Founder Institute Image

Today, the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator, is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the San Diego 2023 program!

If you could use a structured process and a lifetime of support from San Diego's top investors and entrepreneurs to build a startup, then apply to the San Diego 2023 Founder Institute today.

Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 200+ cities worldwide, the Founder Institute provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the devoted support network and structured growth process needed to get to traction and funding. Participants in the 4-month core program also get access to a lifetime of support through the Founder Institute's industry-leading post-programs.

Since 2009, the Founder Institute has helped over  6,500 Alumni raise over $1.75BN funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more (see the FI 10 Year Impact Report here).

To celebrate the launch, we will host several free startup events in San Diego, where you can learn from top entrepreneurs and hear more about the program:

  • Startup Market Outlook for 2023: What to Expect with Funding (Online) on 10:00am, Dec 14, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • Founder Institute Online Information Session: 
  • AMA + FI Info Session with Co-Founder & CEO Jonathan Greechan on 10:00am, Dec 21, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • AMA + FI Info Session with Co-Founder & CEO Jonathan Greechan on 5:00pm, Dec 28, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • Connect with Aspiring Entrepreneurs (Online Networking Event) on 10:00am, Jan 04, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • SEO 101 with Nick Jordan on 10:00am, Jan 09, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • How To Identify a Viable Business Idea (Online) on 10:00am, Jan 11, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • How to Win with Peep Laja on 10:00am, Jan 16, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • Co-Founder Networking: Start 2023 By Finding a Business Partner (Online) on 10:00am, Jan 18, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • How to use social media as a Founder with Andrew Miller on 10:00am, Jan 23, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • Get Friendly Feedback on Your Idea from Experts (Online Roundtable Event) on 10:00am, Jan 25, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • How to build an MVP for your startup idea with Aram Melkoumov on 10:00am, Jan 30, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles): 
  • Founder Showcase: Pre-Seed Startup Pitch & Networking Event (Online Conference) on 10:00am, Feb 08, 2023 (America/Los_Angeles):

The San Diego program is led by some of the region's top startup leaders, including Mike Sherbakov (General Partner, The Veteran Fund).

In addition, some of San Diego's top investors, entrepreneurs, and CEOs will be participating in the program, providing them with expert feedback and evaluation. The list of startup mentors for the San Diego Founder Institute includes:

  • Aaron Keith: CEO, Buildify Systems
  • Adam Montgomery: Fundraising Manager, Wefunder
  • Al Bsharah: Interlock Capital, Managing Partner
  • Albert Chow: Co-Founder | Chief Executive Officer, Opti
  • Alex Bard: Founder & CEO, Assistly
  • Alex Green: Co-Founder, Kanshi LLC
  • Amar Harrag: CEO, Allied Green Realty
  • Amir Emadi: CEO, Skylift Global
  • Andrew Gottlieb: Founder & CEO, No Typical Moments
  • Andy White: Startup Operations, Keshif Ventures
  • Annie Brown: Founder, Lips
  • Anton Monk: Co-Founder/ VP of Technology , Entropic Communications
  • Austin Neudecker: Managing Partner, Weave Growth Partners
  • Aviv Shalgi: CEO, Solar Simplified
  • Ben Cote: Director, Founder Institute
  • Brian Storms: no title, No company
  • Brian Ford: Partnership Director, Founder Institute San Diego
  • Brian Olearczyk: CRO, RevCult
  • Bryant Walker: Founder, TAVO Media Group
  • Carl Thomas: Chief Revenue and Business Development Officer, Hookit
  • Carlo Rivis: CEO & Founder, Innovation Discovery
  • Caroline Arzoo: Partnerships, TurboSBIR
  • Cassius Kiani: Founder & Head of Product ,
  • Chintan Oza: Founder, Anantam Ecosystems
  • Chris Capdevila: Founder & Former CEO, LogicalApps
  • Chris Carter: CEO & Co Founder, VideoFort
  • Christine "Chrissy" McDannell: Principle, The Magnolia Firm
  • Cleve Adams: Principal
  • Courtney Gant: CEO & Co-Founder, Skooltopia
  • Dan O'neill: VP Engineering, Certona
  • Dane Drotts: CoFounder, TangoCode
  • Daniel O'neil: Executive Director, Smart Chicago Collaborative
  • Daniel Obodovski: Co-founder, Managing Partner, Diosys Technologies LLC
  • Daniel Arroyo: President & CTO, AstroPrint
  • Darryl Rettig: Co Founder & CTO, DonationMatch
  • David Stevens: Founder & CEO, Hydroponic Creations
  • David Metzler: Managing Director, Serenity Ventures
  • David Steel: CEO, EveryoneLinked
  • DC Palter: Angel Investor, Tech Coast Angels
  • Derrick Oien: CEO & Founder
  • Ed Cleary: Principal, Root Strategy Group
  • Ellen Chang: Partner, Lightspeed Innovations
  • Eric Grab: Aspiring Explorer, Technologist, Advisor, and Coach, Formerly: Amazon, Booz Allen, DivX, Jaunt, San Diego State
  • Eric Weiss: Executive Coach, Full Cycle Executive Coaching
  • Fabian Geyrhalter: Founder and Principal, Finien
  • Farooq Anjum, Ph D: Co Founder & CEO, Gro Guru
  • Flossie Hall: Director Of Community Relations, Stella Labs
  • Frank Peters: Founder & Host, Frank Peters Show
  • Fred Morrison: CEO, Simplexity
  • Gaurav Bhattacharya: CEO,
  • Genevieve Le Marchal: Managing Partner, Suncoast Ventures
  • George Stepancich, Invisionate
  • Gina Campbell: Strategy & Demand Gen (Direct to Consumer Group), SONY, Formerly DivX,
  • Grant Creighton: CEO & Founder, LooperLink - LOOPER Golf
  • Greg Moser: President & CTO, ShipCalm
  • Ian Suttle: Engineering Director, Google
  • Iva Teixeira: CEO, The Good Face Project
  • Jacob Sapochnick: CEO, Sapochnick Law Firm
  • James Schmachtenberger: CEO, Neurohacker Collective
  • James Hereford: Co-Founder, Launch Factory
  • Jason Pang: CRO, BetFully, Inc.
  • Jason Liebrecht: VP of Technology, Activbody Inc
  • Jason Zinn: Partner, Emerged, Inc.
  • Jeff Smith: CEO, Growth Catalyst
  • Jenny Rodriguez: CEO & Founder, IVOREEZ
  • Jess Ewart: Senior Partner, New World Ventures
  • Jessica Pratt: Senior Vice President of Sales, Pop & Bottle
  • Jim Carlson: Founder, DFL Technology
  • Joe Bezdek: Co-founder, DivX, Inc.
  • John Zdanowski: Co-Founder, Assembled Brands
  • Jon Carder: CEO, Vessel Health
  • Jonah Peake: CoFounder, Granada Fund
  • Jose Doval: CEO & Founder , XBand Sports
  • Juan Toledano: CoFounder, Sundaze
  • Judy Tsuei: Founder, Wild Hearted Words
  • Justin Renfro: Director of Partnerships, WeFunder
  • Justin Nahama: Partner, FisherBroyles, LLP
  • Kelly Conkright: Founder, The Brand Terminal
  • Ken Wahlster: Founder & CEO,
  • Ken Davenport: CEO, Mission Edge
  • Kim Walpole: Co-Founder / CEO,
  • Lance Cottrell: Founder, Feel the Boot
  • Larry Kesslin: Chief Connector, Spire
  • Lauren Rowley: Director of Investor Relations, Stella Impact Capital
  • Lee Mills: CEO, Pixly
  • Leo Spiegel: Managing Partner, Mission Ventures
  • Lucas Root: Founder, CEO, Lucas Root - Speaker
  • Mara Rada: CEO & Chief of Strategy, Feral (
  • Maria Pope: Community Manager, Republic
  • Mario Mitchell: Ecosystem Developer / Scout Fund Developer, Dear Mama Fund
  • Mark How: CEO, NewGrowth & Origins eCommerce
  • Mark Schmid: CEO, Art Function
  • Martín Martinez: Entrepreneur in Residence, Founder Institute
  • Matthew Hedayat: CEO and COO, Stanford Technical Group
  • Melissa Li: Managing Partner and Head of Community, Dorm Room Fund
  • Merrin Muxlow: Executive Director, TiE South Coast
  • Michael Davidovich: Founder, Direct EDI, Inc.
  • Michael Floyd: Software Engineering and Product Management Leader, Freelance Software Engineering and Product Management Consultant
  • Michel Kripalani: CEO, Oceanhouse Media
  • Mike Sherbakov: General Partner, The Veteran Fund
  • Mike Steadman: CEO, IRONBOUND Media
  • Mysty Rusk: Executive Director, USD School of Business
  • Neal Bloom: Managing Partner, Interlock Capital
  • Neil Senturia: CEO, Blackbird Ventures
  • Nelly Yusupova: Founder,
  • Nerissa Zhang: CEO, Bright App
  • Pablo A. Fernandez: CEO, Secret Table
  • Parker Harris: CEO, Junto Global
  • Pat Walsh: Co-Founder / Chief Impact Officer
  • Paula Sweis: Principal, SILVERWEISS International
  • Pete Biggam: Co-Lead FI San Francisco / CEO of, Blacksite Solutions
  • Peter Shaw: Managing Director , Procopio Business Advisors
  • Regina Bernal: CEO, Trailblazer
  • Reid Carr: CEO & Founder, Red Door Interactive
  • Rhana Pytell Kozak: CEO & Founder , BRIGHTERSTEP
  • Ricardo Dos Santos: Sr Director of New Business Development , Biological Dynamics
  • Rick Valencia: Founder, ProfitLine
  • Rishi Sharma: Venture Partner, Going VC
  • Rocco Cortese: President, Entrepreneurs Organization (E.O.)
  • Roger Rappoport: Partner, Procopio
  • Rupak Doshi: CEO, TurboSBIR
  • Ryan Tseng: Co Founder, Warehouse Innovations
  • Sam Mazzeo: Managing Partner, Better APC
  • Sarah Apsel: Angel Investor, 37 Angels
  • Scot Chisholm: CEO & Chairman, StayClassy
  • Shahi Ghanem: Managing Director, WI Harper Group
  • Shahin Enayati: Managing Director, Made Noble Corporation
  • Shaun Alger: CRO, Volohaus
  • Stacey Cooper: Partner, Stacey Cooper Law
  • Steven Morley: Business Advisor, Success4Execs
  • Stuart Volkow: Program Manager, UCSD
  • Taj Adhav: Founder, Leasecake
  • Tarun Gulati: Founder & CEO, Adios Contemplator
  • Tay Nguyen: Owner, Gate Consulting
  • Tirrell Payton: Tirrell Payton - Founder & CEO, Kaliki (San Diego FI), Kaliki
  • Todd Goldstein: EVP, Global Partnerships & Business Development, Talent Inc.
  • Trevor Longino: Chief Marketing Officer, Unito
  • Troy Hazard: Global President, Entrepreneurs Organization
  • Ty Vachon: CEO,
  • Tyson Mc Dowell: President, Avadyne Health
  • Yann Deredec: CEO, Yama Group

  • And many more to be announced.

The Founder Institute focuses on helping tech or tech-enabled businesses at the pre-seed stage, including both solo-founders and teams. This includes established businesses that are pre-funding and traction, MVP and prototype-stage projects, and even part-time founders with just ideas. FI's mission is to create sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide.

Join us in San Diego to build a great company in 2021. 

Apply to the San Diego 2023 Founder Institute today, or learn more at  

Related Insights

More insights
Founder Institute Image
FI News

Build the Future: Applications Now Open to Founder Institute Middle East 2023

By Bharat Singh Rao on Feb 02, 2023
Founder Institute Image
FI News

Time to Build: Applications Now Open to Founder Institute Uganda 2023

By Bharat Singh Rao on Feb 01, 2023
Founder Institute Image
FI News

Build the Future: Applications Now Open to Founder Institute Ghana 2023

By Bharat Singh Rao on Feb 01, 2023

Are you ready to apply to the world's largest pre-seed accelerator?

Apply to the Program