Silicon Valley based Founder Institute, an early-stage accelerator and startup launch program, opened its doors for applications in its third semester on March 21 in Bogotá, Colombia. Since its launch in Bogotá in 2012, the program has created 20 promising technology companies with several graduates launching products globally.
The ‘Startup Pitch Bootcamp: Learn How to Pitch from Top Entrepreneurs’ is to be held on April 10 and The ‘Startup Ideation Bootcamp’ is scheduled for April 24. The event, ‘Making the Leap from Employee to Entrepreneur’ is scheduled later on May 22.
For aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs who are up to the challenge, the Founder Institute’s comprehensive Silicon Valley step-by-step program provides structure and mentor support. It also provides them with access to a global network of entrepreneurs who can help to start an enduring company.
Adeo Ressi, Founder and CEO of the Founder Institute says, “We believe that the Founder Institute’s new Silicon Valley-based curriculum and the ongoing mentorship associated with our program is the perfect complement to Bogotá’s well-developed startup ecosystem and group of talented entrepreneurs.”
The Founder Institute program claims to be the only one of its kind that focuses on people rather than ideas, accepts founders with day jobs, and shares equity with all participants. Founder Institute graduate companies include fast-rising startups across 6 continents like Udemy, Tappsi, Realty Mogul, Itembase, goplaceit, and Appota.
“Experience how to grow your idea into a global competitor, with help from some of the best entrepreneurs in the world and support from Silicon Valley!” says Mads Schmidt Petersen.
The new Bogotá launch will also include the Founder Institute’s newest company-building curriculum suitable for advanced founders (MVP stage) as well as aspiring new entrepreneurs at the idea-stage. This latest project has just been released in 2017 in collaboration with hundreds of startup leaders across the globe. The Bogotá Chapter will once again be led by local startup leaders, Mads Schmidt Petersen, Program Manager, Juan Colmenares, Entrepreneur in Residence, and Santiago Rojas Montoya, Associate.
Several leaders have expressed interest in helping Bogotá Founder Institute participants, including Alan Colmenares, Digital Transformation Executive, Startup Advisor and Investor, Julian Torres, CEO and Founder of Fitpal, Sergio Zúñiga, Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at BBVA, Leidy Cuestas, CEO of KitSmile, and Maika Hoekman, Head of Torre Social by Torre.
“Founders Institute is here to close the gap between those who’ve made it, and those who want to transform the world through, by providing education, mentorship, real world exposure, and the necessary tools to get them there,” says Juan Colmenares.
Aspiring entrepreneurs can apply to the Bogotá Founder Institute here. Applicants who catch the Early Application Deadline on 13th of May 2018 is eligible for a variety of scholarships – including the Female Founder Fellowship, which is offered to the best overall female applicant.
Colombia could do with the help that incubators such as Founder Institute provide to transition from employee to entrepreneur, test startup ideas, build a team, get customers, raise funding, and more. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 150 cities and 60 countries, the Founder Institute’s mission is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and empower talented and motivated entrepreneurs to build companies that will create a million new jobs.
As TropicalGringo notes, this incubator can be Colombia’s answer to compete with successful companies in Latin America, such as MercadoLibre, Argentinian, Groupon, American and Chilean, and Geelbee, Argentinian and French.
In Colombia, the training program has already completed four editions that have been hosted by Bogotá and the city of Medellín. All applicants must pass a test, and candidates are also subjected to a psycho-technical test that measures ‘entrepreneurial traits’, such as affinity with risk, fluid intelligence, and other factors.
“It’s an incredible time for entrepreneurship in Colombia, it’s time to learn and build with the best entrepreneurs and support from Silicon Valley,” says Santiago Rojas Montoya.
Some of the startups that Founder Institute has launched are Tappsi, WomyAds, Comparamejor, among many others. Aspiring entrepreneurs can apply to the Bogotá Founder Institute here. Several upcoming events are in the wings, where attendees can learn how to build a company in Bogotá.