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VC Lab is a four month long venture capital accelerator program created by the Founder Institute to help launch 1,000 new venture capital firms worldwide by 2025. The program focuses on pre-seed, seed and Series A funds, including seed accelerators and venture builders.

The program was started in 2020 and has helped to launch approximately 75 venture capital firms from two cohorts. Alumni funds range in size from $2 MM to $150 MM. The average time to a first close from the second cohort is 5 months, and the average first close amount is just over $1.6 MM.

We have compiled a list of common questions from VC Lab applicants for your review below.

 

How much does the VC Lab program cost?
VC Lab is free. 

How many cohorts of the VC Lab program are run per year?
VC Lab is run twice per year. 

What are the requirements to enroll in VC Lab?
All general partners are asked to agree to the Mensarius Oath (http://fndri.com/Mensarius) on social media to enroll. 

What are the requirements to graduate from VC Lab?
Enrolled general partners are expected to secure at least 10% of the fund size in capital commitments from limited partners and other fund investors to complete a first closing in order to graduate from VC Lab. 

How does the VC Lab program work for other time zones, such as Europe or Asia?
Sessions are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:00 AM Pacific time, ensuring the maximum overlap with time zones worldwide. All sessions are recorded and sent to participants that are unable to attend. 

Do VC Lab participants get introduced to limited partners or other fund investors?
Yes. VC Lab program participants have the opportunity to meet select limited partners and other fund investors at intimate Venture Forum events that are held approximately every two months. The events are structured as demo days for venture capital funds. 

Are there opportunities for additional support from VC Lab?
Yes. Select general partners will have the opportunity to do private office hours with the program leaders and Mentors as part of a Premium Upgrade. These office hours are designed to help refine the investment thesis, create the fund presentation and complete the first closing. 

How much does the Premium Upgrade cost?
Before the program starts, the Premium Upgrade costs $500 for office hours and support access over two weeks. During the program, the Premium Upgrade costs $3,000 for office hours over 4 months. 

Who are the mentors and advisors of the VC Lab program?
The two main leaders of the VC Lab program are Adeo Ressi and Mike Suprovici from the Founder Institute. In addition, there are a number of leading venture capitalists, such as Paul Bragiel, that serve as mentors. In addition, VC Lab brings in legal professionals, limited partners, service providers and others as Mentors based on the composition and needs of the cohort. 

Are there any required commitments to the Founder Institute during or after the VC Lab program?
No. There are no requirements to engage with the Founder Institute before, during or after the program. Optional opportunities to source exclusive deal flow from the global Founder Institute network and to leverage the reach of our media presence will be made available to Alumni funds.

What is the profile of successful VC Lab applicants?
VC Lab is open to anyone and everyone that is passionate about starting a venture capital firm. A strong video with a professional background is a critical component of the application, since most general partners will be pitching over video for the foreseeable future. A large network of startup founders, a background in venture capital or experience angel investing are also helpful. 

Should all partners in a prospective fund apply?
Yes. The stress and pressure of the VC Lab program has successfully helped teams solidify their relationship and also helped to determine that some partners should not work together. All prospective partners in a new firm are encouraged to apply and enroll. All partners are asked to make one application video together, using a platform like Zoom to record the multiple parties. 

How can we learn about previous graduates of the VC Lab program?
Public profiles of select VC Lab graduates can be found here (https://fi.co/insights?category=VC+Lab). Local regulations often limit the ability of venture funds to make public announcements while fundraising, and the VC Lab team works with graduate funds to make public announcements in a timely manner. 

What is the time commitment of the VC Lab program for general partners?
The VC Lab program assists general partners in securing capital commitments to complete a first close on a new venture capital fund, and this normally requires at least 25 hours per week worth of work. The VC Lab program is not educational, and the work is entirely dedicated to this goal. 

At what stage in the process do VC Lab general partners set-up the legal structure?
At the end of the VC Lab program, enrolled general partners will have at least 10% of the fund committed and will start to set-up the legal structure. The legal structure is not required before having capital commitments. 

Are general partners required to invest in the funds that they create?
This depends. Most limited partners and other fund investors will require general partners to invest a capital commitment of at least 1% of the fund size. This capital commitment is frequently not required in smaller funds of less than $10 MM.


Watch the February 11th, 2021 VC Lab Info Session with Founder Institute CEO Adeo Ressi and Portfolio Success Manager Mike Suprovici:

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VC Lab is a free VC Accelerator program run by the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator. The Founder Institute has over 4,500 portfolio companies worth an estimated $30B in value. 

Learn more about the Founder Institute at FI.co or VC Lab at FI.co/vc.

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