About

Gold Sponsors

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati  is the premier legal advisor to technology and growth enterprises worldwide, as well as the investment banks and venture capital firms that finance them. Over the past four decades, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has established its reputation by having an unmatched knowledge of its clients' industries and deep and long-standing contacts throughout the technology sector. 

Paypal Startup Blueprint, by PayPal, is a global program that provides innovative startups with tools needed to grow and succeed.

 

Ravix Group - Ravix Group Inc.provides seasoned consulting expertise to outsource the finance, human resources, and facilities functions of early-stage and middle market companies so that management can focus on their priorities to increase the value of their company. 

 Venue Partners

Focus Product Design is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley and helps entrepreneurs, start-ups and established companies bring product ideas to reality with a phase-gated methodology of market research, industrial design, engineering and manufacturing.

WePay helps platforms and marketplaces facilitate payments without having to worry about risk or compliance.

Promotional Partners

The Founder Institute is the world's largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, helping aspiring founders across the globe build enduring technology companies.

                    

In our four-month, part-time program, you can "learn by doing" and launch a company through structured training courses, practical business-building assignments, and expert feedback. Plus, you are not required to quit your day job to participate.

Founder Institute Silicon Valley Autumn 2014 Semester

Early Admissions Deadline:
2014-10-12
Final Admissions Deadline:
2014-10-26
Curriculum Calendar:
2014-11-04 until 2015-02-25

(not in Bay Area? See the full list of enrolling semesters here)

 

Our Vision

Starting a company is an arduous and lonely journey, and technology entrepreneurship is a constantly evolving discipline. The Founder Institute's vision is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and help entrepreneurs across the globe launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.

 

Our Formula for "Globalizing Silicon Valley"

Talent + Training + Teamwork = Exponentially Better Chance of Success


Talent: Great Companies Start With Great People

It's very hard to judge a new founder by the quality of their idea, because there is too much subjectivity involved. To apply to the Founder Institute, you do not need to provide an idea. Instead, we use a proprietary Predictive Admissions Test to find the most talented people.

To date, over 30,000 people have applied, and the Founder Institute can predict with 85% accuracy somebody's potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur. In addition, we have found that there are great entrepreneurs everywhere. Our revolutionary entrepreneur research has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, and Forbes.

 

Training

The best way to learn is by doing. Through our structured, step-by-step curriculum of weekly training courses and business-building assignments, you graduate the Founder Institute as the Founder of an enduring company.

The Founder Institute curriculum was rigorously built using Silicon Valley best practices, and each training course is led by members of the Founder Institute's worldwide network of over 3,346 entrepreneur Mentors, that are founders themselves. Our curriculum is all action, and no theory.

See the Silicon Valley Autumn 2014 Semester Curriculum.

 

Teamwork

Silicon Valley is a collaborative ecosystem, where people of all skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences share ideas, best practices, metrics, and feedback. Why? Because helping each other and sharing expertise leads to faster iteration, more efficient innovation, and faster market growth.

To create and foster a similar collaborative culture in markets across the globe, the Founder Institute employs a unique Shared Liquidity Pool where everyone shares equity in the companies formed from each semester. Here's how it works - each Graduate contributes 3.5% of their company equity in Warrants to a 10-year Bonus Pool with other peers from the current semester. When a liquidity event occurs, the returns for each cohort are then distributed as follows:

The Founder Institute is committed to building local startup ecosystems, and when one Graduate succeeds, the local cohort receives the vast majority of the upside.

 

Other Benefits

 

Program Costs

The Institute keeps costs low, bets on the success of the companies created, and shares in the returns.

 

"If you're lucky enough to get accepted and graduate from the program, these costs are negligible. In fact, I would go as far as saying that this is the best money you'll ever spend on your business" - Gary Herman, Silicon Valley Graduate (@garyjherman)


Graduating

Graduating from the Founder Institute is challenging. First, only roughly 30% of applicants are accepted to the program. Then, less than 40% of accepted Founders generally make it through the program to Graduation. Reasons for not graduating differ, but each Founder who leaves is invited to join a future semester, when they are ready to launch a business. Read the review of a recent FI Dropout here.

In order to graduate, a Founder needs to develop an engaging idea for a technology company that is validated by the program mentors, plan out the business, work on an offering, incorporate their company, and complete all of the required assignments - all within a four month timeframe.

At the conclusion of the program, founders have a company, and path to growth fully validated by experienced startup founders. In addition, they have developed crucial leadership skills and a strong network, are ready to pitch prospective investors and team members, and have access to:

 

Testimonials

 

 

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