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The Shared Liquidity Pool

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the premier legal advisor to technology, life sciences, and other growth enterprises worldwide. We represent companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multibillion-dollar global corporations, as well as the venture firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that finance and advise them. The firm's broad range of services and practice areas are focused on addressing the principal challenges faced by the management, boards of directors, shareholders, and in-house counsel of our clients.

.CO is the web address where the world’s innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and brands come together to build and grow their ideas and organizations online.

CodigoDelSur is a designer and developer of digital products. Having worked with Founder Institute startups in the past, they come as a highly recommended Founder Institute referral. They are composed of highly skilled software, web, and mobile app developers, who are excited to incorporate the latest technologies into the applications they develop.

Xero is everything you need to run your business financials. Work with a beautiful small business accounting software complete with accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory and more. Xero seamlessly integrates with over 500+ business apps, including CRM, point-of-sale, time tracking, ecommerce, just to name a few. Join the 700,000+ businesses using Xero in more than 180 countries.

Vet-Tech is America's Veteran-led Startup Accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley. With over 100 military veteran startups in our community, Vet-Tech's top 20 portfolio companies have raised over $10 Million in funding and have been accepted into world class programs like Tech Stars and Founder Institute.

Startup Weekend


Through the Startup Weekend Fellowship, members of the Startup Weekend Community who want to start a technology company can apply to the Silicon Valley Founder Institute chapter for free, and the best overall applicant will be invited to participate in the Founder Institute's step-by-step startup launch program for free as well.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the Startup Weekend Fellowship for the upcoming semester, you must complete your application and admissions test by Sunday, December 11th, 2016, using this link.

Grant: The recipient of the Startup Weekend Fellowship will be awarded within 5 days after the deadline.

Click here to apply for the Startup Weekend Fellowship.

Silicon Valley is a collaborative ecosystem, where people of all skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences share ideas, best practices, metrics, and feedback. Why? Because helping each other and sharing expertise leads to faster iteration, more efficient innovation, and faster market growth.

To create and foster a similar collaborative culture in markets across the globe, the Founder Institute developed a groundbreaking "Shared Liquidity Pool" where everyone shares equity in the companies formed from each program cohort. 

Here's how it works - each Founder Institute Graduate contributes 4% of their company equity in Warrants to a fifteen-year Bonus Pool with other peers from the current semester. When a liquidity event occurs, the Pool returns are then distributed as follows:

When one Graduate company succeeds, every participant from that program cohort receives financial upside. 


Why Shared Liquidity?

There are several main benefits to the Founder Institute's Shared Liquidity model;


Starting a technology company is one of the hardest and loneliest things you can do. As Elon Musk once famously said, "Entrepreneurship is like eating glass and staring into the abyss."

By joining the Shared Liquidity Pool, aspiring founders ensure themselves a strong support network of new founders just like them, and experienced startup Mentors, who are all vested in their success. In addition, the higher a mentor is rated by the Founders in a cohort, the larger their share of the 25% Mentor allocation becomes. As a result, Mentors are incentivized to help Founder Institute Graduates, and many Mentors become formal advisors or investors as well.

When smart people work together towards a common goal, amazing things can happen.  

Community Development

The Founder Institute's Vision is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and help entrepreneurs across the globe launch meaningful and enduring technology companies. The Shared Liquidity Pool is a key component of our strategy.



The likelihood of one company being successful is small, whereas the likelihood of one successful exit out of 10 companies (the size of an average Founder Institute Graduate cohort) is very high. By joining the Shared Liquidity Pool, you are diversifying your startup risk, while investing in expert mentorship and upside in your peers.

This diversification strategy has been successfully leveraged by top startup CEOs in Exchange Funds. The Institute innovated on the Exchange Fund model by taking very early stage companies and mandating that each Founder or Founding Team gets one share of the Shared Liquidity Pool in exchange for one fixed amount of equity, 4%.



Even in small acquisitions of $5 MM or less, the financial return from the Shared Liquidity Pool far exceeds the average Course Fee by multiple times. To date, the Founder Institute has distributed returns to the Pool of approximately $5M. These exits have returned approximately 10 times the Course Fee for each Founder in the Shared Liquidity Pool. The Founder Institute predicts that exits from any one semester will occur between five and ten years after the semester ends, which is slightly longer than for the average angel funded startup.

After two years, the average Founder Institute semester with 10 companies has results resembling the following:

The very first semester of the Founder Institute had a post-money valuation determined by private company investors in excess of $300,000,000 three years after graduation. Since investor valuations are normally much smaller than acquisition values, the oldest Founder Institute semester may be worth in excess of a billion dollars today. Many checks have already been mailed from that cohort, and we expect many more as well!

More questions about the Founder Institute Shared Liquidity Pool?  See our Liquidity Pool FAQ


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