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A Bootcamp for the Startup-Curious

OpenToStart, by the Founder Institute, is a free online bootcamp to help anyone that is open to starting a company in 2023 get the connections and feedback needed to make the right decision. The January cohort is now closed, but you can submit your email for the next program.

Mentor interacting with founders
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De-Risk Your Startup Decision

For new and aspiring entrepreneurs, making 'the leap' can be scary, risky, and lonely. That's why we created OpenToStart specifically for:

  • Anyone that has been laid off or looking to pursue something new
  • Anyone interested in teaming up with other aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Anyone with startup ideas that want to learn the first steps

100% Free, and 100% Focused

Bootcamp Goals

  • Evaluate and improve your startup ideas

  • Connect with potential co-founders and collaborators

  • Get feedback from experienced startup advisors

  • Decide if this is right time for you to start a company

Bootcamp Structure

The 4-week online bootcamp consists of live workshops with startup experts, practical exercises, and multiple networking opportunities. You can jump in or out at any time.

Bootcamp Dates
Jan 4, 2023 Jan 25, 2023
Week 1
Starts Jan 4, 2023

OpenToStart Kickoff

The bootcamp starts off with an opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition, you will learn the bootcamp structure and set your short-term goals.

Weekly Milestones
  • Meet other aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Share ideas and get inspired
  • Learn the bootcamp structure
Live Workshop
Starting Up in 2023: Connect with Aspiring Entrepreneurs (Jan 4, 2023)
OpenToStart orientation and open networking event
Week 2
Week of Jan 9, 2023

Ideas & Validation 101

Falling in love with a startup idea can be dangerous. This week will provide you with the basic knowledge, techniques, and tools to form and analyze ideas, and start the validation process.

Weekly Milestones
  • Generate and refine several ideas
  • Perform initial market research
  • Interview potential customers
Live Workshop
How to Identify a Viable Business Idea (Jan 11, 2023)
Interactive event to learn the basics and get feedback from your peers
Week 3
Week of Jan 16, 2023

Co-Founders & Teambuilding

Startups are rarely built alone. During this week, you will learn the best practices for co-founder and team relationships, determine your immediate team needs, and start your team-building journey.

Weekly Milestones
  • Assess co-founder and team needs
  • Create a concise team-building pitch
  • Connect with potential collaborators
Live Workshop
Co-Founder 101 and Networking (Jan 18, 2023)
Video networking forum to meet others with similar interests
Week 4
Week of Jan 23, 2023

Pitching & Feedback

An entrepreneur never stops pitching their ideas. This week will focus on refining your pitch and getting feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and advisors, to help you determine your next steps.

Weekly Milestones
  • Craft a solid written and verbal pitch
  • Get honest feedback from experts
  • Make a decision on pursuing your idea
Live Workshop
Get Friendly Feedback on Your Idea from Experts (Jan 25, 2023)
Virtual roundtable with experienced startup mentors and entrepreneurs
  • The real question is: can the Founder Institute be game-changing for your business? The answer is yes. Without FI, Udemy may have never raised any money.

    Gagan Biyani
    Udemy (IPO, 2021)
  • Oddbox wouldn't exist without the Founder Institute. FI gave me the structure I needed to take Oddbox from idea to MVP but also pushed, challenged and guided me through the steps, insecurities and excitement of building an impact-led business.

    Emilie Vanpoperinghe
    Oddbox (£20M in funding)
  • The Founder Institute was instrumental in helping us understand how to validate our idea in the market, and helped us develop the entrepreneurial mindset required to build a startup.

    Renato Paquet
    Polen (top 10 in Open Startups Ranking)

Start your Journey

It only takes 1 minute to register for OpenToStart. You can jump in or out of the bootcamp at any time.

About OpenToStart

OpenToStart is a free initiative from the Founder Institute, the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator. Since 2009, the Founder Institute has helped tens of thousands of employees and new/ idea-stage entrepreneurs validate, test, and launch startups worth an estimated 20 BN+. Our mission is to activate and empower talented and motivated entrepreneurs to build meaningful technology businesses worldwide.

200+ FI Chapter Cities
35,000+ Advisor & Investor Network
1.8+ in Portfolio Funding


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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.

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