The Founder Institute was launched in 2009 with a mission to empower talented and motivated entrepreneurs to launch enduring businesses.
To manage thousands of applications at scale, FI worked with leading social scientists to develop an objective 'Entrepreneur DNA Assessment' that predicts the likelihood that someone can become a successful founder of a fast-growth company - regardless of their idea, locale, or demographic.
Talented people and execution are the ingredients behind successful technology companies, so to apply to the Founder Institute, you don't need to submit an idea. Rather, applicants take a 30 minute online assessment containing a battery of personality and aptitude evaluations.
To date, over 70,000 people have applied, and the Founder Institute pre-seed accelerator has helped launch 6,500 technology companies across 6 continents.
Rather than subjectively judging startup ideas, the admissions criteria for the FI accelerator is an online battery of tests that quantifies the greatest variable in startup success: the founder(s).
Accepted founders join an intense 4-month accelerator to launch a startup. Each week they get ratings on their progress from peers, program leaders, and experienced mentors.
After graduation, the FI Portfolio Support team continues rating the founders on their company performance 'in the real world', with all data fed back into the weighting of the assessment.
Through a flow of continous data, regression analysis from PhDs, and frequent test updates, FI has built and can maintain a statistically validated test for identifying the highest potential entrepreneurs.
The Entrepreneur DNA Assessment, which was formed utilizing our own data and extensive peer-reviewed literature, analyzes 25 dimensions of entrepreneurship. Below are just a few.
Can you work effectively in the context of a team?
Are you resilient and intrinsically motivated to succeed?
Are you a self-starter that takes initiative in unclear environments?
Can you learn quickly and apply that learning to solve complex problems?
Applicants to the Founder Institute pre-seed accelerator can get a free Entrepreneur DNA Report Preview immediately after completing the assessment.
The assessment only takes about 30 minutes, and your Report Preview will highlight the personality traits you possess that will help you be a strong entrepreneur, the traits that may hinder you, and how you compare to the average scores of 70,000+ applicants worldwide.
The Founder Institute appears to have developed an assessment that any population, any city, university, or country could use to determine who among them has the best shot at succeeding as an entrepreneur.
We have found many traits that correlate positively with entrepreneurship. Here is a sampling of some 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.
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.
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 removed I.Q. from our assessment several versions ago.
Conscientiousness measures the responsibility and industriousness of a candidate, but we have not seen a strong correlation with success.
Working with social scientists, we analyzed the assessment scores for successful founders. The majority of these founders fit into nine 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.
Armed with an adventurous and forward-thinking attitude, Innovators are all about experimenting with the old and exploring the new.
Equipped with a strong sense of duty and an aptitude for solving problems, The Machine always delivers a product on schedule.
The Prodigy is blessed with an inherent business sense and instinct, and leverages these skills across all facets.
A creative and tactical thinker, The Strategist is always coming up with effective and efficient game plans.
The Visionary is constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ideas, and devising new ways to put them into action.
With thoughtful planning and disciplined thinking, Architects have a natural ability to execute on great visions.
Inventors are constantly uncovering unique market insights that keep them one step ahead of the competition.
The Achiever simply refuses to lose, and will work night and day to ensure that they don't.
Apply to the Washington DC Founder Institute and immediately get your Entrepreneur DNA Report Preview
Leverage 13+ years of research for due diligence, identifying entrepreneurial talent, and more
The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. Since 2009, our structured accelerator programs have helped over 6,500 entrepreneurs raise over $1.75BN in funding. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 95 countries, our mission is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology companies worldwide.