For aspiring entrepreneurs, the opportunity to pitch their business idea in front of a room of deep-pocketed investors is often nothing more than fantasy. The Founder Institute is looking to change that.
In just four years, FI has helped to launch over 750 businesses across 40 cities worldwide – making them the world’s largest startup accelerator. They’ve done so by taking students with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial sense through a rigorous 15 session semester. During the sessions, students take their business idea from concept to company through incorporation and the production of a prototype to be presented to investors at the FI Showcase.
Courses throughout the semester are focused on specific business topics such as branding, finance, public relations, and technology development, among others. All courses are taught by mentors and experts in the field, most of whom are successful entrepreneurs themselves. The students and mentors work together to develop and perfect each student’s business concept, and every week the budding entrepreneurs pitch their company to the group for criticism and feedback. Due to the rigor and pace of the program, approximately 60% of the students drop out throughout the semester, typically leaving a dozen or less who make it to graduation and the Showcase.
The 2012-2013 FI New York Winter Semester Showcase will take place on March 18 and feature the
semester’s nine top graduates. After spending four months scoping and refining their business plans, they will have the opportunity to pitch them to investors, advisors, press, and fellow entrepreneurs.
The companies pitching range from education to motorcycles to beauty, and everything in between.
PathGather, a marketplace for online education that helps you find the right online courses for you, will demo alongside companies like BikeMinds, an online community for networking and shopping that targets motorcycle enthusiasts. Riding the new wave of taxi apps, TaxiBuddie will pitch its new app for a cost-saving and efficient taxi sharing solution in urban centers and airports. In a city where the apartment search seems never-ending, Brinkway situates itself as a one-stop destination to make moving ‘simple’.
Whether this semester’s presenting companies will join the long list of successful startups produced
by Founder Institute is left to be determined, but their demos at the March Showcase are sure to be a launching pad for some – and if they’re lucky, profitable.
To attend, register at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5582908630. The event will take place at Microsoft BizSpark on Monday, March 18 from 6:15pm – 8:30pm.