Founder Friendly Labs (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 access to a community of experienced and well-connected professionals, customized advice and mentoring, and up to $300k in software credits.

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?

  • Carta (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)
  • Qventus (funded by Mayfield Fund and Norwest Venture Partners)
  • 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)
  • LearnUp (acquired by ManpowerGroup)
  • ClipMine (acquired by Twitch)
  • Quettra (acquired by SimilarWeb)
  • Earnest (acquired by Navient Corporation)
  • 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, and South by Southwest.

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 and led marketing before its acquisition by Twitter. Samantha was Founder and CEO of Copywriter Central and sold the company. She was the Executive Director of Technovation, the global startup competition for girls. She was a speaker at Stanford University, Juniper Networks, Google, and Technoport Norway.


What benefits do I get as a member of FFL?

Benefits you get as a member of FFL include:

  • Group mentoring sessions
  • Lunches in Palo Alto
  • Office hours with advisors
  • Online community with 200+ talented alumni
  • Access to FFL Startup Showcase
  • Events with notable speakers that have included Marissa Mayer (Yahoo/Google), Jess Lee (Sequoia/Polyvore), Louis Perrochon (Google/YouTube), Dylan Tweney (VentureBeat), Karen Roter Davis (Google), and Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC)
  • $100,000 in Amazon Web Services credits
  • $100,000 in Google Cloud Platform credits
  • Up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credits
  • Up to $1,200 cash and fees waived for 2 years with First Republic Bank
  • Free CRM and 90% off HubSpot Marketing and Sales 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 up to $300k in software credits and other perks. The fee is usually tax-deductible (check with your tax advisor to confirm).



Teams are required to be working on early-stage software technology startups in the San Francisco Bay Area and have at least one full-time team member.

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 FFL events during the class
  • Share your learnings, do a product demo, and prepare a pitch
  • Be an active member of the community and help each other out



The 2018 Spring FFL Class runs from April to June 2018 and the deadline to apply is March 2nd.


How can my company apply to FFL?

  1. Submit an application.
  2. If you already have a 1-pager or ppt presentation, please email it to ffl@joinffl.com.
  3. If it makes sense to move forward, we'll invite you into the office for a demo/interview.



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.