The Founder Support Fund

Introducing the Founder Support Fund

An opportunity to support the mental and emotional health of startup founders during COVID-19.

Founders frequently identify as their company, causing their mental and emotional health, and sense of self-worth, to fluctuate with the fate of their company. This means the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been particularly devastating for the founder community.

Governments and corporates have created immediate and helpful options to support startups. Now, let’s support founders

The fund will distribute flexible microgrants for founder and team wellness.

These grants, ranging from $250 to $2,500, will give founders the freedom (and encouragement) to spend on the small stuff — like ordering takeout and watching a movie rental with their family. They can also use it for counseling, coaching, classes, or other opportunities that help them be more healthy.

For more detail on the fund, see the press release.


Fund details.

  1. Up to $2,500 cash grants.
    Encouraged for any use that promotes a founder’s wellness.
  2. The grants include confidential, professional counseling services from our contracted counseling service. 
    Award recipients can have a free initial counseling session, and for all future sessions GAN pays 50% of the costs, for life.
  3. Award recipients can receive (but don’t have to ever ask for) mentorship + business services from GAN’s strategic partners. 
    These are provided by fund partners at no cost to the founder.

Nominate a founder or apply.

We are seeking accredited investors, accelerators, startup studios, and corporates to submit nominations of startup founders. Founders may also apply using the same form. A committee will choose grant recipients based on the following criteria:

  1. Impact
    Is the COVID-19 crisis the primary factor adversely affecting the business? Has the crisis resulted in a disproportionate loss of revenue or market opportunity, as compared to other startups?
  2. Resilience
    Does the founder’s belief in their mission create a will to push forward? Are they driving on in a way that’s strategic, and pivoting the business to survive and even thrive as necessary?
  3. Capital
    Does the founder have less access to other sources of capital than their peers? Are they disadvantaged as a result of their location, background, or identity?

Note: As of July 30, we’ve granted out all contributions to the fund to date.  As we receive further contributions, we plan to distribute more grants.  The committee will continue to circle back to the applications we’ve received but not yet granted.

Help us build the fund.

We’re inviting individuals, accelerators, studios, and corporations to partner with us by contributing cash or services, or joining a committee to choose which founders receive support.

$10,000GAN will match the first $10,000 contributed to the fund.


Thank you to the fund’s early partners who have made this support possible.


GAN Advisory Board Members who have made personal contributions:

Eric Mathews (Start Co.)
Liz Roberts (formerly at Valley Venture Mentors)
Dina el-Shenoufy (Flat6Labs)
Marc Nager (Greater Colorado Venture Fund)
Tim O’Connell (H-FARM Ventures)

Those interested in supporting the fund through an in-kind donation of products or services should contact Nate Nasralla at