers talk where they hear about the metrics they need to successfully fundraise. Whether it's legal matters, we bring in a start up lawyer who talks about, hey, listen, this is the the stuff to think about. Please get incorporated. Yeah, and here's trademark that please or like get incorporated. As you know, C Corp instead of an LLC, if you're gonna go raise venture capital, it's a loose little things that people don't always know. Or we have how I raise capital. So that's from a founders perspective, this time for cohort 17. We have Phaedrus figure LLC, Ellis lamkins, can't spit her name out. She is one of the most powerful women I've ever met, she started a company called promise. And I believe at this point, she's raised $23 million Y Combinator alum, so she's gonna come talk about hers. She'll just like real talk. I think that's the thing that I want to bring up is each of these sessions with a live trainers is real talk. Yeah. What shit did you go through? How did you navigate people telling you no telling, you know, in a great way, or in a terrible way, how do you follow up like all those little nuances? Definitely. So not only is that the live training sessions, but then they also have a lot of homework. So they're watching videos of past interviews we've done with past expert trainers, they are completing exercises every week, they have to complete five items before they graduate to be considered a graduate of founder Joe's. And then, of course, like I said, they attend office hours where they're getting live feedback on their live pitches or their investor email template, or whatever document we're going over that week. And they have accountability groups. So they're getting together and meeting with each other to talk through challenges that they're having in their business, and then also preparing all their homework assignments essentially, before they finish. And it's really cool is okay, so this is busy. Every week, you've got live sessions, you've got homework to do. By the end, founders are ready to pitch and so they deliver a two minute pitch of graduation day. And all of their the other founders who are watching them pitch, give them live feedback. Oh, nice, which is really fun. Because it means it's an opportunity for them to learn. Right? So. So yeah, we have a lot of fun in the experience that we try to make sure that founders are working really hard, and they're pushing themselves, but they're also getting really clear about their why whether the right one and then communicating that effectively. So once our founders graduate, complete all their homework assignments, all of their deliverables, then we publish a graduation article. And that graduation article goes out into the world and really does showcase every single founder who graduates so they get a small profile with their photo, and then they can go share that they've they've graduated, and then a lot of our founders, once they finish the experience are ready to go out and raise, say have the doctors they need to be successful. So it's intense.

Gabriel Flores  19:34  

Yeah, definitely. So so for the without selling the farm, right, let's Yeah, I kind of want to, you know, give the folks at home a little bit of the experience of going three minutes going myself. I've never gone to the venture capital process, I had to raise capital for a company. So I'd love to kind of just go through the process of what can you expect, right? What what does that industry kind of look like? What does making a pitch look like? You know, you mentioned there's kind of different ways to communicate right? You mill are calling in the meeting process. But again, without giving away the farm of what founder, Jim has all to offer, although it sounds like the best thing is the in person thing, right? Being able to go and meet with you guys in person seems that that's virtual actually a fresh slate. Even better. So you've

Paige Hendrix Buckner  20:15  

been completely virtual since 2010.

Gabriel Flores  20:17  

That's just think that that's worth the money alone, right. Having those mentorship, but let's talk a little bit about the, the the venture capital process when you know, individuals that have a C Corp, and he's going to try to raise capital, what can they expect? What kind of landmines should it be kind of watch out? For kind of thing? Yeah, good question,

Paige Hendrix Buckner  20:34  

I think the first thing you need to figure out is whether or not venture capital is a good fit for you. It's not for most businesses. And that's fine. That's totally fine. You can build a great business that's successful without raising venture capital. Frankly, you can do with out raising capital at all. There's lots of great examples out there, of folks doing that. So I think first you need to figure out, what does your business need to grow? And before that, I feel like I can hear Mandela in my ear right now. She's not here, but it's something she would say is like, what kind of business do you want to build that aligns with your own lifestyle? And so what do you want this business to do is it's a lifestyle business that you want to build and, and pays your bills and makes you really happy. And it's something that you love doing, but maybe you don't want to grow super huge, or bring a ton of other people in? Do you want to build a, you know, a global scalable business, you want to build a small business, I mean, small businesses can be large, can bring in millions of dollars a year. So it's really about understanding what you want to build first, and how it aligns with your personal goals. And so once you figured out that, like, what kind of business do you want to build? And then what do you need to get there? And then you decide, okay, I want to be, I think, a billion dollar business. We are building something that's scalable, and you then have a plan for that capital. So I was just we do this thing called fundraising one on one on Instagram and Twitter, where we share out like a tip from one of our expert trainers, one of the most recent tips that I shared was from Julia Collins. She's the CEO and founder of planet forward and she is the first black woman to ever build a business that then went on to become a unicorn. She's raised over $500 million. Wow, she's exceptional. And so she she also launched moonshot snack, she's a climate terian. So she builds businesses

Gabriel Flores  22:16  

moonshot like the chocolate.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  22:18  

Yes, actually. It's not the chocolate is there crackers? Oh, by case just save yourself. All right. I just did. And it was the best experience. Anyway. sidetrack, so back on. Moonshot snacks, either crackers. But the thing that I love that she shared is, you know, you're ready to raise capital when you have a vision for what you want to do with that capital. And so if you're, if you're like, Okay, I think I want to raise venture capital. Well, you need to look at your milestones for the next 12 to 18 months, and then how much money is it gonna take to get there? And then figure out, okay, so if I know it's gonna take me this much money, because I have to pay people have to go buy space equipment or whatever, software, then you're able to go figure out, okay, so I need to raise this much money. Here's the kind of investor I want to work with. And I think that's another big piece of it that I did not realize, again, not because people didn't tell me. But it's about finding the right investor for you, right. And that is finding an investor who is aligned with your, your vision and your mission. This can't be someone that you fake it with,

Gabriel Flores  23:31  

because you can't fake it till you make it and this year getting

Paige Hendrix Buckner  23:33  

married. Yes, that means that, you gotta be able to call them when things are hard, and ask for help and be honest with them. They need to be someone who's aligned with your vision, and they're on board with whatever it is that you you want to do. Or maybe they're not, but they can keep it real with you and help you get there. So you know, finding an investor who not just brings money, but brings a great brand brings a network brings advice brings mentorship, and support. So as you think about, you know, with those things in mind that we just talked about, and then when you want to go out and raise, you need to have a plan, and you need to have the right stuff. And so what that means is, fundraising can take you a very long time, I think some of the fastest raises I've seen happen can happen in like 30 days. But that's not often people have done this for the first time, or don't have really strong networks. That certainly hasn't been my experience or a lot of experience that I've heard from underrepresented founders. Typically it takes them longer just because they're building those networks, if they don't already have them, and then also trying to build the story. So it's about building really great process to go and find the right investors. And you could meet with a lot of people. So I think it was Elizabeth Ian from hustle fund, and I hope I am quoting this correctly, but I saw a tweet where I think she talked about how she took 700 meetings before she actually got all the capital she needed. So also expect that this is going to be challenging because you're asking People to part with their money to invest in you and believe in you. And you, you should expect to hear no, at but work really hard to be the kind of founder that people want to say yes to. So if you've done research and found the right investors, you've created a great lead sheet, you created a great process so that you're reaching out to people following up with them after the pitch, you also need to make sure that that pitch is really tight. So it's not just about running a great process. But it's also about giving a you know, telling a compelling story, I think every single investor that I've ever interviewed has talked about how the story is so very important.

Gabriel Flores  25:36  

And you know, one of the things, you know, we hear often is investors aren't just investing in the product, but they're also investing in entrepreneurs themselves.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  25:42  

1,000% 1,000%. And I think, I feel like it's Charles had said, I think it's Charles Hudson from precursor ventures. I just love hearing him talk about how he's like, I'm looking for the right founder. And this is really critical at the beginning of your business, especially when you don't have a product or you don't have a long track record or a lot of traction. They're betting on you. Right? Yep. So you have to walk into that room. Flexing was what we talked about all the time, but just flexing on your lived experience. And that can be both personal and professional. And so it could be like, this is a childcare issue. And I understand it as a parent. This is menstruation issue. I understand that as somebody who demonstrates right like, and you can come in and talk about that, and then you can marry it with as a professional who you know, has worked at x y&z brand or just an x y&z thing. This is how I plan to execute, recruit the right team. So one of the reasons I love the work we do at founder, Jim is helping our founders understand how to really be clear about those flexes, yeah, how to internalize them. And remember that because I think we all do this, we get really busy, we forget all the things that we've done. Yeah, definitely. I mean, how many jobs have you had,

Gabriel Flores  26:54  

I had a lot, I just had a lot, just we're gonna know what to do about itself. And before that, I've had

Paige Hendrix Buckner  26:59  

that. And in each one of those jobs, you've picked up some interesting stuff, clothes, or experiences or networks. And so we try to help founders remember those things as they walk into the fundraising process, they carry all of that with them. And even if those lived experiences, just help them build rapport up with an investor that they're talking to. That's a step in the right direction.

Gabriel Flores  27:18  

And you know, it's kind of funny, you know, one of the episodes previously is one, we talked about expenses, the hidden expenses, right? You actually talked about software, and I was like, Yeah, people will actually don't think about, but know that your time. Right? Charge for your time. That's a podcast. It's just called time. Just time. It takes time. Yes. This stuff takes a long time. Yeah, man, we were talking about earlier how I'm like, Man, I gotta have somebody start editing these damn podcasts, because it takes time I gotta get ready to feed this child. We got things to do. Out there, just give her some money go to be fine. So again, toddler figured out. But that's that was so important, you know, and talking about them. So no, we're gonna say no. And don't don't take it to heart. Right. But the biggest thing is that relationship building piece, you're kind of talking about humanize it. Alright, make it practical. I think that's, you know, that's one of the things I kind of excel in, in my current role is where I focus were when I'm building a relationship, right? I do talk about personal things like, hey, yeah, I do have a child and I did graduate college, and I did do all these things. I'm not boasting, I'm building a relationship, right?

Paige Hendrix Buckner  28:36  

Both. But that gave boast.

Gabriel Flores  28:39  

Like, I'm flexing on you, but in a very nice, politically polite way.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  28:46  

This is my list of flexes. And the father.

Gabriel Flores  28:50  

Exactly, exactly. But you know, but it's also it's a way to make it practical, is that people want to know that you are, in fact a human. You you believe you cry, right? We all have these emotions. Because that also makes you they want to see your drive. Yeah, that also makes you driven. They want to know what you're doing and why you're doing it for.

Paige Hendrix Buckner  29:10  

Yes, yes. And so I always I love quoting founder gym expert trainers, because they're some of the coolest people I've ever met. I'm just thinking is it at the Museo de la Cruz. He is the founder and CEO of Arcus. And he's really fun. He's just, he's brilliant. He's so brilliant. And one of the things he said to the cohort that he was talking to you as be the most Barack Obama version of yourself. Like the swagger, right? And I think what he was saying and what he went on to explain was that when you walk into a room, whether it's you're talking to customers or investors or you're recruiting people to your team, you want to be someone that people admire, for the things you've done and for for, you know, what you are capable of doing, and that comes back to who you are as a person and that It shows up in so many ways, professionalism, getting following up with people, it shows up and being prepared during a meeting before meeting after meeting. So I love this so much, because I think everyone can strive to be somebody who's admirable, if they really lean into what makes them that person, the right person, right. So, you know, I will never forget, there's a great company I'm thinking about the name is God, it will come back to me and I've got a child's brain as like, I have a child. And I'm currently one and I cannot remember anything. I wish I had a different reason. But it's that anyway. So they, these two teachers, I met them and I remember actually kind of holding back tears while I was interviewing them for the cohort, because they're just so incredible. They're in Beaumont, Texas. They're both in education. And they started this platform that helps families who have kids on the Asperger's spectrum, figure out how to find the right resources for them, whether that be like play places, or dentists, like you're just thinking about creating a great quality of life and a great experience for those families. And they love it from such a like such a special place. And they're in Beaumont, Texas, tiny Beaumont, Texas, and they don't know anything about venture capital, but now they do after they are and they're both amazing. So anyway, I keep coming back to founders like that, because we were talking about this early because we're virtual, we serve cohorts. Our founders are from all over the world. So it doesn't matter where you come from, you can still get access to this knowledge, which I think is one of the reasons Mandela was so geeked out about starting this, she didn't come from Silicon Valley, but she wanted to bring it to everyone. And I think democratizing that access will help us shift generational wealth, which will help us also shift generational power to fix a lot of the systems that actually have made it hard for underrepresented founders to get capital to begin with.

Gabriel Flores  31:51  

Definitely, definitely. So what would you say, you know, looking back on everything, you know, looking from the beginning, you know, starting in, you know, here, here in the downtown city, Portland area, working for the city of Portland, and then now, you know, being an entrepreneur and kind of what would you say, You know what surprising, or that you learned? What were some nuggets that you would say like, well, I didn't know about that, or actually, I'm like, that was a, that was an interesting thing I learned and the

Paige Hendrix Buckner  32:15  

public servant perspective of the entrepreneur, purchase all of it. Okay, call me again. Yeah. So, you know, when I was a policy advisor at Boulder County, I worked for an elected official, my job was to work with constituents and geek out on. And I truly mean geek out. Public policy issues, budget issues. I think that I was looking at the world from kind of an academic perspective is probably the best way to put it, right? Because you, you know, you look at budget items about like tax issues, or public policy changes about tax issues, specifically, business taxes. But I've never, I've never been in business person at this point in my life had never been a business person. So I didn't really understand. I think the ramifications of some of those things like I knew them academically, I could tie the stats about them. But I think being in business, it's helped me better understand just a different way of doing things. So I think in when I transitioned out of public policy, often what I would think a lot about was how, how bureaucracy is intended to be slow. And there's lots of good reasons for that, I think. But I also am the type of person who's like, I want to hack on things, I want to I didn't understand the terminology for it. But human centered design, thinking from the perspective of the person, the constituent as we build policy and think about it, I think, public sector entities do try to do that really well. But it's hard. I think there's natural tension there that makes it challenging, to really get everything that people need into the works of public policy every day, right? By the time it finally gets to, I don't know, a council meeting. It's kind of hard sometimes to have made sure that you captured everything. And that's the nature of democracy thing. But the cool thing, I think, and I liked that about like that about public policy, I struggle with that about public policy. In entrepreneurship, you really do have more control over how fast you go. So whereas when we're in public policy, we're trying to do these things slowly, democratically. We're talking to lots of people we're, you know, there's a budget to be approved. There's all these budget sessions were pouring in talking to all these folks. In my business, if I need to make a decision, I can make it really quickly and pivot really quickly. And it's funny, I was just talking to my brother, he just launched today's his launch day. Congratulations, brother. So he started his business called remote share. And he is a high school teacher who has been doing this and night and on weekends. And with the help of some really great organizations, one of which is 1871 in Chicago, he's kind of this point where he's at launch day and he's like, what, what do I need to be thinking about next? Yeah. And I'm like, Okay, so like, let's set up your 30 day sprint, what do you need to like, what are your big objectives? How do you roll that out into key results? How do you then figure out how to run a sales process? Like what's your hypothesis? So you get to do Do this for yourself. But the hard part is you're doing it. Yeah, just yourself.

Gabriel Flores  35:04  

Yeah. The Jack of all trades, you

Paige Hendrix Buckner  35:06  

don't have a huge team. And one of the issues he was really struggling with was, I don't have a full time team right now. So it's launched David, it's really just meal all the time, right thinking about these things. And he does have a team. It's not not everyone is full time like kids. So with that said, I think I think the biggest nuggets out of my just delirious tangent that I just shared with you, is that entrepreneurship moves really quickly, which I like to solve problems. But not always, with all the resources that you need. And, but also that can be really exhilarating. Yeah, definitely. Could you like it just stayed up all night, or I just drove to Seattle to tip these gift?

Gabriel Flores  35:49  

So I know, we kind of discussed it, but for the listeners at home, please tell them how can they get contact with founders jam? How can they you know, submit their information? Where can they find you guys? Great. Gotta give him the the 411

Paige Hendrix Buckner  35:59  

Yeah, so if you are a founder who wants to build a startup, you can always just follow us on social media. And we talk about startup advice. So we're at founder Jim FOUNDRGYM, on both Instagram on in Twitter, we're both there. I would say every day, we're probably posting every day, because we love to share what we're learning. And we want to make sure that folks out there who are just building to know what we're learning every day. And then if you are interested in applying for a cohort, you can go to founder forward slash apply. And if we're not currently accepting applications, you can enter your email address and then we will let you know when applications and open up and then you can reach out to Hello at Founder If you have any questions and we have an incredible team and they will follow up and respond. So yeah, that's how you can find us.

Gabriel Flores  36:49  

Nice. So you founders out there feel free to reach out page. Yes. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. This was awesome. This is so fun. I'm this is gonna be one of my favorite episodes. Because I'm gonna, I'm gonna after this we're going to talk a little bit more about this incubation sessions. I'm gonna get out there I want to talk about paid Paige Hendrick Buckner, the Chief Operating Officer of founder, Jim, for those listening at home thank you so much. Please visit me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Have a great evening. Thank you for listening and good night.

bottom of page