Michael Arrington of TechCrunch published an article of the expansion of the Institute into both Washington DC and San Diego / Orange County. Michael was a mentor for the first semester, and had the following to say:
- Michael Arrington:
I participated in this Summer’s program as a mentor and have spoken with a number of entrepreneurs who have graduated. All found it to be a great experience.
Most of the graduated Founders have added feedback to the article, discussing their experiences. Anyone applying to the Institute should read the feedback. Here are some of the remarks:
As one of the older members of the first session of the Founder Institute, and having participated in several ‘incubators’ over the years I can tell you that the Institute is a whole new take on the idea – one based on real entrepreneurs sharing real stories and advice in a very relaxed and supportive way – Adeo is great at bringing together top notch people, and getting them to share the good with the bad – highly recommended – wish I had done it twenty years ago!
Like many of the posters, I was lucky to be part of the inaugural Founder Institute semester. I was attending remotely from the DC area, so it’s great to see a local “chapter” starting in December :)
I agree with every comment made by my fellow Founders, so I will not repeat. I will, however, stress a couple of points. First, one of the most interesting and beneficial aspects of the program was that it tackled the issues from a practical standpoint rather than an academic one. The great mentors shared real life experiences and, in fact, we frequently got opposing points of view from back-to-back mentors. I thought this was tremendously useful because, like almost everything in life, there is more than one way of achieving the same thing. The program essentially laid the options out for us, and founders made their own decisions based on what they identified with or made more sense to them.
Second, I have never been around a group of people, mentors and founders alike, that were so willing to help. It was a pure joy to be part of such a close group of people who cared so much about advancing together and leaving no founder behind. But above all, Adeo’s dedication to the program, and the entrepreneurial cause in general, is mind blowing. It’s not that he was willing to help, but rather he was actively reaching out to every single founder, dedicating time and energy, and giving the feedback, help, and moral support new entrepreneurs so eagerly seek. Without a shadow of a doubt, the man genuinely cares about each founder, and is personally invested in making everyone in the program succeed.
I was in the unique position of being in an exec MBA program and at the Founder Institute at the same time. While the MBA provides an awesome theoretical base, the FII was the *BEST* real-world experience on how to get a company off the ground. The quality of the mentors as well as my fellow classmates was beyond anything I had ever imagined.
This is an amazing program that has been well conceived, brilliantly executed and will continue to make waves in the entrepreneurial scene. If you are thinking of applying, don’t think…just do it!
Thanks to all of the Founders for their kind words!