Silicon Valley Winter 2018
The Founder Institute is the world’s premier startup launch program for talented entrepreneurs. If you are up to the challenge, our comprehensive step-by-step program will give you the structure, mentor support, and network of entrepreneurs you need to start an enduring company. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 58 countries, the Founder Institute's mission is to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and build sustainable startup ecosystems worldwide.
Before the program begins, the Founder Institute hosts a "pre-curriculum" of public events to help aspiring entrepreneurs improve their ideas and startup skills. Click an event below to register!
Founder Institute HQ
3337 El Camino Real
Nov 15, 2017
Program Sessions (Private Events)
The Founder Institute provides a rigorous, comprehensive company-building curriculum to guide you through validating your ideas, performing customer development, building a team, preparing for funding, and more. Through weekly training and feedback sessions led by top startup mentors, office hours with local directors, group meetings with fellow founders, and challenging company building assignments, participants in the program make several years of progress in just 3.5 months.
See the curriculum structure below, or see a sample Founder Institute session.
This is where it all begins. During Orientation, we will review the Founder Institute program structure, curriculum, tools, and requirements. You will start to review why you have pursued entrepreneurship, and how you will use the program to be successful. We will review the progress that you have made to date and start to build a system for your success.
The best startup ideas are formed from the intersection of a real customer problem and your personal strengths and passions. During this session, you will learn how to form, communicate, and analyze startup ideas in a structured manner. By the end of the week, you will form and analyze several business ideas based on real customer problems that you could realistically spend the next 20 years working on, and begin interviewing potential customers about their problems.
Large markets with viable customers have the potential to elevate great ideas. In this session, you will work to identify actual customers and further validate your key assumptions. You will identify the best revenue stream for the business and ensure that the market is large enough to support a fast growing startup. By the end of the week, you will have a clear sense of your ideal customer and be in a position to start building a leading technology company.
Your name, your brand and your design are the starting point for all of your company’s marketing. In this session, you will learn the components of great company names, and how to position your product effectively in the eyes of the consumer. By the end of the week, you will brainstorm and analyze a variety of names, select a final name after performing more customer research, and begin the process of establishing your company’s online presence. In addition, you will build your first pitch deck, and begin the process of branding your company with a logo and other key materials.
Great businesses have a strong revenue model. This week, you will learn the components and key metrics of different revenue models from experienced CEOs. Then, you will examine a number of revenue models for your ideas and speak to potential customers. By the end of the week, you will select a single revenue model to pursue and use all of the research performed to date to select your final startup idea to build in the program.
The Mentor Idea Review is the first major test in the Founder Institute Program. During this session, every founder presents their customer problem to a panel of CEOs who review the idea and the progress in detail. After the session, you will incorporate their feedback into your planning, begin to set up your company and marketing infrastructure, and more.
A company is a collection of agreements between various stakeholders. In this session, you will learn the best practices to set-up a technology business in your locale. This week, you will start to create the company and the various legal agreements, including protections for any intellectual property. By the end of the week, you will have retained a top law firm and be well on your way to having a well-formed business.
A viable go-to market strategy is the key to every fast growing technology company. In this session, you will learn about how to develop messages that resonate with target customers, how to reach your target customers and standard ways to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Before the next session, you will have a go-to market plan and start to secure initial customers through a repeatable process.
A great solution is mandatory for any modern technology company. This week, you will learn the best practices in product development and team management to release a world-class solution. Over the week, you will identify the resources, draft a specification and create a product roadmap to release your solution.
Similar to the "Mentor Idea Review", this is the second major test in the program. During this session, every founder will present their progress to a panel of CEOs for a detailed review of the progress to date. Afterward, you will focus on building a fast growing technology startup, making weekly progress with building the product, with signing customers and with hiring key team members.
A great team is required to achieve great success as a technology company. In this session, you identify the roles that you need to build a world-class company, including analyzing if you need a Cofounder, and you will develop a strategy to recruit, board and retain the best people for the roles. Before the next session, you will have a process in place to always be recruiting top talent within your evolving organization.
Traction is the ultimate goal for every technology company, and it is one of the hardest things to achieve. This week, you will learn some of the best practices to grow your business, including some “growth hacking” techniques, and you will set aggressive growth goals that are attractive to investors. By the end the week, you will have your business in growth mode.
Fundraising is the strategy for most modern technology companies. In this session, you will learn about the different fundraising options and learn how to get started. Before the end of the program, you will understand what metrics are required to be successful fundraising and have a fundraising strategy for the next few years.
Graduating from the Founder Institute is an honor. The program is challenging, and the curriculum is demanding. In this session, you will celebrate graduating with your peers, friends and family, as well as select Mentors discussing leadership. Following this session, you will work on your leadership style. As a Graduate, you will gain access to a global network and further programs to help with fundraising, growth and other business acceleration.