The project was conceived by Matthew Wise, who wondered what it would have been like to watch raw video footage of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and other tech founders during their formative years. When Larry and Sergey were building Google, Matthew was in the jungles of Southeast Asia working as a Naval Corpsman (combat medic) with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.
Back then video wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is today, and hardware costs were very expensive. Fast-forward to the present and you have HD video cameras for less than $200, and the world is an aspiring filmmaker’s oyster. Combine this with the vibrant startup scene that’s exploding today, and it’s really the perfect time to build a service like FounderLY.
Matthew stumbled upon the startup scene in grad school at Berkeley where he developed a small amount of social capital, enough to develop relationships with figures like Steve Blank, Mike Maples, Eric Ries, Naval Ravikant and others. Along with cofounder Andy Saebjoernsen, Matthew devised a way to film more than 36 tech founders in four weeks.
Matthew and Andy were able to invest a small amount of their social capital to get interviews of notable founders and then the project snowballed from there. Before they knew it they had a backlog of new and notable founders requesting to be interviewed. They built an open platform to enable other founders around the world to participate in FounderLY. Any founder may film a fellow founder, so long as you follow the FounderLY roadmap, and submit the video to FounderLY. FounderLY will then package it with an intro, bumper, and a closing, and publish it to its website www.FounderLY.com. We hope that other founders will help carry the torch and film fellow founders and contribute to our project.
Matthew Wise cofounded FounderLY as a way of giving back to the entrepreneur and open source communities. He is a closet chef, and (more recently) a hack documentary filmmaker. He has been involved in the startup space since 2004 when he moved to the Bay Area to attend grad school at Berkeley where he caught the proverbial entrepreneurial itch. He launched a startup out of law school and has never looked back. He is a world traveler, film aficionado, and someone who deeply appreciates design, ingenuity, and building things. He currently works as cofounder of Cosemble. Previously he served as a Naval Corpsman (combat medic) with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. BA, UC San Diego. JD, Berkeley.
Andy Saebjorensen (aka “The Viking”) drank the kool-aid and jumped on board as cofounder of FounderLY. He is the technical brains behind the operations, originally hailing from Norway as a physicist turned hacker. He fell in love with developing consumer web apps and being involved in startups. He has developed several consumer web apps and contributes to the open source community Github code repository. Andy enjoys travel, brunches with friends, hiking, and grooving out to good jazz music during Ruby on Rails hackathons. He is a cofounder of Cosemble. BS University of Oslo. PhD candidate Computer Science, UC Davis.
Tony Chen is a founding team member of FounderLY. He works as a freelance photographer, filmmaker, visual effects and post-production manager. He oversees all aspects of photography, video production, and programming of our founder stories, rendering them with good picture and sound quality, which is no small feat given that we shot all of our footage using a $200 camera. He enjoys visual arts, capturing unique moments with his camera, spending time with his girlfriend and family, and eating local Chinese cuisine. BFA in Visual Effects, San Francisco Academy of Art University.