Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute, an idea-stage accelerator program, has opened an Atlanta outpost to scout the most promising startup ideas on the scene. With operations in 60+ countries and a portfolio value estimated in excess of $15 billion, the Founder Institute has opened applications for the chapter’s inaugural fall semester.
The Institute has operations in over 170 cities globally with 2,300 graduate companies, 72 percent of which are still in business after two years with 30+ exits or liquidity events on their roster.
Founded in 2009, it has graduated the likes of Udemy, Realty Mogul, iCarsClub, Itembase, goplaceit, and Appota from its founder-focused program. The program takes founders all the way from a literal idea to a company, through steps that transition the entrepreneurs’ mindset, test ideas, build a team, and start customer acquisition.
The program provides mentor support, legal and IP resources, and and a global network.
The program is unique in that it incorporates a shared liquidity pool, where all participants share equity in the companies formed during the cohort with each founder initially contributing four percent equity in warrants. In the end, 25 percent of the shared liquidity pool goes back to the cohort participants. The other 75 percent is split equally between mentors, local program directors, and the Founder Institute.
To help facilitate successful funding, the Institute connects participants with graduates from chapters across the globe.
“The international connections granted upon graduation opens opportunities for founders to gain additional funding options, potential customers, and even potential team members. The process doesn’t just stop at this one semester. Founder Institute can give a founder a global stage to propel their business,” says Founder Institute mentor Sheffie Robinson, who is leading the Atlanta chapter.
To highlight the program, Founder Institute is hosting free events for the general public throughout the city from now until October. Events include information sessions, a female founder roundtable, and workshops on startup funding and startup basics for engineers.
“Founders will have an opportunity to learn and challenge themselves by immediately implementing what they have learned. Some will even have an opportunity to pivot. It’s not a classroom of theory, but a curriculum of application so that founders can leave the program launched or very close to it,” says Robinson.
Prior to acceptance, the prospective founders will undergo a Predictive Admissions Assesment to be sure they are equipped with the right focus and drive to be successful in the program, and help the Institute tailor the right opportunities for them within the accelerator.
Another benefit of the Founder Institute, especially for founders with just an idea, is the flexibility — classes are held once a week in the evenings. The whole program is 3.5 months long.
“The primary flexibility we offer founders is the ability to keep your day job while you go through the program. This helps founders keep the lights on while still building a company,” says Robinson.
But flexibility doesn’t mean the Founder Institute curriculum is easy.
“It’s going to be hard work and we want founders to be prepared for that,” says Robinson.
“Atlanta has a vibrant and growing tech ecosystem and the Founder Institute wants to be a part of that growth. Great companies have forced the startup world to take notice of the Southeast with Atlanta leading the way. We think there is a great wealth of talent here and we want to help propel that talent to the global stage,” says Robinson.
The program kicks off this fall in October.
Interested? To learn more, apply here before October 8.
Featured image via Founder Institute