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

Founder Insight

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2014-02-04

An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Serendipity: How to Make Your Own Luck

You would be hard pressed to find any successful entrepreneur who doesn't attribute at least some of their success to good luck. And, the same goes for most unsuccesful entrepreneurs as well, whose companies have fallen to odd and seemingly random instances of bad luck. 

In this post, Michael Lisovetsky analyzes the mindset an entrepreneur should have with respect to luck, and even provides guidelines on how to "make your own luck."

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2014-01-28

Notes on the Current State of Startup Funding, from Naval Ravikant of AngelList

On the Datafox blogNiv Dror selects the best video talks from startup luminaries, and then summarizes them into easily-digestable notes - which perfect for startup founders who don't have time to watch hour-long videos. They call it the DataFox Video Notes Series.

Recently, they summarized a talk from a good friend of the Founder Institute: Naval Ravikant, Co-Founder & CEO of AngelList. Check it out here...

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2014-01-14

Pitching Your Business vs. Planning Your Business

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from the LivePlan.com blog, LivePlan CEO, Sabrina Parsons, addresses the idea that startup founders are putting more and more emphasis on their pitch and less on their business plan. While a great pitch is critical to getting any business off the ground, a business plan is an essential key to success and shouldn't be neglected.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2014-01-13

How to Find a Co-Founder for Your Startup, by George Deeb

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, George Deeb, Managing Partner at Red Rocket Ventures and Chicago Founder Institute mentor, outlines steps for how to find the best co-founder for your startup. Deeb says, "as you should when making any new hire, make sure you have thoroughly done your homework on a candidate before "jumping in bed" with them."

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2014-01-07

Michael Reuter Describes his Experience Mentoring Founder Institute Companies

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

Founder Institute Mentors provide the support, feedback, and guidance that has helped our early-stage founders launch over 1,230 businesses since the Institute was founded in 2009. 

In this post from his personal blogFounder Institute Mentor Michael Reuter shares his experience being a mentor in the Munich Founder Institute. 

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-12-26

Pitching Investors the Right Way

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from the Wicked Start blog, New York Founder Institute mentor, Bryan Janeczko, shares some key tips for pitching your startup to investors. "One of the toughest moments in your business life will probably be asking someone else to give you money to fund your dream", says Bryan.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-12-19

Five Lessons from Scuba Diving on How to Survive a Startup

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from the PlayFitness blog, New York Founder Institute grad, Pavel Asanov, compares his experience as a long-time scuba diver, to his most recent endeavor - starting a company. Pavel suggests scuba diving and startups have a lot more in common than you might initially suspect.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-12-11

5 Things I Learned as an Entrepreneur This Year

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, Lima Founder Institute mentor, Bradley Joyce (CEO, Socialyzer), shares 5 important lessons in entrepreneurship he learned last year.

Bradley is a mentor for the Lima Founder Institute, which is currently accepting applications for the upcoming Summer 2014 Semester. 

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-12-08

How I Hacked My US Startup Visa

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post by Silicon Valley grad, Mike Galarza (CEO, Entryless), Mike addresses the flaws of the US immigration system, and shares the story of how he managed to get his visa to launch a startup in the US . How I Hacked My US Startup Visa originally appeared on Quartz.com and has be republished to the FI blog.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-12-03

Get to No as Fast as You Can

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

The following post is by CodeGuard CEO, and Atlanta Founder Institute mentor, David Moeller. An experienced startup founder, Moeller offers advice to new founders on how to survive the challenges of launching a new company. "Don’t give up", he says. "It has to be tough. And you wouldn’t want it any other way."

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-20

Lessons Learned from the Largest Kickstarter Campaign in History for a Board Game

What does it take to kick ass on Kickstarter? Ask serial entrepreneur, Dan Shapiro, who's most recent project, Robot Turtles, landed the title as the most successful Kickstarter campaign, ever, for a board game. In this post from his blog, Dan shares the lessons he learned from beginning to end, including tips for how to have a successful campaign of your own.

Don't miss out on getting feedback on your startup from Dan- join him Thurs, Nov 21 in Seattle for Founder Office Hours 101.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-20

Paying It Forward: How to Help New Startups Rise to the Top, by Dan Shapiro

As part of our Top Mentor Q&A series, we recently asked Seattle Founder Institute mentor, Dan Shapiro, 'why it's so important for experienced entrepreneurs to mentor new founders?'. To answer our question, Dan directed us to this gem of a blog post.

Read on to learn more about How to Help Startups.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-18

What Investors Want to Learn From Your Business Plan, by Sabrina Parsons

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from the LivePlan.com blog, LivePlan CEO, Sabrina Parsons, outlines how draft a business plan that will effectively sell your business to investors and seal the deal you're after.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-14

Launch a New Founder Institute Chapter and Wire the Silicon Valley Mindset into your Community [Infographic]

Governments around the world routinely invest massive sums of money into taxpayer-supported venture funds, extravagant office parks, and even whole cities, in the hopes of “creating the next Silicon Valley.”  But Silicon Valley cannot be replicated from the top down with money and facilities.

Why, you ask? Because Silicon Valley is not a place. It’s a mindset.

Learn more about how to wire your community for innovation here.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-12

Only Fools Launch Startups for Fame and Fortune

Learning from someone who has been there, done that, is always huge bonus when starting something new. Having professional insight to the ins and outs of starting up can help aspiring entrepreneurs avoid lethal mistakes, and maybe even get a leg up on the competition.

In this Q&A, Founder Institute mentor, Joe Abraham, shares valuable insights from his experience as a serial entrepreneur. His most prudent piece of advice: don't do it for the fame or fortune.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-11

Interviewing Customers is a Special Kind of Torture

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from the Customer Dev Labs blog, Founder Institute mentor, Justin Wilcox, shares the process of how he interviews customers. If you would like to hear more from Justin, join him Nov 14 for Lean Startup Modeling 101.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-11-04

5 Tips to Improve Your Teachings as a Startup Mentor, by Jimmy Hendricks

In this guest post by Jimmy Hendricks, CEO and Co-Founder of Deal Current and top rated mentor for the San Diego Founder Institute, Jimmy shares what he has learned throughout his years mentoring new startups. He outlines five best practices for new mentors, and those looking to improve their teaching.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-30

Six Reasons Your Startup WONT Raise Capital, by @DaveParkerSEA

Founder Feedback gives you insight from the startup trenches.

In a post from his blog, Dave Parker, VP of Product at UP Global and mentor for the Seattle Founder Institute, lists his top 6 reasons startups fail to raise capital. He says, before taking friends and family investments, make sure you aren’t making any of these 6 mistakes.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-29

The Cost of Running A Startup (Infographic)

Running a startup is not an easy task or venture. There are a lot of critical factors to consider. One of which would have to be the cost.

In this infographic from Staff.com, their data offers a simple overview of the starting cost of launching a startup in eight major cities around the world. Check out their findings - will they change where you decide to start up?

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-28

Repeat Your Successes, Not Your Failures. Failure Is Overrated, by Ross Kimbarovsky

Founder Feedback gives you insight from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, Chicago Founder Institute mentor, Ross Kimbarovsky (Co-founder, CrowdSPRING), shares a personal experience about learning from failure, and explains why not every failure is a learning experience.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-17

The Importance of Timing and Luck for Your Startup, by George Deeb

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, George Deeb, Chicago Founder Institute mentor and Managing Partner at Red Rocket Ventures, explains why being in the right place at the right time can make or break your startup.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-15

Postmortem: Why My Startup Was Put To Rest, by Brajeshwar Oinam

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post by Brajeshwar Oinam, he explains why Levoma, a new take on Online Dating, went under after two years in operation, and what he learned from his whirlwind experience with starting up - and failing.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-08

Your Startup Check List: 10 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Do to Launch a Business, by John P. Muldoon

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, John P. Muldoon (Co-Director, Dublin Founder Institute), shares what he took away from a talk by Schoolspace CEO, Denise O'Grady. In her talk, Denise outlines 10 tips for entrepreneurial success, starting with identifying a problem - then working like made to take it to the market.

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-08

Dream Big, Die Trying. What I Learned at the San Francisco Founder Institute, by Garrick Hismatullin

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

Telecure, a virtual medical consultation service, graduated this Summer from the San Francisco Founder Institute.

Read on to hear what Founder and CEO, Garrick Hismatullin, learned while building his company in four short months:

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Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-10-04

6 Tips for Startup Success: What Ansquick Founder, Rafael Calle, Took Away From FI

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

Rafael Calle, Co-Founder of Ansquick, recently shared what he learned this Summer while enrolled in the Founder Institute. Read on to see his 6 most important tips for new startup founders.

Ansquick is a graduate of the Barcelona Founder Institute, which is currently accepting applications for the Winter 2013 semester.

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