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Female Founder Fellowship

The Female Founder Fellowship is awarded to the most extraordinary female applicant for each semester, giving them the opportunity to participate in the Founder Institute for free. The recipient will be recognized as a female with the utmost potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur.

The Founder Institute is committed to narrowing the gender gap in high tech startups. When we announced the Female Founder Fellowship program in 2011, only 16% of Founder Institute companies were founded by females. Since then, the results of this program have been astounding, as our overall number of female-founded companies has more than doubled, to a total of approximately 33%. This is more than twice as high as most other startup programs. Learn more about the Female Founder Fellowship program here

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the Female Founder Fellowship for the upcoming semester, you must complete your application, be accepted to the program, and submit your payment by the Early Deadline listed on the top of this page. Any female who follows these guidelines will be automatically eligible - no further steps are required. 

Grant: The Female Founder Fellowship is awarded to the most extraordinary female applicant for each semester. The recipient will be awarded and notified within 5 days after the Early Admissions Deadline, and they will receive a full refund on their Course Fee within 1 week of the program start date. All applicants will be notified via email when the Fellowships are awarded.

Click here to apply for the Female Founder Fellowship

Why Most New Entrepreneurs are Not Ready to be Mentored

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-03-04

In this post from his Tropical Gringo blog, Managing Partner at Socialatom Ventures and Director of the Bogota Founder Institute, shares his experience as a startup mentor in Colombia. 

Below, an excerpt of How to find a good mentor for your startup has been republished with permission:


"Because of what I do, I have the opportunity to actually mentor startups.

Each year, I probably listen to over a hundred business ideas (usually for startups), or pitches of ongoing startups. After listening to these, I normally communicate my thoughts, which sometimes include my suggestions to the entrepreneur. It’s up to the entrepreneur whether they’d like to take this advice or not.

Many entrepreneurs are surprised when I convey my philosophy on the importance of mentors. 

What I truly believe is that an entrepreneur's best mentor is their customer. 

In other words, actually finding out what a customer is willing to pay for, or what a user is willing to spend time on.

After the customer, the next most important thing is the vision of the CEO and the founding team (whether evolving or coalescing), and then finally, third, comes listening to mentors.

I’m not saying that mentors can’t and don’t make a big difference. In fact, I’ve seen first hand when entrepreneurs who have taken my own advice have translated it into incredible business results and/or million dollar fundraising success.

What I’m saying and what I truly believe is, if you have a strong team that knows how to test things in the marketplace, and a solid leader with an inspiring vision for the company, then that foundation will greatly increase your ability to interpret and execute on good advice.

As a recent Business Insider article highlighted, most of the technology visionaries we can think of had one or more mentors which helped them along the way. Nonetheless;

Even if the right mentor comes along, many entrepreneurs are just not ready to be mentored.

In Colombia, a lot has changed in the past two years. Many international mentors have visited the country, and I’ve seen the following four types of entrepreneurs; 

  1. Entrepreneurs who are "rudderless", get confused with advice from so many mentors, and are ill equipped to translate the advice into action;
  2. Entrepreneurs who have become addicted to interacting with “celebrity” mentors without building the strong "foundation" I described above, and are thus immune to advice from “mere mortal” mentors (their prospects are clearly limited);
  3. Entrepreneurs who are good at executing, good at listening, and good at processing advice (these are the most fun to be around);
  4. Entrepreneurs who have built a successful, growing business and are pretty good at distinguishing insightful advice from superficial suggestions. 


These last ones are the self-assured, talented entrepreneurs, some of whom, could build high impact businesses."


For more insights from Alan, join him at the Bogota Founder Institute, or another chapter in Latin America where he frequently mentors.  

Like this article?



[Mentor photo from Shutterstock]

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