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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.

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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.

Michael Reuter Describes his Experience Mentoring Founder Institute Companies

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2014-01-07

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

Founder Institute Mentors provide the support, feedback, and guidance that has helped our early-stage founders launch over 2,300 businesses since the Institute was founded in 2009. Our awesome Mentors share best practices, difficult lessons learned, and provide invaluable feedback in our training program to help our enrolled Founders build the next generation of meaningful and enduring technology companies.

But what is it like from the mentors' perspective?

In this post from his personal blog, Founder Institute Mentor Michael Reuter shares his experience being a mentor in the Munich Founder Institute. 

Michael Reuter is an entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Datarella, AppAdvisors, AppInvest and appstar

Below, his post Entrepreneurs – The 'Can-Do' Guys has been republished;


"Having been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, I did not have to think twice to agree becoming a mentor of Founder Institute’s Munich chapter in 2013.

When FI director Jan Kennedy discussed the first semester with me, I had a flashback to the times of my first startup: a travel agency which morphed into one of Germany’s first online travel agencies ever in 1995.

In those days, my co-founder and I did not have any clue of “How To Found A Startup?” – nobody was even talking about “startups” or “entrepreneurship” – we just became self-employed instead of starting in management jobs at Henkel (in my case) or Deutsche Bank (in my co-founder’s case). We started with no money (speak: bootstrapping) and changed our way to do business several times (speak: pivoting). A business plan? No way! We did not need one! Our business was growing slowly, but steadily. We hired our first employees and started a second company for packaged incentive trips.

In 1998 everything changed really quickly: we were awared “Best Online Travel Agency” and a few months later we sold a minority share of our company to Telegate AG, Munich. In order to get this deal done, we finally had to write a business plan – our first one. But we did not have to pitch to an investor, yet.

Typical investor pitches were involved in my second startup, the social news aggregator YIGG. That was 2005 – and then we used terms like VC, startup, pitch deck or liquidity preference as if we had grown up with them. We had our experiences with international VC companies and term sheets built by top US law firms, before. This was a complete new world for us – very different from the 1990s – and pretty demanding, since we had to build our business and to negotiate this finance stuff with the big guys.

And yet, we were just focusing on building our own business, but we had to pursue other jobs to keep the money rolling in. And exactly this is what most Founder Institute entrepreneurs are doing: they build their companies while staying in their day jobs. We all know people lamenting about high workloads in their jobs – a typical FI entrepreneur invests 25-30 hours a week on top of his normal workload. Got it? This is a hell lot of work! This workload alone has minimized the largest first semester ever of Founder Institute from 37 accepted teams to 25 teams right after the very first week.


Photo: FI Review Meeting, Munich, December 2013 (Michael Reuter)


When my mentor colleagues Sevket, Norbert, Lorenz, Stephan and I met for the first FI review session in December, we were sold on the progress of all teams compared with their first presentations in early November. All of them had developed their basic ideas into sharp keynote slides, presented in a determined, dynamic style. Most of them have persuaded us as future entrepreneurs and many of their ideas could evolve into real startups.

Sure, we mentors all had something to criticize, we all habe our doubts on many of those ideas. But – as Ben Horowitz says in his brilliant piece “Can-do vs. Can’t-do Culture“:


"The people who focus on what’s wrong with an idea or a company will be the ones too fearful to try something that other people find stupid. They will be too jealous to learn from the great innovators. They will be too pigheaded to discover the brilliant young engineer who changes the world before she does. They will be too cynical to inspire anybody to do anything great. They will be the ones who history ridicules."


Given the task of building a start-up while pursuing a 40-hour- job, I really like what the FI entrepreneurs accomplish (it helps that Munich’s FI chapter is perfectly organized by Jan Kennedy and Jan Küster). I think it’s one of the greatest challenges of today’s working environment to create and build startups. I love being a member of the mentor team at FI Munich and I invite all would-be-entrepreneurs to jump on the bandwagon and join FIwe want to create 1 million jobs, after all!"


Check out more from Michael Reuter's blog here, and follow him on Twitter at @michaelreuter.

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