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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the premier legal advisor to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide. We represent companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multibillion-dollar global corporations, as well as the venture firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that finance and advise them. The firm's broad range of services and practice areas are focused on addressing the principal challenges faced by the management, boards of directors, shareholders, and in-house counsel of our clients.

.CO is the web address where the world’s innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and brands come together to build and grow their ideas and organizations online.

CodigoDelSur is a designer and developer of digital products. Having worked with Founder Institute startups in the past, they come as a highly recommended Founder Institute referral. They are composed of highly skilled software, web, and mobile app developers, who are excited to incorporate the latest technologies into the applications they develop.

Xero is everything you need to run your business financials. Work with a beautiful small business accounting software complete with accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory and more. Xero seamlessly integrates with over 500+ business apps, including CRM, point-of-sale, time tracking, ecommerce, just to name a few. Join the 700,000+ businesses using Xero in more than 180 countries.

Vet-Tech is America's Veteran-led Startup Accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley. With over 100 military veteran startups in our community, Vet-Tech's top 20 portfolio companies have raised over $10 Million in funding and have been accepted into world class programs like Tech Stars and Founder Institute.

Startup Weekend


Through the Startup Weekend Fellowship, members of the Startup Weekend Community who want to start a technology company can apply to the Silicon Valley Founder Institute chapter for free, and the best overall applicant will be invited to participate in the Founder Institute's step-by-step startup launch program for free as well.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the Startup Weekend Fellowship for the upcoming semester, you must complete your application and admissions test by Sunday, December 11th, 2016, using this link.

Grant: The recipient of the Startup Weekend Fellowship will be awarded within 5 days after the deadline.

Click here to apply for the Startup Weekend Fellowship.

How to Build the Foundation for Your Startup

Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2014-07-31

The Founder LaunchPad gives aspiring entrepreneurs exclusive tips and tricks through video clips from the Founder Institute's worldwide network of 3,100+ mentors. For more Founder LaunchPads, visit our Startup Founder 101 YouTube Channel.

In this week's Founder LaunchPad, Marcos Polanco, Co-Director of the Puerto Rico Founder Institute, provides three methods that will help you construct the core of your company. He encourages Founders to explore and utilize the latent skills which make them unique. Marcos then advises entrepreneurs to root themselves to their startup in order to create a vision that will attract the right consumers, and stand the test of time.

4 Questions That Will Help You Discover Your Entreprenuerial Strengths

In this video, Marcos highlights the idea that every human being has at least one area of proficiency. He urges his audience to explore any hidden skill or ability that could help launch a successful business. If you are unsure of where your expertise lies, answer these four questions to help uncover your entrepreneurial strengths:

  • What do you love to do that never bores you?
  • What do you do that doesn’t seem like work?
  • Im at my best when_______.
  • Does doing ______ for twenty years create your vision?

According to Marcos,

You have superpowers. Every human being has some savant ability in some area… So what are you the best in the world at? What unique capability can you bring to your company?”


Can Your Passion Withstand Time?

Here, Marcos shares an exercise that will help you devise a startup idea, rooted in your character and aspirations. He challenges Founders to visualize themselves running a business until their last days on earth:

  • For a moment picture that you are are 92 or even 102.
  • The undertaker is about to come.
  • What are you going to tell him? 
  • If you plead for more time to manage your company, then you know that you’re pursuing your passion.

According to Marcos,

 To the extent that you are totally and completely living your life, your dream, no one can compete with you. As Adeo sometimes says, 'people can copy your idea, but nobody can steal your dream.' That is how you are able to root your startup in who you are.”


Don't Pitch Your Product, Pitch Your Passion

In this episode, Marcos explains the importance of selling your passion rather than your product. If you successfully attract people to your startup’s vision, there will be no need for “sales”:

  • Declare your startup’s core purpose.
  • Construct a strategy to achieve this purpose.
  • Share your vision with your targeted audience.
  • Generate sales through your vision, not your product. 

According to Marcos,

You should be so excited to bring people to your vision, that there is no such thing as 'sales'." 


The Bottom Line

Your startup's foundation should stem from what matters most to you in life. It should root to your dreams and passions, it should encompass your soul and being. You must establish a strong connection with your startup in order to create a vision that not only influences, but attracts an audience that is willing to advocate for your brand. 

According to Marcos,

Today you have the opportunity to build your vision. To look inside yourself and ask, ' What do I want to build by the time that I perish? What is it that I can do today? What do I want my tombstone to say about my life? Answering these questions will give you your vision."

If you could benefit from expert training and feedback to launch a company, apply to the Founder Institute today. We are currently accepting applications in many cities worldwide.

(Image of businessman looking at starting point on road via Shutterstock)

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How to Build the Foundation for Your Startup

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