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virtual founder institute programs


Virtual Program FAQ


Founders in our virtual programs are joining interactive feedback sessions with mentors over Zoom, collaborating with their cohort via Slack, leveraging our newly released Virtual Office Hours Tools to speak privately with mentors, using our existing backend course tools to build their business, and getting access to new virtual networking and learning opportunities.

However, we also understand that health restrictions are easing and many applicants are eager to resume in-person events. 

As a result, we are offering two types of Core FI Programs until the end of 2022: "Fully Virtual", and "Virtual First".


1. Fully Virtual

Fully Virtual programs are held 100% online, with the opportunity for in-person events and networking in the future. Since these programs are held completely online, you can participate from anywhere.

2. Virtual First

These programs will contain both online and in-person events, but all required sessions will be online. Since there are no required in-person sessions, local Founders can get access to extra sessions and in-person networking events, while non-local Founders can still participate from anywhere.


Have questions about the virtual experience? 

Below is a collection of answers to the most common questions.


Are virtual programs as good as in-person programs?

The Founder Institute has been running Fully Virtual and Virtual First programs since 2016, including all of our Post-Programs. Virtual is nothing new for us, and feedback from these programs have been overwhelmingly positive. 

If anything, the virtual component gives our Founders even more opportunities for collaboration, relationship building, and feedback when building their startup, such as;

  1. More Office Hours Opportunities with Local Leaders and Mentors, using our newly built Office Hours scheduling tools.
  2. Access to bonus networking and educational online events, where they can meet entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors from across the globe.
  3. Fast Track to our Post-Programs ("Founder Lab"), where you can work closely with our Silicon Valley HQ virtually to reach advanced milestones like raising a seed round of funding for your business.  
  4. Free and unlimited global program access for life. In the future, FI Alumni can attend any in-person program session in any city around the world at anytime (including any future in-person program in your city). 

If a program is virtual, can I apply to any program?

We reserve the majority of spots in every program for local participants.  While the sessions may be virtual, building a local network remains a large benefit of the program.

Therefore, if you apply to a program other than the program in your local area we reserve the right to transfer your application to the program located closer to you. We will always reach out via email to discuss this with you.


Will I still be able to connect with mentors and other founders?

Yes. In addition to meeting your Mentors and fellow Founders on the weekly virtual sessions (which will take place on Zoom), you will get dedicated Slack channels and Zoom Rooms to effectively leverage working groups, access to one-on-one Office Hours, and more.

Virtual programs have also opened the opportunity for more networking across cities and countries, so we now host regular global networking sessions as well. 


Should I wait until the next cohort to have the in-person experience?

That is a personal decision, and we are happy to defer your acceptance to a future cohort. However, please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee when the next cohort will take place, or if that cohort will be in-person or virtual again. 

Keep in mind that all FI Graduates can attend any future in-person program session in any city around the world (including any future in-person program in your city).


What if I don't think a Fully Virtual or Virtual-First program is right for me?

In our opinion, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how the world does business. We have entered a "new normal", where remote networking, management, and collaboration will play a significantly larger role than before the pandemic. 

Even if you don't think a virtual FI program is right for you, we strongly recommend you adapt to doing business and collaborating remotely (you likely will have no choice). 


How can I get answers to more questions?

We understand you may have questions, so we have many options for you to get them answered. You can check our general program FAQ, or get in touch with us in any of the following ways:

  1. Join an Online Information Session.
  2. Join an upcoming event.
  3. Reply to any email you have received from us and you will receive a prompt response.