Enrollment Begins at Founder Institute After Inaugural Class Completes Training

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School’s out for the Founder Institute’s inaugural class in San Diego, which started with 22 students in November and last week graduated 13 entrepreneurs who are moving forward to develop 12 startup companies, according to Jeanine Jacobson, a San Diego organizer.

After starting the four-month mentoring program for startup founders in San Francisco a year ago, founder Adeo Ressi (of TheFunded.com) expanded to San Diego-Orange County, Seattle, and other cities known as hotbeds of technology. The Founder Institute program is now in nine cities and has even acquired an international flavor; the deadline for spring applications ended yesterday for programs in Paris, Singapore, Denver, and Los Angeles.

The outcome in San Diego was sufficiently encouraging for the startup incubator and training program to announce it is now accepting applications for a second class, which is scheduled to begin April 6. The Institute has recruited 26 mentors who have started their own companies, with the San Diego curriculum focused generally on high tech, including Internet, IT, cleantech, and hardware. Jacobson tells me she even received an application Friday from a recent F/A-18 Hornet pilot, who is an entrepreneurial-minded graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Institute will continue to holds its classes in the evening to make it easier for students to keep their day job. The cost of enrollment has been increased to $800 from $600, although students also must give up a small stake in any company they launch (see below). And they must pay a $4,500 course fee if they get external funding during the program.

Jacobson tells me the entrepreneurs who graduated last Tuesday “are now working on their business. Some are looking for empty office space, and some are still building products.” The San Diego graduates include:

CloudCanvas, a Web-based image-editing program developed in HTML 5 that was previewed in the TechCrunch 50 Demo Pit.

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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