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Washington DC Autumn 2013
Sessions: 2013-11-19 - 2014-03-04
Our vision is to Globalize Silicon Valley by creating and fostering local startup ecosystems in promising markets across the globe. We aim to help launch 1,000 technology companies per year in over 75 cities worldwide.
Welcome to my blog at the Founder Institute. Enjoy!
The Founder Institute is proud to announce the first 28 nominees for the the Top Mentors of 2011. There are 11 awards that will be handed out on April 24th, including Most Locations Mentored, Most Interesting Company and Highest Rated in the Americas.
Drumroll for the nominees, please...
With startups, being fast is actually better than being right. A founder needs to make hundreds of critical decisions, and any indecision can literally grind all progress to a halt. At the same time, you have to be right more often than not.
Making decisions that are both fast and correct is no small feat, but here is a simple decision making framework that I use: (1) Boil it down to a binary decision. (2) Make the decision quickly. (3) Observe the outcome. (4) Adjust if necessary. And, introduce a conditional for the toughest decisions.
It does not take but one minute to look around the world and prove any thesis of a peak tech founder age incorrect. There are countless entrepreneurs over the age of 30, including Reid Hoffman (age 35 in 2002), Evan Williams of Twitter (age 35 in 2007), Mark Pincus of Zynga (age 41 in 2007), Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post (age 54 in 2005), among many others.
Here 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.
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. I hope that the answer is helpful.
Launching a startup takes a lot of hard work, and you do not know if the idea is going to be successful until it is often too late. The Institute tries to help Founders refine and test their idea before spending months or even years pursuing something that will fail.
In the following 30 minute video, ten quick steps are discussed to take an idea that you like and launch it for less than $2,000.
The majority of Founders that apply and enroll in the Institute do not have a polished business idea. The first 30-45 days of the program is dedicated to ideation, where Founders are pushed to refine and defend a set of ideas that they are passionate about.
In the following 17 minute video, there is a five step process to develop a great startup idea. The premise is that great ideas are raised rather than born.
The following is one of my talks for the Founder Institute on the benefits and tactics of research for your startup. Founders have a tendency to fall in love with their own idea before they have completed necessary research to validate that the idea is legitimate.
In the talk below, I provide an overview of how the character of different markets affects the reality of operation. Then, the talk covers how good research helps a founder understand both the journey and the destination.
The Founder Institute helps launch hundreds of companies worldwide by building local startup communities where promising founders, experienced CEOs, and top-tier service providers work together in an innovative and collaborative environment. The idea is simple - take the best practices and culture of the startup scene from Silicon Valley - and globalize it.
Graduating from the Founder Institute is challenging. A Founder needs to develop an engaging idea for a technology company, plan out the business, work on an offering and incorporate a company, all within a four month timeframe. For the Graduates, there are multiple rewards. Here are ten, ordered from tangible to intangible.
The following video is of a talk that explains the Founder Institute to 85 interested applicants in Seattle on Monday, November 2nd, 2009. The philiosophy, the vision, and the economics are all described in a well produced video, as well as the answer to some common questions.
If you are thinking to apply, this is worthwhile to watch. Enjoy!
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