Female Founder Fellowship

The Founder Institute, the world's most challenging step-by-step program to start an impactful and enduring company, is committed to narrowing the gender gap in high-tech startups.

In 2011, we introduced the Female Founder Fellowship program, which would allow females to apply to the Founder Institute for free, and also provide a full reimbursement on Course Fees to our best female applicants in each city. At the time, only 16% of Founder Institute companies were founded by females.

Since introducing the program, our overall number of female-founded companies has increased significantly, to a total of approximately 25%. This is a great improvement, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

We have now graduated over 600 female-led companies across the globe, including including notable companies from across the globe like Realty Mogul, Feetz, Wedding Party, Tapgenes, Skimble, Memetales, Kindara, Enerknol, Rushtix, Cashtivity, Thesis Couture, 2RedBeans, GreenKidCrafts, Uplifter, and many more.

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 the Founder Institute's four-month, part-time program, promising startup entrepreneurs "learn by doing" and launch a company through structured training courses, practical business-building assignments, and expert feedback from a large network of business mentors. Plus, aspiring founders are not required to quit their day job to participate, so they can begin building a business around their ideas without putting their livelihood at risk. Our goal is to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and build sustainable startup ecosystems that will create over 1 million startup jobs.

This is not about providing special treatment - the majority of applicants to the Founder Institute do not get accepted, and this will always be the case because we employ a quantitative Predictive Admissions Test in our application process. This test was specifically designed, and is constantly calibrated, to identify entrepreneurial personality traits and remove all forms of subjective bias. The program is simply designed to grow the number of female applicants, which will ultimately lead to more female-founded technology companies across the globe.

Any female who applies and enrolls by the Early Admissions Deadline in their locale is automatically eligible for the Female Founder Fellowship. The Institute will then select the most extraordinary, qualified applicant for each chapter, and the provide them with a full reimbursement on their Course Fee. The recipient of the Female Founder Fellowship will be recognized as a female with the utmost potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur, and they will be notified within 5 days after the Early Admissions Deadline.

Learn more about the Founder Institute at

"When I entered the Founder Institute, I had zero confidence in myself as an entrepreneur. Once I finally set foot in the classroom, I was hooked, and thrilled with the realization that the other Founders were no different than myself, and that the mentors were very human and completely approachable. The Founder Institute gave me the confidence, and the skills, needed to effectively run and scale my company. The feedback I've received from mentors who have been through the same challenges I am facing as a startup has been invaluable. But maybe more importantly, going through the program helped me to redefine myself as an entrepreneur."

- Penny Bauder, Founder & CEO of Green Kid Crafts, Recipient of the San Diego Female Founder Fellowship
"I want to see a point in the not too distant future where 50% of all the new startups are founded by women or have women in the founding team."

- Adeo Ressi, Founder & CEO of the Founder Institute