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Since 2009, the Founder Institute has helped talented entrepreneurs launch over 2000 businesses across six continents. These Graduates made great strides in 2016, raising over $100M in funding.

At the FounderX event on May 23rd, a private gathering of the Founder Institute’s Global #FIworldwide network, we announced the winners of FI's Annual Graduate Awards and celebrated the founders that made significant progress over the past year.

Learn more about the progress of our Grads in 2016.

All of the nominees are rising companies with exciting products, and you can read about each of them here.

Below are the winners for each of the 16 categories for FI's Graduate Awards, based in part on community polling. They are some of the Founder Institute’s most promising companies, having secured notable traction across the team, product development, adoption and investors last year.


Winners of the 2016 Founder Institute Graduate Awards



  • CEO Maria Cebrian (Madrid FI Graduate) - The leading Spanish speaking yoga and pilates online platform, raised $650K+ in seed funding last year. 



  • Udemy (Silicon Valley FI Graduate) - The world’s leading source of online courses, Udemy raised a $60MM Series-D financing to expand internationally. The company has now raised over $170MM, with over 11 million students and 40,000 courses.




  • Unito (Montreal FI Graduate) - Unito builds software to seamlessly connect and integrate various business apps. They raised $575k in 2016 from Real Ventures, Right Side Capital, and more.



  • Grabajob (Bangkok FI Graduate) - Connecting people with local service jobs, Grabajob raised a seed investment round of $50,000 at the conclusion of the FI Bangkok’s 2016 program.



  • Hava (Melbourne FI Grad) - A service that automatically reduces waste in cloud IT systems, Hava secured a $500,000 seed round from Blackbird Ventures, (led by Melbourne FI Director Matt Allen).




  • Onyo (New York FI Graduate) - Headquartered in Brazil, Onyo is creating the first national food pickup marketplace, focusing on food courts. Pilots with major food court stores began in 2016.



  • Prefabulous (Tunis FI Graduate) - A company that makes modular prefabricated wooden homes to provide people an affordable, ecological housing. Since graduating in 2016, Prefabulous has shown strong MoM growth. 



  • TravelCar (Paris FI Graduate) - TravelCar secured $15M in 2016 funding to expand its ‘traveler-to-traveler’ car rental service throughout Europe and into the United States.They also announced that they have reached over over 300,000 users.



  • Cityrene (Chennai FI Graduate) - Cityrene builds eco-friendly homes using GFRG technology to help people buy quick, efficient and smart homes. In the past year, they’ve grown their team and increased MoM revenue. 



  • Involve (San Diego FI Graduate) - A platform for companies to streamline corporate giving and manage employee engagement, Involve landed three big pilots and a large customer in Mucker Capital.



  • Easy Aerial (New York FI Graduate) - A company that builds advanced modular quadracopters and software for videographers, Easy Aerial launched the world’s first unlimited distance drone system and teamed with Mythbusters in 2016.



  • Hykso (Montreal FI Graduate) - A wrist-worn sensor and analytics platform for athletes that was accepted into Y Combinator and raised +600k$, Hykso was used by the USA National Boxing Team in preparation for the Olympics.



  • Sworkit (Washington DC FI Graduate) - The leading platform on mobile, web, and smart TV for instructional exercise for both fitness and rehabilitative needs, Sworkit struck a deal with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.




  • Acudeen Technologies (Manila FI Graduate) - Acudeen, a fin-tech service which helps SMEs convert receivables into cash, won Seedstars World Summit’s $500k Grand Prize.



  • Feetz (San Diego FI Graduate) - One of the industry leaders in 3D printed custom footwear, Feetz launched a shoe line with DSW in 2016 (A major U.S. shoe retailer with over 450 locations).  



  • Rever (Silicon Valley FI Graduate) - Rever is an online platform that enables large companies to engage all their employees in frontline innovation. In 2016, they raised $1m funding and secured several large clients.


Learn more about Founder Institute Graduates, and stay up to date with all recent FI Graduate News

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