This blog post was originally written by Peter Lazou, Future Venture Builder at SportScientia and Director of the Cyprus Founder Institute.
Through a challenging and rigorous curriculum, we provide early-stage and aspiring entrepreneurs with the structure, training, mentor support, and global network needed to start an enduring company. Many leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used our program to transition from employee to entrepreneur, test their startup ideas, build a team, get their first customers, raise funding, and more. Following a successful first graduation in March 2016, the Cyprus Founder Institute is now preparing for its next semester commencing in February 2018.
So why is Founder InstituteI Chapter the best choice for the Cypriot ecosystem?
It is imperative to address a very important fact, in that there is a conflicting and misrepresented understanding of the role or accelerators and incubators in Cyprus. Each program has its benefit and value but the question is why it should begin at Founder Institute? The answer is actually very straightforward, in that It’s because our approach is unusual, and so are our results.
There are plenty of free “business training” and “startup boot-camp” workshops in Cyprus that accept everyone and provide a high-level startup education and encouragement. There are also Accelerators such as IDEA, ARISE, Chrysalis Leap and Gravity Ventures incubator. This is not what the Founder Institute offers. We are an extremely rigorous, real-world program for talented people that are motivated, open to honest and critical feedback, and ready to perform the hard work needed to build an enduring company. In fact, less than 30% of accepted Founders are typically able to make it to Graduation. Here's what Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute, has to say:
The Founder Institute is hard, because starting an enduring company is much, much harder.
In the Founder Institute, we will push you to make years of progress in just 3.5 months time. Every week you will pitch your ideas and strategies to top startup mentors, and they will provide you with feedback, ratings, and evaluation. You will get office hours with top entrepreneurs, and weekly real-world assignments and milestones to push your business forward. Founders that do not complete their assignments or meet a minimum rating from the Mentors may be asked to leave and join a future program. The Founder Institute does not promise a path to startup riches - but we do promise that if you are ready to work hard and take critical feedback, we will provide you with the structure, mentorship, and network that gives you the best possible chance of startup success.
More than anything else, great companies start with great people. As a result, we focus on the Founder versus the idea in our admissions process, and welcome applications from aspiring founders with a full-time job, solo founders, teams, and founders of established companies (pre-funding). After a short written component, applicants take our Predictive Admissions Assessment - a one-hour long collection of aptitude and personality tests that have been in development with leading social scientists since 2008, to identify people with the highest potential to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.
To date, over 35,000 people have applied, and the Founder Institute can predict with great accuracy somebody's potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur. Our entrepreneur research has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, and Forbes. "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.” – Aaron Patzer, Founder of Mint.com
The 3.5-month Founder Institute semester is just the beginning. Graduates of the program receive assistance well after the program concludes, including access to the #FIWorldwide Network of 2,300+ startups and 9,000 + CEO Mentors, investment support, invitations to exclusive FI events like https://fi.co/partners over $2M in partner discounts, and several post-Graduate support programs:
Our scale and number of successful Graduates are truly unprecedented with no other program or Accelerator in Cyprus coming close to the Founder Institutes achievements. In 2015 and 2016 alone, Founder Institute Graduates raised over $225 million from investors, and 10 Graduate companies were acquired. A conservative estimate is that our companies employ over 20,000 people and have raised over $600M.
If you are up to the challenge, our comprehensive step-by-step program will give you the structure, mentor support, and network of entrepreneurs you need to start an enduring company. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 60 countries, the Founder Institute's mission is to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and build sustainable startup ecosystems worldwide.
Click here to enroll in the Cyprus Founder Institute today!
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