The Founder Institute is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, having helped launch over 3,500 companies across 180+ cities and six continents.

The company was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi and his colleague, Jonathan Greechan. The idea for the program spawned from operating TheFunded.com, where it became apparent that most entrepreneurs at the idea and launch stages lacked the structure, feedback, and support network needed to be successful.

News of the launch was announced on TechCrunch, the first Founder Institute program methodology was crowdsourced by over 10,000 CEO members of TheFunded.com, and the inaugural program started in May 2009 in a small classroom at Stanford University. There were originally no plans to expand beyond Silicon Valley, but upon receiving immense inbound interest to launch the program in other cities, the Founder Institute began to expand. Today the program operates across 180 + cities and is localized into 9 languages.

In total, Founder Institute Alumni have raised over $800M and are worth an estimated $20B.

Our VISION is that there are talented people everywhere whose potential can be unlocked to make an impact on the world through entrepreneurship.

Our MISSION is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology-enabled companies worldwide.

We BELIEVE that

  • Great companies start with great people.
  • Great companies can be built anywhere.
  • Great companies are not built alone.
  • Anyone can change the world through entrepreneurship.
  • Focus is one of a founder’s greatest challenges.
  • Startups are much harder than you think.

Our Program

We help pre-seed entrepreneurs and teams build get to traction and funding by establishing a critical support network of local startup experts that are invested in their success, and by providing a structured and challenging business-building process that has helped our alumni raise over $800M. Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more.

Learn more about our pre-seed startup accelerator program.