We started last week, had two sessions and it has been very interesting. Very insightful but also tough. You go in thinking you know something about what you are doing, but soon you learn there is a lot you don’t know, haven’t done or are not good at. Teaches you some humility, and shows you you need to man up if if you want to be successful.
The previous class in Silicon Valley started out with 55 founders. They take in founders, whereas other incubators (YCombinator, 500startups, AngelPad, I/O ventures) only take teams with ideas. That Founder Institute class ended with 14 founders, so that shows part of the program is to test you, and your idea. So you need to be 100 % committed, as you have to be if you want to create a new business from scratch. Also, while not really being probed for your business idea while applying for the Institute, it is clear that you only get a few weeks to come up with a great idea that you can build a business and company with.
The 70 people were divided up in groups. I volunteered to become president as I want to get the most out of the program and like to be in charge. Because of that, the first introduction evening I was one of the 7 lucky ones that were picked to do a one minute pitch. Brutal, I got a 2 out of 5. I did not have my market well enough defined, and no in dept usage numbers of my current user base.
The next evening (like 24 hours later), I was picked again! Lucky me. Besides Adeo we had two mentors that were judging, Bill Hunt and Madeline Duva. I was kind of caught off guard, thinking with 60 something other founder that hadn’t presented I would not be picked again. I had looked up some numbers, but could have done a better job. Lesson to be learned: always be ready. I got sloppy. So how did I do? Not much better, 2 2-s and a 1. Feedback: they did not see the pain point, didn’t understand my numbers and my presentation lacked enthusiasm. Work to do baby.