Tony Clemendor

The Founder Coach

Coaching Founders to succeed with the unique challenges facing high growth startups

Helping Founders Focus, Execute, and Thrive

Founder Foundation Coaching

Every founder will face unexpected challenges. You don’t have to face them alone.

Personal Milestone Coaching

Taking on bigger challenges? Need to level up? What’s your next milestone?

Helping You Launch, Fund, and Build a Strong Company

You’re no ordinary executive… You’re a Founder

Creating a business out of thin air has unique challenges. You don’t have bosses setting your directives. You don’t have an established strategy handed down from on high.  There’s no manager to hold you accountable or set your deadlines. There’s no HR department to handle your people issues.  It’s all you.

Many of the issues that you face day to day are truly unique.  Uncharted waters exist around your idea, your plan, your team, and your market. Imagine a successful founder and coach that has your back. You don’t have to just imagine it.

You have to create and sell the vision

You have to inspire as well as manage

You have to delegate effectively in order to scale

You need to be the “Chief Executor” and own the results

You have to recruit talent and build a unified team

You have to decide when to raise money

You have to find investors and raise money

You have to deploy that money effectively

You have to know when to pivot or accelerate

Some of the areas where I help my clients include…

Leadership / Management

Leveling up your leadership talents to help you lead your team toward a common goal and manage your team dynamics and company culture

Execution / Focus / Strategy

Helping you focus on executing the projects and tasks that most effectively move the needle on your strategy and traction

Fundraising / Investor Presentations

Working with you on understanding the investor perspective and telling your story so that you can effectively engage them in your vision

Life

Helping you to keep sight of the bigger picture of your life, health, relationships, emotional state, and personal goals

What Is Founder Coaching?
Who is Coaching For?

You might have some questions about Founder Coaching and I’m happy to answer any questions when we speak. Feel free to contact me about a complimentary session to see if coaching might help you achieve your goals faster. In the interim, I’ve put some of the answers you might want on the right. You can also use the contact form below just to ask more questions if you like.

What is Founder Coaching?

I’m not sure there is a formal definition because there are not that many Founder Coaches around. I treat Founder Coaching as a hybrid between Executive Coaching and Business Coaching.  Executive Coaching involves behavioral techniques to help an executive achieve a particular goal and optimize their performance. Business Coaching is helping to take a business to where the business owner wants it to go.

For startup founders, the link between Founder and Business is more integrated. The startup doesn’t exist without the founder and the founder’s actions have a profound impact on the success of the venture.  Founder Coaching addresses the specific and unique challenges of having a life so interwoven with your venture and helping you build a successful business.

 

How do you work with clients?

I meet with my clients weekly for an hour. The meetings are generally via telephone or video call based on your preference.  The calls are scheduled at a set day and time each week. If you have travel or can’t make your regular day and time for some reason, I can usually find another time that works.

Each call will generally end with short term goals for the following week building towards your main goals. If your goals, change or you develop new goals, we integrate those changes in the engagement.

For coaching to be effective, it requires trust and honest communication.  It also requires a relationship where the coach has an understanding of your personality, strengths, etc.  To give that relationship time to form, all engagements start with a 3-month minimum term and then go month-to-month.

 

Who sets the goals?

You set the goals.  While you may have a set of goals in your head, clients often add additional goals after the initial conversation or at some other point in the engagement.  Often the additional goals that get added in the initial conversation are based on areas of your life that you might not have been considering, such as “finding more family time amid startup chaos”, or “making the time to exercise”.

While you set the goals, my role is to keep us moving toward achievement of those goals and helping you overcome barriers that might be there or that might appear.

How long would I work with a coach?

Other than the initial 3-month commitment, there is no set time limit on a coaching engagement. That will depend on a number of factors including the scale of the goal, the point at which you feel like “you’ve got this” and the number of goals that you would like for us to work on together.

What type of client do you benefit the most?

While almost any founder could benefit from the help of a coach, the ones that truly get the biggest benefit from working with me, in particular, are first time CEOs or other first-time C-level executives.  

I also bring multiple benefits for the founder that doesn’t already have a close circle of advisors or a strong personal network of founder peers. I work best with someone who knows that they have the skills and talents to succeed but feels like they could use help developing and focusing those talents. Finally, I work best with founders with a growth mindset, who can consider feedback, and who communicate authentically.

How do I know if you are the right coach for me?

There’s only one way to know for sure, and that’s for us to have a discussion and see if my skills, style, and personality, seem like a good fit for your talents, style,  goals, and personality. Different coaches bring different tools and different work styles. Some follow set programs and some don’t.

The good news is that you will know after that first call. Everyone does. It’s like knowing whether you want to go on a second date.  Either things will click or they won’t. The call doesn’t cost anything but a little of your time and mine. So let’s see if we click. Click HERE to send me a note.

About Tony

I started down the founder coaching path early with a psychology degree from Tufts University followed by an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Like you, I’m a startup founder. I started the first of several businesses right out of business school. I’ve launched companies from scratch, raised money for companies, scaled to become an internationally known brand, and sold a company.

I’ve taught, mentored, and advised startups for over 20 years. I’m the Silicon Valley Chair of a Peer Network of 600+ tech founders and serve on the selection committee for my Alumni Angel group. But what’s really important is that I love helping founders. That’s why I still judge pitch competitions, create educational content, and coach.

For the longer version…

My Founder/CEO Clients Say…

“Huge thank you for everything you did for me and WePow. You definitely helped me get through a tough time personally and in the life of WePow. Couldn’t have gotten the company to a place where we could be acquired without you!”

Imo Udom

CEO & Founder, WePow (acq'd Jan 2019)

“Tony is much more than a coach: he is a mentor, advocate and genuine partner in helping his clients achieve their goals. Since we began regular sessions, I’ve seen tangible improvements in all aspects of my life, both personal and professional. I have recommended Tony to my closest friends with the full belief that they are in the best possible hands.”

Andrew Jeffery

CEO & Founder

“I didn’t realize until I was the CEO of a growth stage company how difficult it is to get straightforward and knowledgeable feedback on strategy and operations decisions. There are so many moving parts to running and growing a business that it’s easy to miss opportunities and weak spots. Tony provides critical analysis and a fresh perspective with one objective: To help me succeed.”

Brian Sather

CEO, Blacksmith, Int'l.

Find Your Balance. Set Your Goals. Take A Challenge. Reward Yourself.

Whether or not you end up working with a coach is up to you. If you are happy with the way that things in your life are working, then as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  

But if you feel like having a sounding board, advisor, confidante, guide, sometimes teacher, giver of unvarnished feedback, brainstorming partner, and sanity checker, who has no other agenda besides your success, working with and available to you on a regular and consistent basis, then take a test drive. If we talk and you don’t feel the potential, I can almost guarantee that you’ll still get something valuable out of the conversation.

Let’s Talk.  The first conversation is always free and usually surprising!