Chasing Big Ideas
FOUNDER.org is an intense, company building program and investor in student entrepreneurs at leading universities around the world. We fast track your team through the challenges of building a high impact company, while you’re doing it. And we can provide you with the funding to get started. Our hands-on, transformative, experience is designed to increase your odds of survival and to grow your company faster and take it further than you ever imagined. We are a team of serial Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who have built billion dollar companies. Now we’re working with the next generation of creative, audacious student founders.
- Join an annual class of 50 top founding teams from leading schools around the world.
- Conquer the challenges of building a high impact company through 8D© our Company Building System.
- One to one coaching and support by industry innovators and serial entrepreneurs.
- Personalized twelve-month engagement with your own FOUNDER.org mentor.
- Annually, ten top teams win $100K to get started.
- All teams have access to our investment fund for student entrepreneurs.
- Anytime, anywhere access to the FOUNDER.org platform.
What the Class of 2014 is Saying
Vinay Mahadik & Bharath Madhusudan, Securly Inc.
“After two years of MBA studies at a top university and graduating from two prominent accelerators, I thought I had seen it all. But, within a short period of time at FOUNDER.org, we gained immense value and knowledge not picked up anywhere else. FOUNDER.org has helped us understand we were limiting our vision of the value we can bring to the market.”
“As a result, we now speak at conferences around the world and have positioned ourselves as thought leaders in our domain and we are constantly improving our product in the process. We have crisply captured our product, sales and marketing roadmap for the next 12 months and we’ve raised an over-subscribed round of funding. Best of all, we have the know-how to build a sales organization that will enable us to significantly accelerate our future growth.”
FOUNDER.org is a non-profit working with colleges, universities and research institutes around the world to advance student entrepreneurship. We provide the scaffolding founders need to be lifelong company builders. Our goal is to significantly increase the number of student entrepreneurs and to improve the odds that more young companies not just survive, but thrive and positively transform the world around us.
We believe it takes more than just a great idea to create a high impact company. Our approach immerses teams in a holistic experience based on 8D© our Company Building System. Companies emerge from FOUNDER.org with the recruiting expertise, team building skills, customer insights, detailed plans and business processes required to scale for long-term success.
Annually we pick 50 teams from our partner schools around the world to enter the annual FOUNDER.org class. We teach student founders the critical skills they need to turn their ideas into high impact ventures and we provide the funding to get them started. The top ten teams in our annual class receive $100K each upon entering the program and all the teams have access to our investment fund for student entrepreneurs.
Michael Baum and his family started FOUNDER.org in 2012. Michael’s entrepreneurial journey spans 25 years and six startups creating more than 3,500 jobs and $10B in shareholder value. His most recent company, Splunk is a pioneer in big data and trades under the symbol SPLK.
FOUNDER.org’s mission is to inspire students to chase big ideas and become founders of impactful companies. We are passionate about pursuing our work because the developed world has settled into a relentlessly slow period of economic growth and unfortunately, the primary pain falls on our youth. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 27 make up 18% of the global population but 42% of the unemployed, a figure that doesn’t include those enrolled in school, according to the OECD. Youth unemployment is even higher in some parts of Europe, where more than 50% of young people in Greece and Spain are out of work. For those that do find jobs, economic weakness means lower salaries and/or lower-skilled jobs.
The Associated Press estimates 54% of US college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, not working in their desired fields. Millennials aren’t lazy; they want to participate productively in the workforce, but they’re caught in a persistently flat world economy.
The good news is we now have more than 40 years of data that proves young, innovative companies are the engines of economic growth and create the well paying jobs needed to broaden the base of higher wage earners. According to the Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, young companies, those less than five years old, now create all net new US jobs.
How do we spawn more young, innovative companies? We can start by training students not to simply look for jobs, but to create jobs. Today, approximately 1% of the 2.7M US undergraduate, graduate and PhD. students go on to start a company upon graduation, resulting in more than 9,000 new companies every year. One in ten of these new companies will thrive, create a substantial number of new jobs and drive economic growth. Imagine if we can multiply the number of student entrepreneurs by 3 or 5 times. And what if we can greatly boost the odds that more of these young companies thrive?
Advances in software, IT, medical and energy technologies have opened access to innovation for many more student researchers, scientists, artists and engineers than ever before. This pace of innovation is exciting, but even more rewarding is the economic opportunities young companies create for individuals, families and society.