The Equity Collective

Since 2009, the Founder Institute has utilized a unique "Equity Collective" model to align financial incentives and ensure long term support for our Alumni throughout the entire lifecycle of their business.

More than just a series of classes, FI is invested in your success and your community's success by literally aligning our business model with your company's achievements for the long term.

How it works

Contributions

About halfway through each program, companies pledge 2.5% of their future equity in the form of a Warrant.

Sharing

From that 2.5% share, any future financial returns from a liquidity event (for example, an IPO or acquisition) are distributed back to those who helped you, with the majority returned to your local ecosystem to support local growth.

.5 % Mentors
For providing feedback and guidance both during and after the Core Program.
1 % FI HQ
For providing assistance for years to come.
1 % Local Leaders
For running the local program and building the FI community.
Please note that Founders do not sign the Warrants to join the Equity Collective at the start of the Core Program. Instead, you will be asked to join approximately two-thirds of the way through the program (Jan 24, 2023 for the Washington DC Virtual Fall 2022 cohort), allowing you to fully understand the value the Founder Institute Network provides before committing equity in your business.

Why Shared Equity?

There are several benefits to the Founder Institute's Equity Collective model.

Lifetime Support

The Equity Collective attaches a financial incentive for everyone you interact with at Founder Institute to support your growth for the long term: including your Local Leaders, Mentors, and FI HQ staff. When you're successful, everyone that helps you receives financial upside.

Support Your Community

To encourage local startup community growth, the majority of financial returns to the Equity Collective (60%) go back to your Local Leaders and Mentors. To date, over $8.5M in Equity Collective contributions have been distributed by FI HQ.

Reduced Fees

Other accelerator programs charge up to $40,000 and take up to 10% equity to attend. Our Entrance Fees are kept reasonable because our costs are offset by Equity Collective returns. Alumni also access all post-program benefits and Founder Lab for life with no additional fees or equity requirements.

Founder-Friendly Terms

The Equity Collective is enforced via a Warrant, which is a stock options-like agreement, and is activated only if you raise a threshold amount of outside capital. We don't sit on your board or have any voting powers.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. If you apply and are accepted, you only need to sign the "Entrance Agreement" to start the program. Joining the Equity Collective takes place about 2/3 the way during the Core Program.

The agreements can be found on our Agreements page. You may have localized agreements in place for your specific country.

Absolutely. Most chapters work with local legal firms who are well versed in our agreements and can walk you through the process. You are welcome to work with your own legal team to review the documents. We also provide localization of some agreements so they apply to your specific country.

Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about the Equity Collective and the Warrant. Want to talk to someone directly? Attend a live Info Session call or chat with our Admissions Support Team.

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