It all starts with our renowned FI Core, which combines aggressive growth sprints and weekly feedback sessions to reach the milestones needed for investment and sustained growth. Alumni of FI Core then get free access to our advanced ‘Founder Lab’ accelerators for years to come.
See the schedule for the program below (dates vary by program location):
Week 1: Orientation
Meet the cohort & learn our methodology
During Orientation, we will review the Founder Institute program structure, methodology, tools, and requirements. You will meet the cohort and establish how your startup will use the program to push your business forward.
Your cohort will be split up into the “Launch Track” or “Growth Track”, depending on the stage your business. The "Launch Track" focuses earlier Founders and teams on validation and go-to-markets, while the "Growth Track" focuses teams with a live product and customers on traction and funding.
The below deliverables are in addition to any custom "Epic Sprints" you may receive based on your specific challenges, and below is a small sample of the deliverables you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours:
Week 2: Vision
Define a strong business vision
In each weekly Feedback Session, Founders will pitch and outline their progress to the Mentors for feedback, and get tips and insights on the week's topic. This week you'll get tips on how to develop a strong vision for your business.
Week 3: Customer Development
Analyze your customer feedback
In this Feedback Session, Founders will present any customer development progress to the Mentors to examine if they are pursuing a scalable business with a clear and actionable customer problem. The Mentors will also provide tips on how to validate your key assumptions, interview potential customers effectively, and best interpret the feedback you receive.
Week 4: Revenue
Validate a scalable revenue model
In this Feedback Session, Founders will share their pitch and revenue model with Mentors for feedback and continued refinement. You will also get tips on how to sustain your startup before receiving financing or revenue, identifying the most lucrative revenue source for your business, testing different revenue sources with your target customers, and more.
Week 5: Branding & Design
Get feedback on branding & design
In this session, Mentors will analyze your existing branding and design, and also discuss how to develop an enduring brand and great user experiences.
Week 6: Mentor Idea Review
Test the core business on a mentor panel
This is the first big checkpoint in the program to determine your progress. During the Mentor Idea Review, you will present a longer presentation to a panel of FI Mentors for extensive review. You will receive a rating, as well as feedback on the long-term viability of your offering, revenue model, growth strategy, and more.
Week 7: Legal & IP
Review your legal infrastructure
In this Feedback Session, startup lawyers and CEOs will explain various legal agreements, startup legal components (such as equity), cap tables, how to protect intellectual property, the best practices for managing a law firm, and more. As usual, Mentors will also provide Founders with ratings and feedback on their startup pitch and progress.
Week 8: Go-to-Market & Scale
Improve your strategy to launch or scale
In this Feedback Session, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current go-to-market plans and progress, and cover topics like marketing messaging, unit ecomomics, customer acquisition, and more.
Week 9: Product Development
Get feedback on your product roadmap
In this Feedback Sesison, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current product, and/or product roadmap. Expert in product development will also discuss best practices in product management, roadmapping, managing product teams, and more.
Week 10: Mentor Progress Review
Test your progress on a mentor panel
Similar to the Mentor Idea Review, the Mentor Progress Review is the second major test in the program. In this session, Founders will focus on give a long presentation their progress and traction to a panel of Mentors for a detailed review. Mentors will evaluate Founders based on their progress in the program, the company’s scalability, and more.
Week 11: Hiring & Onboarding
Improve your team and hiring
In this Feedback Session, Founders will receive feedback from Mentors on their team plans and product progress. In addition, Mentors will discuss how to identify the roles needed to build a world-class company, how to develop a strategy to recruit, onboard and retain the best people, and more.
Week 12: Growth
Establish a scalable engine for growth
In this session, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current growth, metrics, and strategy. Mentors will discuss various growth tactics, setting growth goals and milestones, communicating your startup’s growth progress and setbacks with stakeholders and advisors, and more.
Week 13: Equity & Funding
Fix any impediments to fundraising
In this session, Mentors will analyze Founder pitches from the perspective of an investor, identifying any remaining issues or areas for improvement. Mentors will also cover numerous topics related to fundraising, including different fundraising options, how to raise funding, and more.
Week 14: Graduation
Celebrate & onboard to our post-programs
Completing the Founder Institute is an honor. The program is challenging, and the expectations are demanding. In this final session, you will celebrate with your peers, friends and family, as well as select Mentors. Some Founders will also pitch to a live audience, and you will officially onboard to all of the post-program resources and assistance the Founder Institute provides.
Week 15+ Post Programs
Next steps after your 14 week program | 100% Virtual and Free for Founder Institute Alumni
Once you’ve finished our template program, your journey isn’t over. Founders Lab is a series of advisory programs that provide feedback and structure to help Alumni reach post-program milestones.