About Us

The Founder Institute is the world's premier pre-seed startup accelerator, having helped launch over 3,300 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 + cities and is localized into 9 languages.

In total, Founder Institute Graduates have raised over $700M 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.


  • 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.

Our Program

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 $700M. 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. 

Learn more about our pre-seed startup accelerator program.

Headquarters Team

Our central operations are run from our Palo Alto Headquarters with a small team of incredibly passionate people.

Adeo Ressi

Co-Founder & CEO

Jonathan Greechan

Co-Founder & Head of Marketing

Andrew Crawford

Head of Finance

BV Satyaram

Technology Manager

Dorian Vought

Customer Support & Expansion Associate

Drew Zias

Digital Marketing Manager


CMO (Chief Morale Officer)

Linda Barnes


Mark Montalban

Portfolio Partnerships Manager

Megan Todd

Director of Admissions

Mike Suprovici

EIR, Graduate Success & Product

Rachel Sheppard

Global Marketing Manager

Ryan Micheletti

Director of Global Operations

Sasha Rowe

Executive Assistant

Scout Tweedie-Yates

Regional Manager

Tuyet Linh Tan

Regional & Legal Manager

Global Team

Local Founder Institute Chapters are run by some of the world's top startup leaders. Below is a sampling of our longest tenured local leaders.

Ali Erhat Nalbant

Director, Istanbul

Andy Zain

Managing Director, Jakarta

Benjamin Chong

Managing Director, Sydney

Bruno Dequech Ceschin

Director, Curitiba

Dale David

Director, Manila

Emna Ghariani

Director, EMEA

Gopi Mattel

Director, Chennai

Heislyc Loh

Director, Malaysia

Jason Jacobsohn

Managing Director, Chicago

Jeanine Jacobson

Managing Director, Southern California

Jeffrey Paine

Managing Director, Singapore

Kamal Hassan

Global Director

Kevin Siskar

Managing Director, New York

Leo Ku

Director, Hong Kong

Michael Hiles

Managing Director, Cincinnati & Ohio

Milen Ivanov

Director, Sofia

Nima Kazerooni

Managing Director, Brazil

Oriol Bes

Director, Barcelona

Pablo Ambram

Managing Director, Chile

Quang Mai Duy

Director, Vietnam

Sanal Sankar

Director, Chennai

Sascha Karstaedt

Director, Berlin

Satoshi Okuda

Director, Tokyo

Sayyed Adhmad Masud

Director, Islamabad

Sergio Escobar

Managing Director, Montreal

Sunil Sharma

Managing Director, Toronto & Waterloo

Trần Mạnh Công

Director, Vietnam

Urs Rothmayr

Managing Director, Barcelona & Andalucia

There are over 250 Local Leaders or Founder Institute Chapters across the globe... please bear with us as the full team display technology is under maintenaince.