Born in Silicon Valley, Founder Institute Expands to Boston

5/10/10

Attention first-time CEOs: the Founder Institute has found its way to Boston. The training and mentorship program for entrepreneurs, initially launched last year in Silicon Valley, is recruiting startup entrepreneurs for its first Boston session starting June 30, according to the program’s website.

The four-month program aims to give beginner tech CEOs what they need to survive: instruction on how to build a young enterprise; mentorships with veteran entrepreneurs; introductions to funding sources such as angel investors; and a strong business network, according to the group’s website. The institute is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi, who may be best known as founder of the venture capitalist rating site TheFunded.com. For its maiden Boston session, his program has recruited mentors such as Razorfish co-founder Craig Kanarick, Ontela CEO Dan Shapiro, and Shareable Ink CEO Stephen Hau.

Boston has hosted a number of mentorship and incubator programs for greenhorn entrepreneurs, including Y Combinator and TechStars. The programs have found an audience with startup entrepreneurs who are hungry for cash and connections to get their young ventures off the ground, and they are often willing to give up a stake in their companies or pay tuition fees to participate in them. The Founder Institute seeks tuition and company stakes that reflect its desire for everyone involved in the program to benefit from the success of each participating startup. Its initial tuition is $600 and $4,500 if the startups in the program raise capital from third parties, and each company gives up a 3.5 percent stake in their firms in the form of warrants, which are pooled and shared among all the enrollees and mentors in their session.

The Founder Institute says that Boston is its 10th location. Previous locations include San Diego and Seattle, two other cities where Xconomy has sites. In San Diego, Bruce has chronicled some of the action from the Founder Institute. Greg, our Seattle editor, wrote how that city’s gaming cluster was key to bringing the institute to Seattle.

We’ll watch with interest which exiting startups find their way to the institute’s Boston program.

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