Entrepreneur training program eyes the Upstate


Founder Institute taps 21 local leaders as mentors


An entrepreneur training and startup launch program based in Silicon Valley may soon spool up an Upstate chapter if the program can generate enough interest.

The Founder Institute – which calls itself the largest startup accelerator in the world – currently has 92 chapters across 50 cities, each of which guides a group of entrepreneurs through a four-month part-time program designed to help them launch a company.

In the Upstate, regional business leaders Steve Townes, Leighton Cubbage, Jason Premo and Ryan Johnston have expressed interest in organizing and leading the local chapter. (*Full disclosure: Upstate Business Journal Publisher Ryan Johnston is to be a director of the chapter upon sufficient local interest).

“Ideas are easy, but running a business is really hard,” said Founder Institute Greenville co-director Jason Premo in a news release. “The institute’s program guides new entrepreneurs through these trenches, while bringing the program to South Carolina provides a direct mechanism to spur additional growth in our knowledge economy.”

The Greenville chapter will hold three interest sessions during April, and is currently accepting applications for the four-month program, which will include startup training, feedback and support from experienced local CEOs.


Umbrella organization the Founder Institute has helped launch 1,563 companies, with 4,112 CEOs in five years. The program’s goal is to provide 1 million new jobs worldwide, according its website.

“This is how jobs are made,” said Ranger Aerospace founder and CEO Steve Townes in the release. “Jobs are made by entrepreneurs who dare to start, build, or invest in something new, and I want to play a contributing role in creating more jobs.”

The Founder Institute uses a predictive admissions test that the organization says is 85 percent accurate at predicting an applicant’s potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur, according to the company’s website. Upon acceptance, participants pay a $750 course fee to cover location fees, mentor travel and other expenses during the four months.

Dates and times for general interest sessions can be found here.


[ featured image via The Founder Institute ]





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