Today, the Founder Institute, the world's premier pre-seed startup accelerator, is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Chicago Winter 2020 program!

If you could use a structured process and feedback from Chicago's top entrepreneurs to build a startup, then apply to the Chicago Winter 2020 Founder Institute today.

Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 185+ cities worldwide, the Founder Institute provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the critical support network and structured process needed to build an enduring company. Since 2009, the program has helped over 4,000 Graduates raise over $900M funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more.

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

Since first launching in 2011, the Chicago Founder Institute has helped build several promising companies in the region. The Chicago program is led by some of the region's top startup leaders, including Jason Jacobsohn (Managing Director at Reliable Venture Partners and the Chicago Founder Institute), and Jason Randolph (Managing Partner at Neuroactive, and Head of Marketing at Speeko)

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

  • Aaron Dallek: VP of Operations and Sales, MD Metals
  • Adam Siegel: Founder, Cultivate Labs
  • Adeo Ressi: Founder/CEO, Founder Institute
  • Aditya Nath: Executive Director, Tada Cognitive Solutions
  • Aidan Salvi: Founder, Wesapi Technologies
  • Ajay Goel: Founder and CEO, JangoMail
  • Alex Bratton: CEO & Founder, Lextech Global Services
  • Alex Glenn: Founder, Automated.af
  • Alex Campbell: Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Vibes
  • Alex Batdorf: Co-Founder & CMO, ZipFit Denim
  • Andrew Lee: CEO, Esper
  • Anton Dy Buncio: Founder, funsherpa.com
  • Art Roldan: Former CEO & Chairman, ISD Corporation
  • Ashish Rangnekar: CEO & Co-Founder, BenchPrep
  • Bart Carlson: CEO, Napersoft
  • Brett Holland: Partner, Old Willow Partners
  • Charles Kwon: Managing Partner, Concitor
  • Chris Sorensen: Founder & CEO, Lake Forest Venture Management
  • Cory Warfield: CEO, ShedWool
  • Dan Ushman: Founder and CEO, TrendSpider
  • Daniel Roberts: CEO, Scout Security Inc.
  • Daniel McCormick: Founder, Kapow
  • David Pessis: Co-Founder and CTO, Fippex
  • David Pike: President, New York Trolley Company
  • David Hurst: CEO, Orbital Transports
  • David A. Rosen: CEO, TechX Foundry
  • David Zaretsky: CEO, Chief Scientist & Co-Founder, Snips Media
  • David Culver: Co-Founder, VentureSHOT
  • David Douglas: Founder & CEO, Yolobe Inc.
  • Derek Beckmann: Managing Director, CampusBridge Solutions
  • Desiree Vargas Wrigley: Founder, Pearachute and GiveForward
  • Don Bora: Principal Technology/Owner and Co-Founder, Eight Bit Studios
  • Ed Scanlan: Chief Executive, Bridge Legal
  • Emerson Spartz: CEO, Dose
  • Eric Broughton: General Manager, Multifamily, Expedia Group
  • Erik Severinghaus: VP, Rise Interactive
  • Ethan Austin: Founder, Pearachute and GiveForward
  • Gary Gaessler: VP Sales, Nventify
  • Gavenraj Sodhi: Senior Product Manager, Softbank Robotics
  • Gavin Martin: Founding Partner, onPurpose Growth
  • George Deeb: Managing Partner, Red Rocket Venture Partners
  • George Powell: Founder, CEO, Easy Beauty
  • Irv Shapiro: CEO/CTO and Head Coach, DialogTech
  • Jacqueline Kuehl: Managing Director, Digital Marketing Concentration, DePaul University
  • Jason Green: Founder, Intelestream
  • Jason Randolph: Managing Partner, Neuroactive
  • Jason Weingarten: Co-Founder and CEO, Yello
  • Jed Abernethy: Corporate Innovation and Startup Executive, Entrepreneur / Digital Transformation
  • Jeff Judge: Founder, Measured Good
  • Jeff Lyons: Operating Director, City Capital Advisors, LLC
  • Jeff Hoffman: Partner, ColorJar
  • Jeff Weber: Co-Founder & President, SnagPad
  • Jeff Hyman: Chief Talent Officer, Strong Suit Executive Search
  • Jeffrey Coney: Executive Coach and Mentor
  • Jens Horstmann: Executive Producer, Mgm. Dir., Crestlight Venture Productions, LLC
  • Jessica Zweig: Co-Founder | President, CheekyChicago.com | SimplyBe Agency
  • Joe Born: CEO, Aiwa Corp.
  • Joe Dwyer: Partner, Digital Intent / Founder Equity
  • Joe Bezdek: Co-founder, DivX, Inc.
  • Joe Abraham: Founder, BOSI Global
  • John Ernst: CEO, Kinnektor
  • John R Dallas Jr: CEO, Hillview Partners Network LLC and ENCLAVE for Entrepreneurs Foundation Inc.
  • Katie Hench: Co-Founder, Infiniteach
  • Kelly Fitzsimmons: Co-Founder, HarQen & the Hypervoice Consortium
  • Kevin Taylor: CTO, Partners For Achievement
  • Kristopher Ross: Chief Operations Officer, Lions of LaSalle, Inc.
  • Lane Campbell: CTO, Vue Ventures
  • Lauren Katzberg: Co-Founder & CEO, Stylisted
  • Lina Pakrosnyte: CEO, Urban Leash, Inc.
  • Louis Morales: President, The Catnip Times
  • Malcolm Lotzof: CEO, INXPO
  • Mark Pickett: Sr. Director, Customer Analytics, Data Science and MarTech, Staples
  • Mark Pawloski: Co-Founder, Upkey
  • Mark Lawrence: Co-Founder & CEO, SpotHero
  • Mark Achler: Managing Director, Math Venture Partners
  • Matt Mandell: Principal, Mandell Enterprises
  • Matthew Miller: Director, Product Strategy & UX, Digital Intent
  • Michael Gruber: General Partner, Independence Equity I, L.P
  • Michael Kramer: Founder and CEO, ManageHub, Inc.
  • Michael Evans: Co-Founder, GrubHub
  • Michael Carruth: President/Founder, Fiodan Corporation
  • Mike Kritzman: Founder & CEO, SkillNet
  • Mikir Bodalia: Sr. Compliance Manager, Medical Device Quality, ICU Medical
  • Mil Ovan: CEO, Next Gen Solar
  • Mona Abdel Halim: Strategic Partnerships, Manager, Orbitz Worldwide
  • Neil Kane: Founder & President, Illinois Partners Executive Services
  • Patricia Riskind: Head of Global Healthcare, Qualtrics
  • Peter Tapling: Principal, PTap Advisory
  • Pinaki Saha: Founder & CEO, Anshar Labs
  • Rajesh Voddiraju: Founder & CEO, HealthiPASS Inc
  • Reva Minkoff: Founder and President, DigitalGroundUp Inc. and Digital4Startups Inc.
  • Rishi Shah: CEO, Outcome Health
  • Ronald Franczyk: CTO & Partner, Red Foundry
  • Ross Kimbarovsky: Founder and CEO, crowdspring
  • Ryan Hoch: CEO, Overgrad
  • Ryan Jeffery: Entrepreneur & Investor
  • Seyi Fabode: VP, Innovation & Partnerships, Clean Energy Trust
  • Shradha Agarwal: Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Outcome Health
  • Stephen Meade: Founder & CEO, MonetaPro.IO
  • Steve Subar: Founder & CEO, Open Kernel Labs
  • Steven Jones: VP Product Development, project44 - Freight APIs
  • Ted Greene: Co-Founder, Old Willow Partners
  • Thomas Gorman: President, Entrepreneurial Design, Inc.
  • Timothy Kelley: CEO, Nautilus Medical
  • Ujjwal Gupta: Cofounder & COO, BenchPrep
  • Uzi Shmilovici: Founder & CEO, Applicake, Base CRM, R&U
  • Vinnie Lauria: Founding Partner, Golden Gate Ventures
  • William Furlong: Founder & CEO, SquareStack
  • Zach Kaplan: CEO, Inventables
  • Zak Boca: CEO & Co-Founder, TrendSpider
  • Zhu Song Mei: Founder & CEO, BigMarker.com

  • And many more to be announced.

The Founder Institute is designed for founders and teams all throughout the pre-seed stage, including aspiring founders with a full-time job, solo founders, teams, and founders of established companies that are pre-funding. The Founder Institute's mission is to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and create sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide.

Join us in Chicago to build a great company in 2019. 

Apply to the Chicago Winter 2020 Founder Institute today, or learn more at FI.co/overview.  

Related Insights

More insights
Founder Institute Image
FI News

Construa a sua Startup com os melhores de Belo Horizonte. As inscrições para o Founder Institute 2020 já estão abertas

By Jonathan Greechan on 2019-11-13
Founder Institute Image
FI News

Founder Institute Launches New Pittsburgh A.I. & Robotics Startup Program

By Dustin Betz on 2019-11-08
Founder Institute Image
FI News

Construa a sua Startup com os melhores de Salvador. As inscrições para o Founder Institute já estão abertas

By Jonathan Greechan on 2019-11-07

Are you ready to join the world's premier startup launch program?

Join the Program