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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.

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.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
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.

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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
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.


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FAST Agreement

Founder / Advisor Standard Template ("FAST")

Version 2 - Updated August 1st, 2017

 

The FAST Agreement is used by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and advisors per year to establish productive working relationships, trading advice and support for a standardized amount of equity.

The Founder / Advisor Standard Template ("FAST") was developed by the Founder Institute to help aspiring entrepreneurs in the startup launch programs that we operate worldwide set-up advisory boards and engage with the mentors that they interact with throughout the program. In 2011, the Founder Institute released the FAST Agreement to the public, and we have been making incremental updates on the Version 1 of the Agreement ever since. On August 1st, 2017, the Founder Institute has released a preview copy of Version 2, which includes a number of enhancements: 

Using the FAST Agreement, you can check a few boxes, sign the Agreement and start working. There is no longer the need for cumbersome negotiation, legal drafting and review.

The FAST Agreement

With just a signature and a checkbox on the FAST Agreement, entrepreneurs and advisors can agree in minutes on how to work together, on what to accomplish, and on the right amount of equity compensation. 

Download

New FAST versions are being refined based on feedback. If you have comments, please Contact form linked to at the bottom of this page to submit them.

Engaging an Advisor

Entrepreneurs should engage with advisors carefully. Just because someone has a good name or has domain expertise does not mean that they are a good advisor or that there is the necessary level of good chemistry. The Founder Institute recommends that an entrepreneur work with a potential advisor for at least one month and spend at least 8 hours together before discussing the FAST Agreement. The FAST Agreement does include a three-month "cliff" on equity vesting, allowing for an unproductive advisory relationship to be terminated without having the burden of allocating any equity within the first three months.

A classic approach for an entrepreneur to engage an advisor might follow the following outline.

If you are interested in engaging with dozens of potential mentors and advisors, your are invited to join a local Founder Institute startup launch program. You can apply at the link below:

Apply to the Founder Institute

The FAST Overview

There are three levels of company maturity that influence the equity compensation: idea, startup, or growth. There are also three levels of engagement for an advisor that also influence the compensation: standard, strategic, or expert. So, for example, if an advisor provides an early-stage startup with an expert level of help by meeting with the team monthly, recruiting some talent, and taking a customer call, then that advisor will earn 1% of the company in the form of restricted stock or options vesting over a two year time period; while a similar level of engagement for a growth stage company is compensated with just 0.6%. The FAST equity compensation framework is outlined below, and the full Agreement explaining everything follows.

  Idea Stage Startup Stage Growth Stage
Standard: Monthly Meetings 0.25% 0.20% 0.15%
Strategic: Add Recruiting 0.50% 0.40% 0.30%
Expert: Add Contacts & Projects 1.00% 0.80% 0.60%

The FAST FAQ

Why should I use the FAST Agreement?

The FAST Agreement is designed to save time and money negotiating advisor relationships. There is just one page to fill out, and no legal assistance is necessary.

Can I modify the FAST Agreement?

The FAST Agreement is free and can be modified as you need. Please check any modified FAST Agreement against the original template to ensure that you are not signing any unexpected terms.

Why compensate advisors with equity only?

The advisors that the FAST Agreement targets are founders and high-level executives for strategic advice through advisory board roles, and these advisors are normally compensated with equity. The FAST Agreement is not designed for traditional project consulting and "work for hire" relationships.

How much equity should I allocate to advisors? 

The FAST Agreement recommends standard equity grants for an individual advisor. It is not uncommon for a technology startup to have a 5% pool of equity allocated to a group of strategic advisors or an advisory board.  

 

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