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Rethink what's possible: the world needs more entrepreneurs to lead the way in creating a brighter future for all.

As a result, the Founder Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, is excited to announce that it is officially launching its newest chapter in the Southwestern United States. While the Silicon-Valley based program has chapters in over 200 cities worldwide, early-stage entrepreneurs in the Southwest can finally now take advantage of the Founder Institute's renowned structure, mentor support, and network to build an enduring company that can survive and thrive in this “new normal.”

Applications to the first ever Southwest Founder Institute are now open, and anyone interested in building an impactful technology company can apply at

Program Update: This accelerator will be run online with local and international mentors, with the potential for some optional in-person networking. Learn more on our Virtual Program FAQ page.

The Founder Institute provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the support network and structured growth process needed to get to traction and funding, and build something that matters. So whether you already have a business or are still in the idea-phase, now is the time to act. 

Since 2009, the Founder Institute has helped over  5,000 Alumni raise over $1.5 billion 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, the Founder Institute will host several free online startup events in the Southwest, where you can learn from top entrepreneurs and hear more about the program from the comfort of your home:

Southwest Events:

  • Startup Challenges: Legal, Compliance, Funding, & Supply Chain (Online AMA) on 6:00pm, Dec 02, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):

Global Events:

  • WEBINAR: Founder Institute Online Information Session:
  • Founder Showcase: Pre-Seed Startup Pitch & Networking Event, with Brant Cooper (Online) on 10:00am, Dec 01, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • [Restricted Access] Mental Fitness, Mindfulness, and Meditation for Entrepreneurs, an AMA with Mark Montalban + VIP Alumni Networking Summit on 4:00pm, Dec 02, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • [Restricted Access] VIP Speed Mentoring: Get Feedback and Network with Top FI Mentors on 5:00pm, Dec 07, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • FI Alumni Panel: Meet Founders that Graduated FI and Ask Questions on 10:00am, Dec 15, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • AMA + FI Info Session with Co-Founder & CEO Jonathan Greechan on 5:00pm, Dec 29, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • AMA + FI Info Session with Co-Founder & CEO Jonathan Greechan on 10:00am, Dec 30, 2021 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • Founder Showcase: Pre-Seed Startup Pitch & Networking Event (Online) on 5:00pm, Jan 12, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • [Restricted Access] VIP Alumni Networking Summit + Mentor AMA on 10:00am, Jan 20, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • Learn How to Create an Admired Company Brand with Fabian Geyrhalter on 10:00am, Feb 02, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles):
  • [Restricted Access] VIP Alumni Networking Summit + Mentor AMA on 4:00pm, Feb 03, 2022 (America/Los_Angeles):

The experts that have been critical in bringing the Founder Institute to Las Vegas include local startup leaders Chris Foltz, Kane Clamage, and Russell Brand.

Opportunities are flourishing in the American Southwest. There's now a growing connected ecosystem for entrepreneurs. The Founder Institute can increase any aspiring technology entrepreneur's chance of success, by providing the necessary skills and mindset - and a link to the Silicon Valley!

In addition, many of the region's top founders, CEOs, advisors, and investors have signed on to mentor new entrepreneurs in the Southwest Virtual 2022 Founder Institute program, including:

  • Abi Wright: Entrepreneur & Startup Leader, Cannabis Passport, Sensi Mag, The Cannastrologer
  • Akshat Pipersenia: Senior Director, Unilever
  • Alan Lwetabe: Co-Director , Founder Institute Kampala
  • Alberto Levy: Global Chief Marketing Officer, Grupo Bimbo
  • Aliyah Desautels: CEO/Founder, Meditrina Tech + Founder in Residence
  • Aljan De Boer: Head of Inspiration, TrendsActive
  • Andy White: Startup Operations, Keshif Ventures
  • Aviv Shalgi: CEO, Solar Simplified
  • Bade Aluko: Managing Partner, White Hibiscus Capital
  • Beth Bond: Managing Director, Bosch + Founder, Good Idea Plant
  • Bethany Niebauer: CEO, Axial Compliance Consulting
  • Brandon Burr: Founder & CEO, JetWebinar
  • Brent Payne: CEO,
  • Charles Warner: Editor-in-Chief, Innovation & Tech Today
  • Chris Foltz: Director, Founder Institute + Responsible Solutions Ltd + IRG 100 CMO's & Change Agents
  • Cindy Tervoort: CEO,
  • Damian Canning: Global Head of Sell Side Strategy, AccessFintech + Futurist + Investor + Creator
  • Dan Lopez: Chief Strategy Officer, Arkisys
  • Daniel Corliss: VC Partner, Angel, Health Plan Executive, DC Advisory LLC
  • Dina Tasiou: CEO & Founder, beelocl
  • Don Samoil: Managing Partner, Vendere LLC
  • Dr. Angela Meyers Cotellessa: Scholar, Author, Consultant, & Co-Founder, Polymath's Place
  • Dr. Justin Lancaster: Inventor, Kwikbio & FastScience!
  • Dr. Lisa Palleson: Managing Director, Equcapital Fund & Founder, Lotuswear
  • Fabian Barahona: Founder , StripMall Inc. + Founder in Residence
  • Federico Salvitti: CMRO,, NYU Faculty, & United Nations Global Compact Advisor
  • Frederick Cook: Founder/CEO, Moveline
  • George Moncrief: Entrepreneur in Residence, Keshif Ventures
  • Greg Jelden: Co-Founder, Canna Management Group
  • Jacqueline Jensen: Growth Hacker, Originate
  • Jay Purcell: Partner (Corporate) , Clark Howell LLP
  • Jeff Tatarchuk: Angel Investor + CMO, VMAccel & VaultMiner Technologies Corp
  • John Scannell: Inventor & Founder, Sustainable Publications LLC.
  • Joshua Leavitt: Founder & CEO, IONnovate, LLC
  • Justin Williams: CEO, Next Tucson
  • Kane Clamage: Co-Founder & Executive Director, Polymath's Place
  • Karen Hartline: Founder, Reinventing Events
  • Kate Mackie: Global Marketing Director, EY
  • Kevin Tighe: Management Consultant, Tighe Consulting
  • Kimberly Wiefling: Founding Member, Silicon Valley Alliances
  • Konstantinos Delialis: Vice President Marketing, Kraft Heinz International B.V.
  • Kuo-Hi Lee: Head of Project House, Volkswagen Passenger Cars - China
  • Lito Villanueva: Founder / CTO, Litocorp
  • Marc J. Lane: President/Attorney, The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane & Pioneer in Social Enterprise Policy
  • Marcus Kirsch: Founder, The Wicked Company
  • Maren Kate Donovan: Founder & CEO,
  • Mario Mitchell: Ecosystem Developer / Scout Fund Developer, Dear Mama Fund
  • Mark Rowland: The Red Pill, ROCETEER INC
  • Mark Kleyner: Co-Founder, Dream VC
  • Matthew Wemple (He/Him), The Coca-Cola Company
  • Mercedes Bankston: Founder, Jump Start Venture Capital
  • Michael Zaytsev: Founder, High NY
  • Mykel Hawke: Special Forces Officer & Enlisted, Combat Vet, Retired, Media Personality, Author, Teacher, Advisor, Entrepreneur , Co-Star of Discovery Channel's "Man, Women, Wild"
  • Nancy Birnbaum: Founding Publisher, Market Director, Sensi Media Group
  • Nic Sementa: Chief Revenue Officer ,
  • Noah Wallach: Founder, Hope OS
  • Patrick Olson: Co-Founder, SHIFT by Project100
  • Richard Guerra: Director of Global Reach, Sensi Magazine
  • Rick Duggan: CEO, Concierge Software Design
  • Robert Wolf: Dentist/Entrepreneur, Pioneer in Oral Care Products
  • Ron Gentile: Founder, Moodfit
  • Russell Brand: CEO & Founder, Responsible Solutions Limited
  • Ryan Smith: Co-Host & Producer, Las Vegas Review-Journal's "LAN Parties: A Video Gaming and Esports Podcast"
  • Saidat Shonoiki: Founder & Executive Director, Greenskill Acquisition Centre LTD + Commonwealth Scholar
  • Sedrik Newbern: Entrepreneur In Residence, Western Kentucky University
  • Thomas Knoll: Mentor/ Advisor, 500 Startups, LaunchRock
  • Tom Ellingson: Founder & CEO,
  • Toni L. Carter, Mshrm, Cdp, Ccf, Pdc: Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
  • Whitney Reynolds: Host, The Whitney Reynold's Show on PBS + Media Entrepreneur
  • Zeynep Yalim Uzun: Chief Marketing Officer, Arçelik Global

  • 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 organization's mission is to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and build sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide.

Join us in the American Southwest and help build the future. 

Apply to the Southwest Virtual 2022 Founder Institute today, or learn more at  


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