Gold Sponsors

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. 

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

 

Ravix Group - Ravix Group Inc.provides seasoned consulting expertise to outsource the finance, human resources, and facilities functions of early-stage and middle market companies so that management can focus on their priorities to increase the value of their company. 

 Venue Partners

Focus Product Design is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley and helps entrepreneurs, start-ups and established companies bring product ideas to reality with a phase-gated methodology of market research, industrial design, engineering and manufacturing.

WePay helps platforms and marketplaces facilitate payments without having to worry about risk or compliance.

Promotional Partners

What is the Bonus Pool?

Posted by Adeo Ressi on 2011-02-10

Below is an answer that I recently gave to a question about the Bonus Pool. It is not uncommon for applicants to misunderstand the Bonus Pool and therefore look at the Pool like a cost, rather than an innovative benefit. I hope that the answer is helpful.

If an enrolled Founder chooses to join the Bonus Pool, then the Founder contributes 3.5% of their company in the form of warrants to a Bonus Pool. In exchange, the Founder receives a share in the cash returns of the Pool.

If one Graduate sells for $200 MM, this may return $4 MM to the Bonus Pool after some dilution and purchasing the warrants. In such a circumstance, another Graduate from the same semester might receive a Bonus Pool check for $80,000. This return is not an investment. It's a personal bonus. It's cash to use for anything you want, from groceries to servers.

All Founder Institute stakeholders share in the Bonus Pool, including local Mentors and local Directors, and there is a separate Pool for each graduating semester. Founders get 30% of the Pool, Mentors get another 30%, local Directors and partners get 25% and the Institute keeps 15% as a long-term management fee. The indivual portion that each Mentor receives depends on the anonymous ratings they receive from the Founders. The point here is that everybody's interests are aligned in creating the best possible pool of companies. 

Graduates share in the upside from the success of their peers through the Bonus Pool. This creates an unusual level of camaraderie. It also reduces the risk of creating a startup. Any one startup has a high chance of failure, but there is much greater odds for success across 10, 15 or 20 Graduates. You can fail and still see upside from your efforts in the Institute.

Ultimately, the 3.5% and the Bonus Pool are a benefit that is unique to the Founder Institute. Instead of selling equity for a few thousand dollars, you are personally participating in the long-term success of your peers. You get upside once reserved for savvy investors.

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