Graduating from the Founder Institute is hard - in fact, less than 30% of accepted Founders generally are able to make it through the program. This is by design, because one of our key values is that "The Founder Institute is hard, because building an enduring company is much, much harder."
That said, like any startup program or startup accelerator, completing the Founder Institute program is by no means the "end" --- it is simply "the means to the end."
A key focus at Founder Institute HQ for the last several years has been on developing support programs and resources for our Founders post-Graduation, to ensure that we are giving them the best possible chance to succeed in the marketplace. We have tried out many things and done a ton of testing. With the incredible leadership of Mike Suprovici (an FI Alumni that is building and leading our Graduate initiatives across the company), we are excited to enter 2019 with a full roadmap of FI post-Graduate support programs:
Our goal is to make sure that once someone graduates from the Founder Institute, they receive lasting assistance that extends far beyond our intensive 3.5 month program.
Anyone that graduates the Founder Institute gets access to a number of resources to push them to the next level, such as:
- Economic Upside in the Equity Collective - when any Founder in a cohort has a liquidity event, every Alumni in that cohort receives a financial return.
- A dedicated support contact in Silicon Valley, to answer emails about company strategy, growth tactics, and more.
- Invites to exclusive networking events in Silicon Valley and beyond, such as the FounderX Conference (a bi-annual gathering of the global #FIWorldwide network).
- Access to emails of 7500+ Startup Mentors worldwide.
- Access to advanced company-building resources and guides, on topics like Crowdfunding, Growth Hacking, MVP development, and more.
- Access to private Graduate Mailing Lists, Groups, and discussion tools to share best practices.
- Access to Founder Institute training sessions in any chapter worldwide.
- Access to private Conference Calls and Virtual Office Hours with FI Staff.
- Access to over $2M in partner discounts, across all types of services like web hosting, email, CRM, and more.
- Ability to distribute news and content through the FI Network, which reaches over 1M impressions per month across a variety of global and local platforms.
When an FI Alumni wants to raise an angel or seed round, they can get invited to the Founder Institute's Founder Lab. The Founder Lab is a virtual advisory program where Graduates work closely with our Silicon Valley HQ team to improve their pitch materials, build an investor pipeline, pitch to angels, negotiate terms, generate strong investor interest, and close a lead investor within 6 months. This program is truly global, as it is solely conducted via email, phone, and online tools, and is available to Alumni of the Founder Institute program.
The Founder Lab program includes:
- A dedicated Fundraising Coach in our Silicon Valley Headquarters.
- One-on-one advisory time with Adeo Ressi (CEO of Founder Institute).
- Access to a shared investor database, with proven email outreach templates.
- Facilitated connections to advisors, experts, and investors through the FI network
- Professional pitch deck editing and feedback (we will actually edit your deck for you!)
- Help on your term sheet, cap table, equity allocation, managing investor meetings, negotiations, and general fundraising strategy.
- Access to advanced virtual training sessions, on tactical fundraising topics like "Prospecting Investors" and "Due Diligence Best Practices".
- Complimentary tickets to all FounderX Conferences.
- Eligibility to pitch on our Virtual Demo Day events, which are broadcast globally, attended by hundreds of people, and reach over 100,000 people in re-broadcasts.
The top 2% of Founder Institute Graduates in the seed or post-seed stage can then be invited to be part of our "Select Portfolio." The "Select Portfolio" represents the "Elite" FI Graduates that have demonstrated strong early traction, and they are hand-selected by the Founder Institute as companies with the potential to quickly scale and grow into an enduring, global business.
In order to faciliate this growth, these Alumni receive special assistance and increased support from experts at the Founder Institute's Silicon Valley HQ, including fundraising assistance, strategic advisory help, office hours, access to special events and partnerships, and more.
Full benefits of being in the "Select Portfolio" include:
- Deal syndication across the Founder Institute’s “Founder Angels” consortium of angel investors across six continents.
- Facilitated introductions to potential investors, mentors, and partners from the FI Global Network.
- Access to all future Founder Lab programs and FounderX Conferences.
- Increased support from Founder Institute HQ and Adeo Ressi.
- Access to Elite Partnership Benefits that our top tier service providers only offer to our best Graduates.
- Assistance on PR strategy and access to global media lists.
We have been beta-testing the above post-Graduate structure for over a year now, and the results have been incredibly positive. If you are an FI Alumnus and are interested in Founder Lab or the Select Index, be sure to reach out to us!
You can also learn more about our post-Graduate support at http://fi.co/scale.