A dozen Mentor invitations have gone out, and positive responses are coming in. Our goal is to have half of the 25 Mentor positions filled by April 10th, 2009. Then, the Institute will allow any seasoned startup CEO to apply for one of the remaining positions.

The first four program Mentors include some amazing talent:

  • Phillp “Pud” Kaplan is a serial entrepreneur and programmer. He created the F*ed Company website in May 2000, and wrote the corresponding book F’d Companies in 2002. He has subsequently created other websites and web-based ventures, including the online advertising market site AdBrite.
  • Joe Betts-LaCroix founded OQO in 2001, the maker of the world’s smallest PC, and established the resulting market category of smaller-than-laptop PCs, now called UMPCs, netbooks, etc.  He presently serves as CTO, and has participated in raising its $80M of venture funding.  Prior to OQO, he had done groundbreaking academic research at Caltech, Harvard, JPL, MIT and the IBM Almaden Research Center in various fields - including quantum biophysics, marine chemistry, and alternative energy. Joe has patents pending and granted for over 110 ideas in a diversity of fields, ranging from electronic methods to consumer finance to cleantech.
  • Alain Raynaud is the founder and CEO of FairSoftware, a startup that lets people associate online and form virtual corporations. FairSoftware was a TechCrunch50 Finalist. In 2002, Alain co-founded EVE-USA, an electronic design automation company that grew to 100 employees and $30M in revenue. He is the author of two U.S. patents. Alain was also a freelance journalist between 1987-97, covering Apple for MacWorld France and other magazines.
  • Adeo Ressi is the Founding Member of, an online community of entrepreneurs to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide. Adeo also serves as a Trustee of the X PRIZE Foundation, which inspires radical human achievements through competition. is the seventh start-up that Adeo has founded or built, four of which were acquired and three of which are still operating. The last company, Game Trust, Inc., was acquired by Real Networks, Inc. (RNWK) at the end of 2007.

As more Mentors join in the next couple of days, we will update the list and make key announcements.

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