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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.

Insights from a Founder Institute Dropout

Posted by Joe Garza on 2014-07-17

Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy -- which is why, as a program designed to turn would-be founders into bona fide entrepreneurs, the Founder Institute aims to make its semesters as challenging as possible. The rigorous program isn’t for everyone; fewer than 40% generally make it through and graduate.

But what becomes of the fallen Founders, the dropouts who couldn't see the program through? In a recent article titled Lessons Learnt at the Founder Institute in Melbourne, Jo Sayer describes her experience at the Melbourne Founder Institute and what ultimately led her to withdraw from the program.

Sayer, acknowledging the difficulty of the Founder Institute curriculum, says:

It is intentionally tough. But so is the real world. Most of the people who leave the program do so because they don’t want to work that hard or they can’t keep up.”

Its challenging nature, however, is not the reason she dropped out.

Sayer dreamed of starting a company called MoreSo, short for “More Social Good,” with the intent of creating an online community for businesses to discuss their social purpose. Despite positive reception from mentors and confidence that she would in fact graduate, Sayer eventually hit a roadblock in terms of her product/market fit.

It wasn’t a particularly remarkable problem for an entrepreneur. [...] But it is a big problem if you’re approaching the later stages of an accelerator program. [...] So, sadly, I had no choice but to withdraw from the program.”

Sayer doesn’t regret her time at the Founder Institute, however, and views it instead as a valuable learning experience.

Even though I didn’t make it to the end of the Founder Institute, I’m still so pleased that I embarked on the program. I learnt many things about building a startup and also about myself. Most importantly, it has given me a solid foundation to continue building and testing MoreSo.”

One of the key takeaways she discovered through her participation in the Founder Institute was the importance of product/market fit in defining the potential success of a startup. She emphasizes that entrepreneurs must take their time with determining their product/market fit, as failing to do so early on can have serious repercussions in the future.

You will never regret taking time to perfect your product/market fit. And when you think you have it, ask yourself: Why is this problem a problem? What solution(s) is/are my potential customers using to solve this problem? Why is my idea at least ten times better than those solutions? And if you can’t make other people’s heads nod in genuine agreement when you answer these questions, there’s still work to be done.”

(businesswoman balancing on a tightrope conquering adversity image by Shutterstock)

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Insights from a Founder Institute Dropout

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