Hong Kong 2019

In the Founder Institute, you won't "learn" how to build a business. Rather, you will build your business alongside top startup experts using a proven, structured process that has helped some of the world's fastest growing companies raise over $1B in funding. 

Our 14-week, in-person program includes a series of challenging growth sprints, in addition to Weekly Feedback Sessions where you will receive constant feedback on your progress from experienced Mentors and Investors. 

See the schedule for the Hong Kong 2019 program below.

The Final Application Deadline for the Hong Kong 2019 program is 2019-07-21, and you can apply to the program at


Welcome and meet your peers.

Date: 2019-08-12
Starts at: 07:00 PM

This is where it all begins. During Orientation, we will review the Founder Institute program structure, curriculum, tools, and requirements. You will review why you have pursued entrepreneurship, and how you or your team will use the program to push your business or business idea forward.


During Orientation, Founders and teams will be segmented into the “Standard Founder” or “Advanced Founder” assignment tracks, depending on the stage of their business or business idea.

These assignments are in addition to any custom "Special Assignments" Founders receive based on their specific challenges, and below is a small sample of the assignments you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours:


Standard Founder Assignments

  1. Progress - If you have started working on one or more ideas before the program, outline each of your ideas and any testing or progress made to date. 
  2. Hotseat Pitch - Prepare a one minute verbal pitch for the weekly “Founder Hotseat”, where you present to Mentors during the sessions. Start with our one-sentence pitch template, and if you do not have a final idea yet, describe yourself and a field that you are passionate about and uniquely qualified to build a business around.
  3. Co-Founders - If you are looking for a Co-founder, create a basic description of what you are looking for, and this will be shared with the rest of your cohort.


Advanced Founder Assignments

  1. Program Goals - Outline the monthly objectives you or your team want to achieve with your business while participating in Founder Institute, including the specific support you feel that we can give you to succeed beyond the curriculum.
  2. Key Performance Indicators - Outline the specific metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that you are currently using to track success. Analyze the validity of these metrics, and create a plan to share updated metrics and progress with your Directors every week in the program.
  3. Hotseat Pitch - Prepare a one minute verbal pitch for the weekly “Founder Hotseat”, where you present to Mentors during the sessions. Start with our one-sentence pitch template, followed by why you are uniquely qualified to pursue the idea, and any progress that you’ve made to date.

Vision and Validation

Interview customers to develop and valid

Date: 2019-08-13
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Customer Development

Test your assumptions with customers.

Date: 2019-08-19
Starts at: 07:00 PM


Develop a viable revenue source.

Date: 2019-08-26
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Branding and Design

Create, design and launch a brand.

Date: 2019-09-02
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Mentor Idea Review

Receive expert feedback to improve.

Date: 2019-09-16
Starts at: 07:00 PM


Set up the company and legal framework.

Date: 2019-09-30
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Go-to-Market Planning

Finalize a go-to market plan.

Date: 2019-10-14
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Product Development

Develop a plan to build your solution.

Date: 2019-10-21
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Mentor Progress Review

Review your progress with CEOs.

Date: 2019-10-28
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Similar to the Mentor Idea Review, the Mentor Progress Review is the second major test in the program. In this session, Founders will focus on presenting their progress and traction to a panel of Mentors for a detailed review. Mentors will evaluate Founders based on their progress, their go-to-market plan, the company’s scalability, and more.



Below are just a few of the 10-15 assignments you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours: 

  1. Investor Pitch Deck - Create an expanded, 12-slide pitch deck incorporating any feedback from the Mentor Progress Review, using our templates. 
  2. Growth - Make progress on your growth goals, and examine or adjust how your strategy and the system to keep yourself accountable is performing.
  3. Product - Make progress on your next product release, and outline and address any of the setbacks that you have faced with your project team.
  4. Hiring Needs - Score the progress of each member of your project team on a 1 to 10 scale, including yourself, and set up plans to improve those that are struggling. 
  5. Finalize Advisory Board - Set up your advisory board with startup, industry, technology or marketing advisors, and set up a one hour conference call with all of the them, which will be your first quarterly advisory board meeting.
  6. Bookkeeping - Start regular bookkeeping processes if you have not already, and implement tools, accounts, and monthly processes to manage it moving forward.
  7. Accountant Interviews - If you don’t have an accountant already, begin interviewing potential organizations using our processes. You will need a startup-friendly accountant to understand your unique needs.
  8. Financial Model Update - Review and update your financial model with the work done to date. Adjust the revenue projections based on your growth thus far, and evaluate the need and requirements for external funding. 

Hiring and Onboarding

Start recruiting a world-class team.

Date: 2019-11-04
Starts at: 07:00 PM

In this session, Mentors will discuss how identify the roles needed to build a world-class company, how to develop a strategy to recruit, board and retain the best people for the roles, and more. Founders will also receive feedback from Mentors on their team plans and product progress. 



Below are just a few of the 10-15 assignments you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours: 

  1. Outsourcing - Identify what roles you should outsource, and use your recent release work, sales, and program work to update or execute your hiring needs.
  2. Candidates - Search for candidates to hire (including Co-Founders) by identifying everyone that you know who is appropriate, or leveraging the FI network, to fill the top two or three roles you are not planning to outsource.
  3. Hiring Process - Develop a hiring and onboarding process using our guidelines to add team members into your organization, and begin executing on the process.
  4. Test Projects - Develop at least one test project for each of your top two or three roles, which should create opportunities for a credible candidate to demonstrate their skills.
  5. Advisor Review - Arrange a meeting or phone call with at least one of your advisors to discuss your outsourcing and hiring work. Present everything that you have done, and incorporate their feedback into your planning.
  6. Recruiting Outreach - Based on the feedback from your advisors, create a list of events and activities that you will attend or undertake each week for the next three months to identify new candidates for the top two or three roles.
  7. Time Allocation - Meticulously outline your “founder’s schedule” by allocating weekly blocks of time to address your core business activities, providing you with uninterrupted time to work on each activity.
  8. (Optional) Founding Round Setup - If you don’t have sufficient capital to run the company for the next few months, then follow our guides to start a preparing documentation and research for a “Founding Round”.  


Focus your business on growth.

Date: 2019-11-11
Starts at: 07:00 PM

In this session, Mentors will discuss such topics as defining success for your company, the various tactics to grow a business, setting growth goals and milestones, communicating your startup’s growth progress and setbacks with stakeholders and advisors, and more. Mentors will also also provide Founders with feedback on their current growth and growth strategy. 



Below are just a few of the 10-15 assignments you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours:

  1. Growth Plan Update - Review the performance of your growth goals and adjust your growth plan to improve your performance and accountability.
  2. Sales - Push yourself for a second week to close new revenue or users, which may be signups, payments, a signed contract, a pre-payment or a signed letter of intent.
  3. Growth Tactics - Work with your working group and advisors to brainstorm 15 new ideas to increase the top of your funnel and to accelerate the closing of sales, and provide a bulleted list of these Growth Tactics.
  4. Pivot - Consider a pivot if you are not meeting your growth goals, sales, product or hiring progress targets. If you decide to Pivot, schedule a call with one of your Directors to discuss your proposed pivot in the business and do the same with your advisors.
  5. Product - Work closely with your project team to make substantial progress on your next release, and work to ensure that each release takes about two weeks to complete.
  6. Hiring - Review all of the candidates that have come through the various recruiting outreach channels and other activities, and identify the most effective channels.
  7. Post-Program Schedule - Work with your cohort on a monthly meeting schedule where you will continue to meet, provide updates, and share learning on your progress. 
  8. (Optional) Founding Round Follow-ups - Build your pipeline of potential “Founding Round” investors, meeting and securing commitments from at least one person. 

Equity and Funding

Prepare to fundraise from investors.

Date: 2019-11-18
Starts at: 07:00 PM

In this session, Mentors will cover numerous topics related to fundraising, including different fundraising options, what different types of investors expect to see with respect to progress on team, product and traction, and more. Mentors will also provide Founders with feedback on their startup pitch that they can expect to hear from investors. 



Below are just a few of the 10-15 assignments you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours:

  1. Minimum Victory Condition - Work with your Directors to set up a “Victory Condition” to achieve before the “Impact Deadline” (three months after graduation), and add it to your business calendar.
  2. Advisor Strategy - Set up a call with each of your advisors and briefly review your “Victory Condition”, the funding strategy, hiring plan, sales plan and product plan.
  3. Use of Proceeds - Examine the capital needs of the business, and extend your financial model to project revenues and expenses for a total of 24 months from now.
  4. Final Investor Pitch Deck - Refine your investor pitch deck, and update it with all of your work to date, including details from your various plans. Test the presentation on peers and Directors and upload it to the FI site for review. 
  5. Deal Room - Create a Deal Room for future investors that includes relevant files like 'Company' documents with legal, 'Pitch Deck', 'Team' bios, 'Board Materials,' 'Financials,' 'Sales' information, 'Marketing' materials and 'Intellectual Property.'
  6. Target List - Identify local Angel Investors and Seed Accelerators, ignoring Venture Capitalists and Seed Funds. The Target List should include at least 100 local angels, 25 regional and 50 global seed accelerators, using our guidelines.
  7. Event List - List upcoming pitch events, including events where angel investors will be attendance that you identified for the target list, and during the events, look to make connections with these angel investors for future use.
  8. (Optional) Founding Round Close - Work through your investor pipeline, making sure that each interested party is either “Soft Circled” (verbally committed to invest) or “Hard Circled” (investment has been received). Start filling and closing the Founding Round.

Leadership and Graduation

Graduate and start leading.

Date: 2019-12-02
Starts at: 07:00 PM

Graduating from the Founder Institute is an honor. The program is challenging, and the curriculum is demanding. In this final session, you will celebrate graduating with your peers, friends and family, as well as select Mentors who will discuss the important leadership qualities needed to run a successful company. You will also learn about all of the post-program resources and assistance that the Founder Institute provides.



  1. Accountability - Create a plan to keep yourself and the business accountable to your graduation plan and growth goals after the program.
  2. Leadership - Analyze how you have grown as a startup leader during the program, highlighting the positives, negatives, and in which aspects you need to grow in the future. 
  3. Vision - Review your original vision for the business, and describe why you are still excited to pursue the vision, and why your team and strategy are aligned to achieve it. 
  4. Perseverance - Develop a system to press forward, stay focused and deliver value in the dark times inevitable to building a lasting business. 
  5. Prioritization - Finalize your system to prioritize complex projects in equally complex situations, as well as your weekly routine and “Founder’s Schedule”.
  6. Celebration - In addition to the FI celebration, plan a private group celebration with your peers. As a startup leader, it is important to celebrate all milestones and successes. 

Post Program Resources

The 4 month Core-Program is just the beginning. We have developed extensive support programs and resources for our Alumni that far exceed any other comparable startup program.

Continued Support

FI Alumni
  • Dedicated Alumni Support Team in Silicon Valley
  • Access to the world's largest network of mentors and investors (14,000+)
  • Private Alumni mailing lists
  • $2M+ in partner discounts
  • Invites to FI sessions & network events
  • Economic upside in the Equity Collective


Founder Lab
  • A series of virtual advisory programs where you work with our Silicon Valley HQ team to reach next milestones
  • Funding Lab (v10) helps get your lead investor within 6 months
  • Product Lab (ETA Q4 2019) helps you release your first product
  • 100% customized and free for Alumni