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The Founder Institute global family was saddened to learn last week about the passing of Ron Flavin, the longtime program Director of the San Francisco Founder Institute. Ron was a champion of FI as an organization, and a true friend and colleague to members of the FI network across the Bay Area and beyond. He will be dearly missed.

Along with his co-Director Asya Bradley, Ron lead the flagship San Francisco accelerator for many years. In his memory, Founder Institute CEO Adeo Ressi stated, 

Ron is a close friend and colleague, as well as a big supporter of the Founder Institute. Ron lead the San Francisco chapter with pride, invested in the Select Index, helped with sponsorship proposals, mentored many graduates and was a beacon in the startup ecosystem. 

A public memorial group for Ron has been created on Facebook, and we encourage anyone from the Founder Institute family whose own life or career was touched by Ron to please join and share your memories with others.  

The two most recent decades of Ron’s accomplished career were centered around the independent expertise he had developed as a non-dilutive funding expert, project funding strategist, and grant writer, via his advisory and consulting services at RFlavin.com. 

Earlier in his professional life, Ron worked as a Manager of Corporate & Foundation Relations with the Norton Museum of Art; as the Director for Mass Market Sales at the Invisible Armor, a health and beauty company; and as a VP at Turner Group Marketing, as well as a VP at Classic Headlines. Ron held an MBA and Doctorate of Business Administration from Nova Southern University.  


As a recognized thought leader in the areas of startup fundraising, social impact companies, and the securing of government grant funding for businesses and nonprofits, Ron Flavin was a regularly syndicated contributor to the Founder Insights blog. A sampling of his written contributions to this blog are shared below: 

In addition to his longtime dedication to working with early-stage companies through the San Francisco Founder Institute, Ron’s volunteer work within the wider startup ecosystem ran deep. He served notably as a volunteer mentor and judge chair for the Western Region of Cleantech Open, as a mentor at Pacific Community Ventures, and as a mentor at Bridge for Billions online incubator. 

Ron Flavin was exemplar of the ‘give-first’ mentality practiced by the most admired individuals of the entrepreneurial and investor community. His generosity with sharing his time and his knowledge touched the professional lives of countless founders, and his contributions in securing funding paved a path to success for dozens innovators blazing new technological trails in the Bay Area and well beyond.

Ron will be dearly remembered throughout the San Francisco startup community as a guiding beacon for so many entrepreneurs, and within the Founder Institute network specifically as one of its most prolific and earliest evangelists. His impact will live on for many years to come in the accomplishments of the businesses and founders whose lives he touched as an advisor and mentor. May he rest in eternal peace.

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