© Founder Institute

Founder Institute: Full Concentration on Company Building

The Founder Institute was founded in 2009 in Silicon Valley. The accelerator has been enriching the Munich ecosystem as well since 2013. We spoke with Nathan Evans from the Founder Institute Leadership Team to find out how exactly.

Munich Startup: Please introduce yourself.

Nathan Evans: The Founder Institute is the world’s leading pre-seed startup accelerator: During our 14 week accelerator program, we take both founders and aspiring founders from their concept to their own company. The heart of the program consists of weekly mentoring sessions with founders, CEOs, investors and leading figures in the Munich startup ecosystem.

What do you focus on when working with startups?

The Founder Institute is known as one of the most difficult accelerator programs in the world. You might call our approach one of “tough love.” Founders get honest feedback from us as well as open criticism from our experienced mentors and Local Directors. It’s important to us for founders to fully focus on company building during our 14 week program: Participants need to allow for 20-30 hours each week. Anyone who isn’t able to put that in will have a tough time keeping up with the pace of the program.

Don’t lose sight of the big picture

“To be successful, a startup needs to…”

…have a good team, a good product-market fit, experienced mentors and proper timing.

Why would a good startup even need an accelerator?

In the beginning, founders typically face some serious challenges: Branding, funding and hiring — just to name a few. Those who don’t receive the right support at this stage often lose sight of the big picture. A good accelerator helps with best practice and access to experienced partners who quickly and competently support startups in dealing with different topics, which allows them to make rapid progress.

Sustainability, impact and female founders

What’s the biggest mistake a startup can make?

According to CB Insights, the main reason startups fail is because they lack a “product-market fit.” Recognizing a misfit and, if necessary, pivoting costs startups time and money. A lot of founders underestimate how difficult it is to build a company.

The trend of the year is…!

Sustainability, impact and female founders.

What makes the Munich startup scene so special?

The broad range of programs and networks make Munich a highly relevant startup hub. The two universities and the university of applied sciences make sure there are plenty of talented individuals who are interested in startups.

Last but not least: Whom should startups contact if they would like to meet with you?

All of our Local Directors are happy to talk with potential founders. You can reach us on Linkedin, by email or in person at one of our events that we organize through our Meetup Group.