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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.

On a 1 - 5 Scale, No Threes Are Allowed in the Founder Institute. Here’s Why...

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2012-10-01

As a mentorship-driven accelerator, the Founder Institute leans heavily on our Founder & CEO mentors to provide critical feedback to our early-stage founders. A good portion of this feedback takes place during the "Founder Hotseats" - the portion of our training sessions where founders pitch their ideas, plans, and growth strategies to Mentors, who are then asked to provide ratings and feedback on a scale of 1 - 5.

There is just one rule for Mentors during these Founder Hotseats:

No threes allowed.

Inspired by our friend George Zachary, who implemented a "no-threes" rule for himself while judging our Founder Showcase events, this scoring system is designed to polarize and focus the feedback, which should ultimately lead to deeper and more honest insight for startups in dire need of exactly that.

One of our highest rated mentors, Rajesh Setty, recently wrote about this practice on his blog, explaining why this method of polarized feedback should be sought by all startup founders. You can read the full post on Rajesh Setty's Blog here. Below is an excerpt; 

"Choosing number three as a rating is really a cop-out.

It was definitely the safe option – an option where one could sit on the fence. This was a place where you could not go wrong – if the founder made progress, you could say you were on the higher end of three and if the founder didn’t make progress, you could say you were on the lower end of three – whatever. Basically, you had an option to come out unscathed irrespective of what happened next.

Taking a Stand

Removing the option of choosing three forced everyone to take a stand – a clear stand on whether you like what you hear or not. Sitting on the fence is not an option. Choosing a two would send a message and choosing a four would send a very different message. Removing option three was a brilliant move by Adeo Ressi (Founder of FI) to completely eliminate a “cop out” choice.

Beyond Hotseats

This concept has wide ranging applications way beyond rating pitches during hot seats. Every time you ask for feedback of any kind, it is better to remove the “cop out” choice. It really doesn’t help if you get a three as a rating for anything. You don’t know what is being said. You don’t know whether they are happy or sad or they are just trying to be nice and polite. It is better to know the real feedback than to be in the fantasy world that everything is just great."

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On a 1 - 5 Scale, No Threes Are Allowed in the Founder Institute. Here’s Why...

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