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Spring 2010 Los Angeles
Applications: Feb 28, '10
Sessions: Mar 08, '10 - Jul 14, '10
Our vision is to Globalize Silicon Valley by creating and fostering local startup ecosystems in promising markets across the globe. We aim to help launch 1,000 technology companies per year in over 50 cities worldwide.
Join the Program
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. The firm's legal expertise serves clients at all stages of growth, from venture-backed start-up companies to multibillion-dollar global enterprises. The firm's clients include some of the most recognized names in the technology, retail, life sciences, venture capital, and finance sectors. The firm has offices in Austin, Palo Alto, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.
Spring 2010 Los Angeles
The Founder Institute offers a weekly curriculum of company-building sessions designed to help entrepreneurs think through every aspect of their business, from the core idea to the revenue model. Each weekly session is lead by three startup CEO Mentors, who share their unique and often differing opinions on the topic, and provide our founders with expert feedback and advice. Participating Founders are given assignments to build key aspects of their companies between the sessions that are completed in Working Groups with their peers.
March 08, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Develop ideas for your business.
What are you passionate about? What is your vision? How do you translate passion and vision into a business idea? How do you brainstorm ideas? What are tools for evaluating your ideas? What are the makings of a good idea versus a bad idea? Should you pursue multiple ideas at once, and when should you focus on one?
CEO & Co-Founder, Futuredontics
Partner, Clearstone Venture Partners
March 15, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Validate your idea and target market.
What market are you pursuing? Is it big enough? Is it growing or shrinking? What are the other characteristics of your market, and why do you care? How do you find data on your market? How do you define your competitors? What are inexpensive tactics to do custom market research? How can you determine if you can win in your target market, and when do you decide to walk away?
Joe Betts Lacroix
March 22, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Name and brand your business.
What is a brand? Is it you? Is it your vision? How do you determine what you stand for, and then how do you come up with a good company name? What are the characteristics of a good company name? What do you need to do to protect your name?
CEO, Mandalay Entertainment
CEO, Mainwaring Creative
April 05, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Develop a plan to build your idea.
How do you get from an idea to an offering? How do you build an offering? What tactics should you use to ensure success? What is the plan to develop your offering? What are tips and tricks to make that plan accurate? What are common mistakes that every founder makes? What are the best practices? How do you navigate competition, and how do you win?
April 12, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Build a revenue model for your business.
How do you get revenue, grow revenue, and track revenue? How do you scale your business from the first dollar earned to the millionth? How important is early revenue versus long-term potential? What are symmetrical versus asymmetrical models, and which type of model holds the most promise for your business? What are the various routes to market that you can take? How do you set your revenue goals, and how do you go about meeting them?
Former CEO, SocialVibe
April 19, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Implement hiring policies and practices.
Do you need a cofounder? How do you find and choose a cofounder? What employees do you need, and when do you need them? How do you hire and fire employees? What are important qualities to look for in employees? How do you decipher a resume? What are compensation guidelines? How do you set expectations? When is it easiest and hardest to find the best resources, and why?
Managing Director, Dynamic Synergy
Vice Chairman, Affinity Media
Founder, BigBamboo LLC
May 03, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Build a legal strategy and incorporate.
Why incorporate? What are the basic legal concepts that you need to know to run a successful company? What are the key legal terms that you need to care about in contracts, with your team, and with your Board? What are common legal mistakes in startups? What are the key legal documents that a startup needs to operate? When do you need to use a lawyer, and when can you handle things on your own? How do you manage a law firm efficiently to get the best work?
CEO and Founder, uWink
May 10, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
File your provisional patents.
What is the intellectual property of your business? What types of protections are available, and what are the costs? How do you manage your intellectual property using confidentiality, copyrights, and patents? What can and what should you do on your own, and what do you need a lawyer for? What are common intellectual property problems, and how do you deal with them cost effectively?
CEO, PatentVest, Inc
Chairman Emeritus & Founder, MEF
Chairman & Co-Founder, LegalZoom.com
May 17, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Select key vendors.
What should you outsource, and what do you need to do in-house? What is the core competency of your team, and what should it to be? What vendors do you need? How do you select the best vendors for your business on the best terms? How do you evaluate the economics? What are some horror stories to avoid?
Chairman and Founder, RampRate
Founder & CEO, Social Approach
Reichart Von Wolfsheild
Chief Software Architect, CTO & Co-Founder, Qtask
May 24, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Create a message that resonates.
Who are your customers? What audience are you trying to reach? How do you tell the story of your company? How do you create the right messages? What are the best tactics for your outreach: publicity, guerrilla marketing, advertising? How much should you spend on outreach? How do you measure success?
CEO / Founder, LEHR Inc.
June 07, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Get the world to take notice.
How do you get the world to take notice of your company? What tools and materials do you need to start doing outreach? How do you identify media to write about your company? What are newsworthy stories? How do you craft a story? What are effective tactics to get social media, blog and press coverage? What tactics should be avoided?
CEO, Comunicano, Inc
CEO and Founder, ServiceMesh, Inc
CEO, Brevity Inc
June 14, 2010, at 06:30 PM:
Plan to raise your first round.
What is the right amount of money to raise from investors? How do you raise capital for a brand new company? How do you identify angels and other seed-stage investors? What do investors expect from the company? What are typical investment structures and deal terms for seed-stage financings? How do you negotiate terms?
Partner, Clearstone Venture Partners
July 14, 2010, at 06:00 PM:
Time to celebrate!
The Graduation is the beginning of an exciting period for Founders, where the seed of an idea becomes reality. Graduating Founders are invited to bring one guest of their choosing to the session and to the after party. The Institute will continue to provide office hours, add special service provider deals, assist with fundraising, and give guidance on publicity and launch strategies for Graduated Founders.