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Program aims to help build 20 promising companies per year in Modesto

Early-stage entrepreneurs can learn how to build their businesses, alongside a support network of startup and business experts, through a new joint venture of The Founder Institute and UC Merced.

The Founder Institute (https://fi.co/), the world's largest pre-seed accelerator, and the UC Merced Venture Lab have launched this new early-stage business program in Modesto. Founder Institute alumni have raised over $950 million through similar support programs. Any aspiring entrepreneur, team or business leader interested in building an enduring company is invited to apply to the Modesto Virtual 2020 Founder Institute at http://fi.co/apply/modesto.

To celebrate the launch of this newest program, a series of free online startup events will show attendees how to build a company and hear more about the program. See the full list of events at http://fi.co/events/modesto.

Leading the efforts to launch the Founder Institute in Modesto are Katrin Jakob, PhD (Managing Partner, California Business Associates), Nancy Salmeron M.A. (Founder of Believe. Change. Become), Yan Ren Butcher, PhD (Founder at Dr. IllumiPlants).

A pillar of the University of California’s mission is public service,” said Peter Schuerman, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at UC Merced and director of the UC Merced Venture Lab. “Helping new entrepreneurs and growing the economy of the Central Valley is one important way we serve California and build our shared future.

In addition, many of the region’s top startup investors, founders, and executives have expressed interest in mentoring entrepreneurs in the program:

  • Agustin Roldan: CEO, Sweep Energy
  • Chris Murphy: CEO, Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group
  • David Darmstandler: CEO, Datapath
  • Elif Ceylan: Co-founder, Opengate Partner
  • Gary Jinks: Owner, GLJ Group
  • Gopi Mattel: Founder CEO, MaxBlox, Inc.
  • John Derrick: President, SkyWriter
  • Kathi Simonsen: President, Simonsen Sales and Marketing, LLC
  • Laura Good: Co-founder, StartupSac
  • Lyndsey Boucherle: Principal, Better Ventures
  • Mareese Keane: Co-founder, Opengate Partners
  • Mariah Lichtenstern: CEO, DiversityCity Ventures
  • Maura Sparks: Co-Founder & COO, AccuChain
  • Max Seybold: Chairman, Mountain Pasture, Inc.
  • Pamela Marrone: CEO and Founder, Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc.
  • Ralph Carrasco: Partner, Yelp
  • Roger Royse: Partner, Haynes and Boone LLC
  • Steve Barnett: President, Barnett Technical Services
  • Todd Aaronson: CEO, Modesto Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
  • Tom Carson: CEO, As Directed

The vision of the Founders Institute states that, ‘There are talented people everywhere whose potential can be unlocked to make an impact in the world through entrepreneurship.’ We believe that those individuals exist in the Central Valley! It is the mission of FI Modesto to identify and seek out serious individuals who are ready to build a business that matters. This program is not easy and we are committed to challenge and push founders so that they graduate the program, and get traction for entrepreneurial success. We look forward to empowering talented, hard-working, perseverant and motivated individuals to build powerful companies that will not only impact the Central Valley, but change the world!

- Local Leaders of Founder Institute Modesto

The Founder Institute Modesto Virtual 2020 accelerator program begins on September 29, 2020. Aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs and business owners looking to build solutions for the future will have the opportunity to:

  • Get constant feedback and regular office hours with 50+ Modesto Mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs.
  • Make quick progress on their business using a proven, structured process to get to traction and funding that has helped alumni build great products and raise over $950M in funding.

Anybody who is interested can apply to the Modesto Virtual 2020 Founder Institute at http://fi.co/apply/modesto.

Learn more about the Founder Institute at FI.co


Join us in Modesto and help build the future.

Apply to the Modesto Virtual 2020 Founder Institute today, or learn more at FI.co/overview.  


About the Founder Institute

The Founder Institute (FI.co) is the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator. In the program, early-stage entrepreneurs and teams build their business alongside a critical support network of startup experts that share equity in their success, and through a structured and challenging business-building process that has helped alumni raise over $950M. Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 185 cities and 70 countries, the Founder Institute’s mission is to Globalize Silicon Valley and empower talented and motivated entrepreneurs to build companies that will create one million new jobs.

The Founder Institute was founded in 2009 by Adeo Ressi and Jonathan Greechan. It is operated out of Palo Alto, California.

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