What is FFL?

FFL is the equity-free startup accelerator for experienced tech industry professionals. Created by startup founders and alumni of Google, Stanford, and MIT, FFL Startup Accelerator helps entrepreneurs overcome the challenges inherent in starting a company. Startups receive over $300k in software credits and other perks, get connected with mentors and investors, hear from guest speakers, and join FFL’s community of experienced and well-connected professionals.

Members have included veterans from Google, Apple, Facebook, and LinkedIn, a Co-Founder of Excite, and a Partner from Sequoia Capital. Our 70+ startups have raised over $500M from leading investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Accel Partners, First Round Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Data Collective VC, CrunchFund, Charles River Ventures, General Catalyst, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Upfront Ventures.


Who are some notable graduates of FFL?

  • Earnest (funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, First Round Capital, and Slow Ventures)
  • eShares (funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, K9 Ventures, and Spark Capital)
  • Osmo (funded by Accel Partners, K9 Ventures, and Upfront Ventures)
  • Rentlytics (funded by Trinity Ventures, Walker & Dunlop, Rincon Venture Partners, and ZenStone Venture Capital)
  • LearnUp (funded by New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures, FLOODGATE, Greylock Partners, and SV Angel)
  • Aviate (acquired by Yahoo)
  • Digital Staircase (acquired by Facebook)
  • Amiato (acquired by Amazon)
  • Pixelapse (acquired by Dropbox)
  • Wello (acquired by Weight Watchers)
  • Pushpins (acquired by Ebates)
  • And many more...



FFL is led by a team of early Google alums and startup founders from Stanford and MIT. As startup founders themselves, Mendel and Samantha enjoy advising early-stage entrepreneurs and helping them access the expertise, networks, and resources they need to grow their businesses.

Mendel Chuang graduated from MIT with two degrees and joined Google pre-IPO. During his 5 years at Google, he worked on a variety of projects including Google Desktop, Toolbar, Blogger, AdWords, and AdSense, where he won the Google Founders Award. He was the Co-Founder and CEO of a mobile startup and is now the Executive Director of the FFL Startup Accelerator. He has given talks at Harvard Business School, MIT, South by Southwest, and NBC's Press: Here.

Samantha Quist graduated from Stanford and also joined Google pre-IPO, where she led projects for AdWords, News, Trends, iGoogle, and Froogle. She then joined Gnip as the head of marketing before its acquisition by Twitter. Samantha was Founder and CEO of Copywriter Central, a marketplace for freelance writers, which was acquired by a competitor. She was the Executive Director of Technovation, and also supports several other organizations supporting girls and women in technology.


What benefits do I get as a member of FFL?

Benefits you get as a member of FFL include:

  • Lunch in Palo Alto every other week
  • Group mentoring sessions
  • Office hours with advisors
  • Online community with 200+ talented alumni
  • Introduction to mentors and investors
  • Participation in FFL Startup Accelerator's demo day
  • Events with notable speakers that have included Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC), Manish Patel (Highland Capital Partners), Dylan Tweney (VentureBeat), Catherine Lacavera (Google), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest)
  • $100,000 in Amazon Web Services credits
  • $100,000 in Google Cloud Platform credits
  • Up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credits
  • $1,200 cash when you open a First Republic Bank account
  • 90% off HubSpot's marketing software
  • And more...


HOW MUCH DOES it cost?

FFL does not take any equity. There’s a $5,900 program fee per startup to cover the costs of running a top-tier program with over $300k in software credits and other perks.



Teams are required to be working full-time on early-stage software technology startups in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Through our application and interview process, we primarily consider:

  • Experience and past accomplishments of team members
  • Team members’ drive, helpfulness, and product instinct
  • Startup’s industry, location, and stage


What is expected of me?

As a member of FFL, you will be expected to:

  • Attend lunches and mentoring sessions in Palo Alto every other week
  • Share your learnings, give a tech talk, and do a product demo
  • Be an active member of the community and help each other out



The 2017 Spring FFL class runs from April - June 2017 and the deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 14th.


How can my company apply to FFL?

  1. Submit an application.
  2. If it makes sense to move forward, we'll invite you into the office for a demo/interview.



While some past FFL classes have included office space, the 2017 Spring Class does not.



Please don’t stop by our office without an appointment. This is not a good example of persistence on your part and it may negatively influence your application. We are happy to consider taking an appointment, so please contact us instead.


How can I stay updated about FFL?

Stay updated about FFL by joining our mailing list.


I still have questions about FFL....

Please send additional questions to ffl@joinffl.com.