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Lagos 2020

At 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 $950M 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 Lagos 2020 program below.

The Final Application Deadline for the Lagos 2020 program is 2020-01-26, and you can apply to the program at


Meet the cohort & learn our methodology

Date: 2020-02-05
Starts at: 06:00 PM


Define a strong business vision

Date: 2020-02-12
Starts at: 06:00 PM

Customer Development

Analyze your customer feedback

Date: 2020-02-19
Starts at: 05:00 PM


Validate a scalable revenue model

Date: 2020-02-26
Starts at: 05:00 PM

Branding & Design

Get feedback on branding & design

Date: 2020-03-04
Starts at: 05:00 PM

Mentor Idea Review

Test the core business on a mentor panel

Date: 2020-03-18
Starts at: 05:00 PM

Legal & IP

Review your legal infrastructure

Date: 2020-03-25
Starts at: 05:00 PM

Go-to-Market & Scale

Improve your strategy to launch or scale

Date: 2020-04-08
Starts at: 05:00 PM

In this Feedback Session, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current go-to-market plans and progress, and cover topics like marketing messaging, unit ecomomics, customer acquisition, and more.   


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

  1. Alternatives - Identify two alternative models (markets or “pivots”) for your go-to-market solution to discover the most lucrative market opportunity. Interview at least 2 customers for each alternative.
  2. Advisor Follow-Up - In the next Step you will finalize advisors, so begin finalization meetings with your top candidates, and set up test Advisor Test Projects where necessary following our templates.
  3. Test Marketing Messaging - Write at least three separate marketing messages for your solution, and A/B test them using landing pages with at least 100 engagements each. 
  4. Customer Acquisition Channels - Identify at least five initial or new major marketing channels to acquire customers that are appropriate for your solution.
  5. Conversion Rate - Begin testing at least three of your new customer acquisition channels, pushing as much traffic through them as possible to evaluate their comparative conversion rates. 
  6. Unit Economics - Research any data on the standard Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC) and standard Lifetime Value (LTV) for your industry and segment, and compare and analyze against the metrics you have collected thus far. 

Product Development

Get feedback on your product roadmap

Date: 2020-04-15
Starts at: 05:00 PM

In this Feedback Sesison, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current product, and/or product roadmap. Expert in product development will also discuss best practices in product management, roadmapping, managing product teams, and more.



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

  1. Intellectual Property - If you have not already, secure and protect the intellectual property for all of the work done to date. Examine the need for patents, if applicable, following our guidelines. 
  2. Solution Goals - Evaluate the current state of your solution, and outline the three solution goals that you would like the next product release to solve for your target customers over the next year.
  3. Project Team - If you have not already, organize the skills and roles needed to execute on your solution goals, whether using existing team members or supplementing through hiring or outsourcing. 
  4. Product Roadmap - Develop a first or updated product roadmap, using our guidelines, in order to meet your solution goals with your project team.
  5. Project Plan - Fine tune the schedule of releases in your product roadmap to be as simple as possible to each test one hypothesis of the business, using our guidelines.
  6. Hotseat Pitch - Prepare a five minute presentation for the Mentor Progress Review that includes sufficient information to enable Mentors to evaluate your progress and plans.

Mentor Progress Review

Test your progress on a mentor panel

Date: 2020-04-29
Starts at: 05:00 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 give a long presentation their progress and traction to a panel of Mentors for a detailed review. Mentors will evaluate Founders based on their progress in the program, the company’s scalability, and more.



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

  1. Polished 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. 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 & Onboarding

Improve your team and hiring

Date: 2020-05-06
Starts at: 05:00 PM

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



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

  1. 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.
  2. Hiring Process - Develop a hiring and onboarding process using our guidelines to add team members into your organization, and begin executing on the process.
  3. Test Projects - Develop at least one test project for each of your top two or three roles, which should create opportunities for credible candidates to demonstrate their skills.
  4. Advisor Review - Arrange a meeting or phone call with at least one of your advisors to discuss your hiring work. Present everything that you have done, and incorporate their feedback into your planning.
  5. 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.
  6. (Optional) Fundraising - 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 funding round.  


Establish a scalable engine for growth

Date: 2020-05-13
Starts at: 05:00 PM

In this session, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current growth, metrics, and strategy. Mentors will discuss various growth tactics, setting growth goals and milestones, communicating your startup’s growth progress and setbacks with stakeholders and advisors, and more. 



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 - Pursue aggressive goals 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 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 Local Leaders to discuss your proposed pivot in the business and do the same with your advisors.
  5. Hiring Channels - Review all of the candidates that have come through the various recruiting outreach channels and other activities, and identify the most effective channels.
  6. Post-Program Onboarding - Review FI's post-program resources, and work with your cohort on a monthly meeting schedule where you will continue to meet, provide updates, and share learnings on your progress. 

Equity, Funding and Valuation

Fix any impediments to fundraising

Date: 2020-05-20
Starts at: 05:00 PM

In this session, Mentors will analyze Founder pitches from the perspective of an investor, identifying any remaining issues or areas for improvement. Mentors will also cover numerous topics related to fundraising, including different fundraising options, how to raise funding, and more. 


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

  1. Minimum Victory Condition - Work with your Local Leaders to establish your “Victory Condition” to achieve before the “Impact Deadline” (three months after the program ends), 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.
    New Template

    Showcase & Celebration

    Celebrate & onboard to our post-programs

    Date: 2020-06-03
    Starts at: 05:00 PM

    Completing the Founder Institute is an honor. The program is challenging, and the expectations are demanding.

    In this final session, you will celebrate with your peers, friends and family, as well as select Mentors. Some Founders will also pitch to a live audience, and you will officially onboard to all of the post-program resources and assistance the Founder Institute provides.

    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 helps get your lead investor within 6 months
    • P/M Fit Lab helps you get to Product Market Fit
    • Venture Lab helps you close a Series-A round
    • 100% customized and FREE for Alumni