The Founder Institute Network is celebrating 15 Years of empowering entrepreneurs worldwide! Learn more here.

Lead a Chapter

Become a Local Leader of the Founder Institute chapter in your city and work with aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and investors to launch global tech businesses. We are excited for you to learn more about running our proven pre-seed accelerator and explore joining over 500 Local Leaders worldwide. The Founder Institute is working to make the world a better place through technology and entrepreneurship.

Lead a Chapter Hero Image


Applicants across 6 continents


Tech Companies Launched

The Perfect Candidate

The perfect Local Leader candidate is an entrepreneur, an operator and an ecosystem leader who is actively involved in their local startup community and would like to give back. Leading the Founder Institute chapter in your city is a part-time activity and takes about 6 to 10 hours per week. The perfect candidate fits into at least one of these profiles.

Experienced Founder

You are an experienced Founder in your ecosystem and other Founders seek you out for mentoring and advice on a regular basis.

Ecosystem Leader

You enjoy running a meetup, an event or a conference focused on tech and startups online or in-person. You are involved in initiatives for the startup community in your city.

Early-Stage Investor

You are an angel investor or a VC and have invested in several startups. You have developed a portfolio and you enjoy being hands-on and advising the founders.

Exceptional Networker

You know a lot of people and potentially have really good connections with mentors, VCs, angels, other accelerators and relevant partners.

Local Leader Responsibilities


Host online and in-person events and meetups to build a local community around your chapter. Continue building your own network in the startup ecosystem.


Connect with potential founders who want to join the accelerator to help them understand the opportunity. Mentor founders in a group setting during the sessions and host 1-on-1 office hours.


Build relationships with experienced entrepreneurs from your ecosystem and invite them to speak at your events or to mentor at sessions.


Establish connections with other players in the startup community, such as coworking spaces, angels and VC investors, corporates, media, etc.

  • Running FI Toronto helps me build and access deal flow of high quality early-stage stage startups

    Sunil Sharma
    Managing Director of Techstars Toronto & FI Toronto Director
  • Founder Institute is consistently developing new tactics to run a startup accelerator and defining best practices for the industry!

    Eva Dimitrova
    FI Cologne Director
  • The global community of accelerator leaders is one of the best peer support groups I have been involved with

    Janne Saarikko
    FI Food Ecosystems Director

What are the Benefits?

Founder Institute’s Face

Local Leaders are the face of the Founder Institute in the local startup ecosystem. By leveraging our global brand you can get recognition, speaking opportunities, media coverage, among others.

Global Network

As a Local Leader of a Founder Institute chapter you join a global network of 500+ Local Leaders and 35 000+ Mentors and Investors. You can reach a fellow FI leader in every corner of the world to help you with your own business initiatives.

Startup Mentor

You mentor idea-stage and pre-seed stage founders in your startup ecosystem to help them build successful technology businesses. You have early access to some of the most promising companies in your ecosystem.

Get Equity

The startups you work with in the FI accelerator become your portfolio companies. You get a share in the equity returns from startups that you help to create.

Powered by the Founder Institute

Based in Silicon Valley, the Founder Institute is the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator. Since 2009, FI's accelerators have helped launch thousands of fast-growing, funded technology companies across nearly every geography, industry, and sector.


Portfolio Companies


Portfolio Company Funding


Chapter Cities


Chapter Countries




Global Mentors & Advisors

Frequently Asked Questions

An ideal candidate is a former Founder who has exited their company or raised venture capital in the past. Alternatively the individual should be active in the startup community. For example you run a meetup group or have relationships with angel investors, advisors or other Founders in your local community.

Yes. Majority of our local leaders retain their full time job or run their business in parallel.

Yes - in fact we encourage it! Our most successful chapters are being run by teams of 3 to spread the workload.

Apply to Lead CTA Image

Ready to get started?

Join the Founder Institute Network

The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. Since 2009, our structured accelerator programs have helped over 7,000 entrepreneurs raise over 1.8 in funding. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 100 countries, our mission is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology companies worldwide.

Copyright © 2024, Founder Institute, Inc. All Rights Reserved