Is Founders Institute worth it?

I have received an invitation to take the test for admission to the Founders Institute.

After some coaching from friends I took the test and passed.

Now I’m wondering if it’s worth it to enroll? I’m not concerned about the money, but the time needed to pass the course since it will take away time that I will be able to spend on my startup.

Is it really worth it?

What would you do?

  • In a gold rush, which do you think is better? To be the miner digging for gold, or the person who sold him the shovel? Recently I have been getting invites from ppl trying to sell access to investors. Never pay for access to investors.

    Beware of all the clever companies that will try to convince you that to be successful you need what they are selling. As a founder, 100% of your time and focus should be on your potential customers – you will learn everything you need from them and many free resources. Ignore the distractions.

    • Author: I understand what you are saying and i agree, but does this relate to the Founders Institute?

      Reviews are conflicting and can’t really understand the reason why there is so much press around them.

      In reality they don’t sell investors but will make their money by forcing you to incorporate at the end of the course and give warrants of your company.

      thanks for you time to answer.

  • I graduated from FI last year. It’s worth it if you need to quickly ramp up entrepreneurial skills. How to build a team, plan product development, set up marketing funnel and sales machine for your startup – having someone who already made it explain it to you and being able to ask questions is priceless, it is hard to find and connect with these people other way. They invite CEOs or other senior managers who are willing to share their experience and expertise to you. They can even become your mentors later.

    But if you already know how to do things, then don’t bother, just do it.

    • I am wondering, does everyone who takes the test, PASS?

      The said it would take 55 minutes, but it took me 3 hours and 55 minutes.

      I felt proud when I was told I passed but then I thought about the Fulfillment by Amazon course I took a year ago, (for $1500) and while IT was beneficial, in retrospect I would NOT have taken it. SO, I am also wondering, is it beneficial for a NON tech start up? Can someone email me at


      SO confused!

  • I been part of the FI too. Its a good place to meet likeminded entrepreneurs, maybe find a mentor, get some feedback on it. The part I was not satisfied with that it gave some people the impression that if you follow these steps you get a successful startup. It takes a lot more than graduating from FI.

  • NO! It’s a cookie cutter tough love boot-camp, that does not recognize the specific needs of your startup. Any value that can be found by going to the sessions can be accessed for $50 at Udemy. Save the the other $1900 to use to build your business. Don’t be fooled by the idea of mentorship, the “mentors” are just lecturers; if they feel like it they may give you some of their time. No one is required to read your assignments, so their is no added value over taking the online course from Udemy.

    • Before saying ‘No’, prove your points in a professional manner, not like ‘Don’t go to McDonalds’ kind of statement. Why do you say no for FI? Have you been to FI or did any of your close friends been there and shared their bitter experience at FI?

      How do you say mentors are lecturers? any clear proof on that?

      Don’t simply confuse people with vague statements when people desperately looking for clear answers.

      • I have been to FI. 😉 there is no clear proof that FI actually helps you with anything. its generic information they give everyone. like Read MOM TEST, STEVE Blank, MVP, lean strategy, which you can learn in a day read any good startup blog. Y COMBINATOR is good one.

        do you think tinder and spacex are the same thing ? can those two businesses be run on same principals ? can they have the same customer acquisition strategy ? marketing, fundraising strategy, can they both be explained in 3 min ? do they need to be explained in 3 min pitch ? will you pay and give away 4% of your company ?

        if you answer is yes then join FI.

        its probably good for someone who has too many ideas ? or no ideas.

        but if you have a viable business use the money to do a bloody good product.

        watch the Founder institute mentors will not even come close to the mentor quality what is available online. two or three mentors will run the Whole course in your country most of them would have limited basic knowledge of a business. you will have 15 min skype meeting once a week if you are lucky.

        if you do join just because you are desperate but somehow manage to refine a idea to a level where you think its might work leave before signing the 4% warrant.

        if they were so good they would put their money on founders. not charge them. or at least the 4% would be if Founders institute helped you to raise funding.

        Do not expect any investors the quality of the fellow founders is so low that no real investors are interested.

        session are run from cafe, pubs, co working spaces, just like startup meetup groups.

        and they can also force you out of the course mid way and keep the money. saying you can return next cohort ? this was the bizarrest. you pay, you will do all the work, you can be made to leave when they want and in form of support they will say you are not ready.

        yes there is udemy they say they have launched 2,300 companies and you only know one. but according to them the 80% companies survive but the main page testimonials are shady with no actual companies like Devinity

        I was personally very disappointed. rest I will leave to you discretion.

        p.s do not pay for any of these courses. they wont tell you anything more than what you can already find online and specifically for your startup.


      • Strangely Don’t goto macdonald statement sums up the founders institute experience. Founders institute is the McDonald’s of Enterprenuerahip programs. You do it just cause it was the only thing available but you regret it as soon as you half the way cause you realise they are asking you to watch videos online and learn everything yourself. 😀. None of the mentors are paid so they don’t give proper time for any kind of actionable suport. Use the money to build a good. product and watch ycombinator startup school video of top notch mentors.

  • Founders Institute mess you about… There’s a certain arrogance to them with the ‘fail fast’ mentality.

    I drove out to Lisbon from the UK to start my course at the end of April, they moved the start date twice just before the start of the course. They then moved the course back to October…

    There’s a distinct lack of manners and the fact that they changed their start date seems to be a ‘so what’ you’re a start-up you should be used to uncertainty.

  • Founder Institute Assignment Text Editor is a total crap. The question is to write things in bullet points and the bullet point doesn’t even show up. They even ask to submit a properly formatted text in a shitty text editor. Just think how much does they value you when they don’t even value their own software’s quality. 🙂

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