Eric Kuhn, entrepreneur and former founder of VarsityBooks, came up with the idea to start FoundersCard in 2010. According to Crain’s New York Business, the company is an organization of entrepreneurs, who by paying an annual membership fee of $495, can be a part of meetups and discounts on a variety of purchases, like hotel room rates and custom suits. Kuhn came up with the idea after living the roller coaster lifestyle of an entrepreneur at VarsityBooks, where he saw the company raise $0 million in venture capital, go public on NASDAQ, and then proceed to drop in value and get de-listed, and then finally sold to Follett Corp.
Unlike other community entrepreneur companies, like the Entrepreneur’s Association and the Young Presidents’ Organization, FoundersCard is less formal and structured. the memberships are focused on founders of venture-backed companies and hard-core entrepreneurs that haven’t made it too far. Kuhn told Crain’s that, “On the application, we do ask for information about the entrepreneur and his or her company. What we’re looking for is a deep commitment to the entrepreneur community.”
The company currently has 7,000 members and is open globally, but 2,000 on the roster are based in NY. In its first full year of operation, the company had a revenue that exceeded $1 million. According to Crain’s NY, a majority of the members are in the technology sector, but other fields such as fashion and entertainment are represented. The members can meet one another at parties, like at the Artists Space in SoHo during Internet Week, all while saving on hotel rates with their membership discounts.