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Founders Investing In Founders

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Founders coming together to energize local and regional businesses

Founders Investing in Founders is investing in our economy by helping startups build stronger and advance to the next level. Bringing their own experience of growing and even rebuilding businesses in the face of challenges, the founders are committed to supporting entrepreneurs, fueling economic recovery, and driving business success throughout the region and beyond.

Meet the Investing Founders

Jill Nelson

Former Founder & CEO

Allie Magyar

Founder & CEO

Ivo Lukas

Founder & CEO

Jim Gochee

COO

Monica Enand

Founder and CEO

Mat Ellis

Co-Founder & CEO

About the Program

In early 2020, the Technology Association of Oregon saw a need to ensure greater gender and racial representation in the organization’s executive engagement programming for early-stage companies. Soon after that came the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of the global economy, threatening the viability of nearly half of small businesses in the Pacific Northwest alone. The need was clear: At a time of unique challenges, startups needed mentorship, guidance and resources to help them not just survive but thrive.

The inaugural business leaders of Founders Investing in Founders committed to an initial pilot program consisting of support for early-stage startups for up to three years. While our roots are in the tech industry, we want to support the complete breadth of innovative services, products and skills that build the community we live and work in.

Founders will invest time, money, and resources in the success of participating entrepreneurs. That may include mentorship, business counsel and strategy, as well as access to sources of funding. Entrepreneurs will also enjoy free membership in TAO, with quarterly events and networking opportunities throughout the year.

Become part of TAO Founders Investing in Founders to help your startup or established small business grow and succeed. 

Who’s eligible?

  • Businesses less than 3 years old with under $500,000 annual recurring revenue (ARR)

Program benefits:

  • Free membership in TAO for 3 years or until business reaches $500,000 ARR
  • TAO quarterly events, networking, mentorship and guidance
  • Access to TAO’s Executives in Residence expertise
  • A range of funding opportunities

Get involved!