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Make the Leap from Employee to Entrepreneur with the Founder Institute

Aug 24, 2018

Matt: “What is the Founder Institute to you?”

Andrew: “Founder Institute is the equivalent of a mini MBA focused on helping employees currently stuck in full time employment roles, to validate and make their business ideas work.”

Matt: “Do I have to be from a particular sector to sign up to the program?”

Andrew: “We love budding entrepreneurs. We help budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into commercial offerings where our entrepreneurs go on to launch products, gain customers and ultimately attract growth capital to scale. The program works best for those exploring a digitisation of their company, software and apps. We are industry agnostic. Really we are looking to support entrepreneurs whom believe they have found a problem that is valuable to solve. We love contrarian thinkers and welcome both business and technically minded entrepreneurs.” 

Matt: “How does the Founder Institute differ from other accelerators?”

Andrew: “We are different in three main areas: 

Firstly, we are part of a global network. Founder Institute is now in over 110 cities across the globe and has launched 2000+ companies to date. If you graduate with a high potential offering, you can tap into this global network to accelerate your business. Founder Institute is motivated to helping companies access the global market. 

Secondly, we are focused on would be entrepreneurs that are currently at the ideas stage, although we often have entrepreneurs, whom have successfully launched products, come into the program as well. We offer all of these entrepreneurs a highly structured 14-week curriculum/advisory journey that stress tests their ideas in terms of commercial viability. We work best with entrepreneurs that are employed full time and understand the problem in the industry they are seeking to revitalise. We give these entrepreneurs the structure, connections and training they need to make a decision to make the long-term commitment to building a flourishing company from their ideas. 

Lastly, we are seeking to close the investment gap to typical ideas based accelerators. This year we are working on a demo day where graduating entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch their companies for investment directly upon the conclusion of the program. This will be covered more in our information talks held at Spacecubed throughout April and May.” 

Matt: “So what can I do to signup?”

Andrew: “To signup and register, you should attend the four information sessions. Basically all interested entrepreneurs should go to the fi.co website and site to learn more about the program. The website also handles all the applications processes (online forms and such). After reviewing the application form, entrepreneurs are invited to sit the general admissions test. This is a psychometric test that explores entrepreneurial characteristics across 7-key-traits that we believe are important in any entrepreneurial endeavour.”

Matt: “Typically what do entrepreneurial people score?”

Andrew: “Typically, entrepreneurs have an 80% predictive value, based upon the results of this test we provide the entrepreneur with feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. This is a great tool to help entrepreneurs work out what co-founders they need to increase the probability of success of their company.” 

Matt: “Finally Andrew, apart from engaging with how to grow my startup, what will I learn from this program, on a personal front?”

Andrew: “Founder Institute is a life changing experience if the entrepreneur commits to the process. Along with sharing past local experiences, you will come out of it with a global network of like minded businesses, a greater appreciation of what it takes to launch a successful startup and a clear action plan: all of these things allow you to grow as critical thinking, decision makers - Last year Stephanie Gillon graduated and was head hunted into Flare HR (a $2M funded start up in Sydney backed by Re-Inventure), as the Director of Customer Success – that’s just one example of thousands.”

The program will kick off the intake period with a series of four information nights held at Spacecubed as follows, with the 14-week semester commencing on July 18th:

April 27th @ 6.30pm - Startup 101: Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur. Speakers include: Charlie Gunningham of Business News & Dan Jovevski from Switch My Loan

May 18th @ 6.30pm - Startup Ideation Bootcamp: The Characteristics of good ideas. Speakers include: Andrew Hall of Founder Institute and Stone Ridge Ventures & Andy Lamb from Atomic Sky

May 25th @ 6.30pm - Startup 101: How to raise capital for your idea. Speakers include: Matt Macfarlane of Yuuwa Capital Founder Institute & Andrew Hall from Founder Institute and Stone Ridge Ventures)

May 30th @ 6.30pm Founder Institute Perth 2016 Intake Information Night 

This year the early admissions deadline is June 5th with final applications due by July 10th. All applicants received by the June 5th will be eligible for fellowships (i.e. waiver of the $1200 USD semester fee). Last year the capacity of 50 confirmed founders was reached well before the final admissions deadline. 

 by Matt Kirk