The Founder Institute has a mission to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and launch impactful and enduring technology companies that create over one million startup jobs worldwide.
In order to reach this scale, for the last 11 years we have worked with leading social scientists to develop an objective "Predictive Admissions Assessment" that predicts the likelihood that someone can become a successful tech entrepreneur - regardless of their idea, locale or demographic.
Decoding the DNA
Talented people and execution are the successful ingredients behind successful technology companies, so to apply to the Founder Institute, you don't need to submit an idea. Rather, applicants take an hour long test containing a battery of personality and aptitude evaluations.
To date, over 50,000 people have applied, and the Founder Institute has graduated over 4,300 technology companies across 6 continents. Through evaluation of performance both in the program and in the real world, along with frequent calibration, the assessment has proven to be over 85% accurate in predicting entrepreneurial success.
What Makes a Good Entrepreneur?
We have found many traits that correlate positively with entrepreneurship. Here is a sampling of the major traits:
You don't have to drop out of college to be a successful founder. Our data shows that 34 year-olds with domain expertise and management experience have the advantage.
High Fluid Intelligence
Can you quickly learn a rule set and apply it to solve a novel problem? With a constantly changing playing field, founders must recognize patterns and quickly adapt to survive.
Are you constantly seeking new experiences and knowledge? Does your curiosity cause you to challenge accepted norms? The best entrepreneurs seek change - not the status quo.
Can you balance cooperation with antagonism? Are you generally warm and considerate, but straightforward and harsh when necessary? The best equipped founders are flexible.
Typical Entrepreneur DNA Profiles
Working with social scientists, we analyzed the assessment scores for successful founders. The majority of these founders fit into six main "personality profiles"
This person is a go-getter. With an outgoing personality and a presence that exudes confidence, they can sell just about anything. Learn more
Armed with an adventurous and forward-thinking attitude, Innovators are all about experimenting with the old and exploring the new. Learn more
Equipped with a strong sense of duty and an aptitude for solving problems, The Machine always delivers a product on schedule. Learn more
The Prodigy is blessed with an inherent business sense and instinct, and leverages these skills across all facets. Learn more
A creative and tactical thinker, The Strategist is always coming up with effective and efficient game plans. Learn more
The Visionary is constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ideas, and devising new ways to put them into action. Learn more
Bad Founder DNA
Some traits can limit you as an entrepreneur. For example:
Some major traits have no correlation with entrepreneurship, such as:
As surprising as it may sound, we have seen no correlation between I.Q. and founder success. So much so, we recently removed I.Q. from our assessment.
Conscientiousness measures the responsibility and industriousness of a candidate, but we have not seen a strong correlation with success.
Want to see sample questions?
Learn more about our admissions process and see sample questions from the assessment at FI.co/admissions.