The Founder Institute is the world's premier pre-seed startup accelerator, having helped launch over 3,500 companies across 180+ cities and six continents.
The company was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi and his colleague, Jonathan Greechan. The idea for the program spawned from operating TheFunded.com, where it became apparent that most entrepreneurs at the idea and launch stages lacked the structure, mentorship, and camaraderie needed to be successful.
News of the launch was announced on TechCrunch, the first Founder Institute program structure was crowdsourced by over 10,000 CEO members of TheFunded.com, and the inaugural program started in May 2009 in a small classroom at Stanford University. There were originally no plans to expand beyond Silicon Valley, but upon receiving immense inbound interest to launch the program in other cities, the Founder Institute began to expand. Today the program operates across 180
In total, Founder Institute Graduates have raised over $800M and are worth an estimated $20B.
Our VISION is that there are talented problem-solvers everywhere whose potential can be unlocked to make an impact on the world through entrepreneurship.
Our MISSION is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology-enabled companies worldwide.
We BELIEVE that
- Great companies start with great people.
- Great companies can be built anywhere.
- Great companies are not built alone.
- Anyone can change the world through entrepreneurship.
- Entrepreneurship can only be learned by doing.
- Startups are much harder than you think.
We help pre-funding entrepreneurs and teams build an enduring company by establishing a critical support network of local startup experts that are invested in their success, and providing a structured and challenging business-building process that has helped our alumni raise over $800M. Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more.