TheFunded to Bring Startup “Training Camp” to San Diego—Eyeing Other Cities From Seattle to Boston to Paris
The inaugural class of the TheFunded Founder Institute, a San Francisco-based training camp for startup CEOs, isn’t graduating until Sept. 8—but the institute’s founder, Bay Area serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi, is already expanding the program to San Diego and elsewhere.
Ressi, who previously founded the VC rating site TheFunded and operates the institute as an affiliated entity , tells me San Diego is probably the furthest along in his expansion plans, followed by Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Paris. But Ressi also intends to “syndicate” the Founder Institute program to Boston and Seattle (where Xconomy operates) as well as New York, Denver, Singapore, London, Paris, and Berlin. “The only market missing from the list is Israel, and I just don’t see that happening anytime soon,” Ressi says.
The institute’s San Diego operation is being organized by Jeanine Jacobson and Cliff Currie, who have both been active in the region’s startup community. Jacobson served for seven years as executive director of Athena, a San Diego professional networking organization for women working at life sciences and technology companies. Currie, who worked in digital video at Google, Yahoo, and other companies, co-founded StartupCircle, a San Diego organization for early stage entrepreneurs, and is vice president of the San Diego Young Entrepreneurs group.
Currie tells me their timeline is “pretty aggressive.” They intend to recruit mentors and partners in September, solicit applications and select about 30 students in October, and launch the San Diego program in November.
Ressi describes the Founder Institute’s four-month program as a hybrid that combines the benefits of an incubator and a startup training camp for very early-stage entrepreneurs. “The institute is designed to help founders launch world-class technology companies,” Ressi says. “We do that by providing a great level of training, membership, and services.”
Ressi, whose previous companies include Game Trust, methodfive, and Sophos Partners, says the Founder Institute counts as his ninth startup, and has been entirely self-funded. It grew out of the insights Ressi says he gained from operating TheFunded, an online community that enables CEOs to post anonymous reviews about their interactions with venture capital firms—and the sometimes secretive ways they operate. With 12,000 CEO members, Ressi says the TheFunded also serves as a great resource for understanding how startups succeed or fail. “I probably know on a first-name basis most of the successful CEOs, at least in the United States, and it’s not a big number,” Ressi says. “Founders make a lot of mistakes early on that end up ruining their business.”
The Founder Institute’s inaugural class in San Francisco consists … Next Page »