Entrepreneurial Education Programs in New York/Invitation to Founder Institute Investor Session

 

I’ve been very excited to see the boom in the New York startup community in the last 2 years, driven in large part by the shrinkage in the NY industries that traditionally lured some of the most entrepreneurial and aggressive personalities (finance, consulting, etc.) Michael Karnjanaprakorn posted a detailed list of resources and players in the local community.

One category of resources I wanted to add to Mike’s list are educational programs for entrepreneurs. I’m faculty in a number of these organizations, particularly the Founder Institute. I was a Mentor in the Winter 2009 New York semester, and will be faculty for the inaugural program in Singapore, in late April 2010.

Next Thursday night, March 25, the participants in the current Founder Institute program will be presenting to some angel/VC investors downtown. If you would like to join the audience, please contact me and I’ll forward your request to the lead organizer for New York’s Founder Institute, Craig Kanarick.

I’m excluding here some of the many organizations that run conferences/events geared to entrepreneurs in New York, such as Bootstrapper Summit; Bootup; DigitalMediaEvents; Entrepreneurs Roundtable; Feedback Forum; Fashion 2.0; The Founders Club; Founders Roundtable / Pluggedin NYC; Gaming 2.0; Girls in Tech; IxDA; Microsoft Startup Zone; MIT Enterprise Forum of NY; New York Entrepreneur Week; NextNY, New York Technology Council; New Work City; NYVideo; NY Tech Meetup; NY Video; Private Equity Forums; Semantic Web Meetup; Silicon Alley Insider; Startup at Work; Summit Series; Talk NYC; TechAviv NY; The Hatchery; Ultra Light Startups; youngStartup Ventures; NYC Economic Development Corp.; and Y+30. I think these programs are very worthwhile; I excluded them because they don’t offer a formal training and faculty.

 

We’ve drafted profiles below of the major selective educational programs in NY for entrepreneurs. Please advise if you know of any that I’m missing.

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FastTrac

Organizational Sponsor: Levin Institute

Location: New York

Faculty: academics and entrepreneurs

Duration: 7-day intensive boot camp (2 full days a week over 4 weeks)

Cost: These programs are currently offered at no charge to qualified applicants, through funding from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, and with support from the Kauffman Foundation.

Selectivity Ratio: NA

Info: The FastTrac program has trained over 700 individuals to launch new businesses (through its NewVenture program) or to grow existing businesses (through GrowthVenture).  SBS surveys indicate that over a third of the brand new businesses have recorded sales since completing New Venture, and half of the GrowthVenture firms have indeed grown their businesses.

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First Growth Venture Network

Organizational Sponsor: First Growth’s executive committee/founding growers includes venture capital firms – Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Charles River Ventures, First Round Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, North Bridge Venture Capital, OpenView Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners and Venrock; angel investors Grape ArborVC and AngelVineVC; the Tech Group at Lowenstein Sandler, and the tech investment banking firm GCA Savvian.

Location: New York

Faculty: entrepreneurs, tech executives, VCs, professional advisors

Duration: seven half day sessions over two "semesters"

Cost: $0

Selectivity Ratio: Most recently accepted about 15 out of 60+ applicants.

Summary: "First Growth is a program for high potential, seed and early stage start-up tech entrepreneurs in and around New York City. First Growth takes high potential entrepreneurs and accelerates their "first growth" by (1) connecting them with venture capitalists, angel investors, successful entrepreneurs and advisors, all of whom have spent years in and around technology start-ups; (2) connecting each start-up with a First Growth Advisor Team of 3 or 4 successful network members who will serve as mentors to the team; (3) providing regular opportunities for substantive information and networking with the broader First Growth community; and (4) providing a peer group of other high potential tech leadership teams in the First Growth program."

 

9 of the first 15 companies have already received seed funding, which is a very high ratio.  One company recently announced that it was acquired in a successful exit.  Two advisors (successful serial entrepreneurs) also received funding from First Growth connections.

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Image representing Founder Institute as depict...Founder Institute

Organizational Sponsor: TheFunded.

Locations: NY, Denver, San Diego/Orange County, Singapore/Asia Pacific, Paris, LA, Bay Area, Seattle Area, Greater DC, others to come later

Faculty: serial entrepreneurs

Duration: three months

Cost: In US, $600 per program + an application cost of $50. In addition, The Institute takes a small percentage (3.5%) of warrants in a company that is formed by a Founder during the program, priced at the value the company receives in its first outside round of financing. 

Selectivity Ratio: Accept under 40% of applicants. Approximately 45% of the enrolled Founders graduate. In New York, approximately 30% will graduate.

Summary: "The Founder Institute is a four month training program for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs. The Institute prepares founders to lead the next generation of world-class technology companies across a wide range of industries, from the biotech to the internet. Weekly company-building sessions are guided by experienced CEOs, and they are held in the evening to allow participants to keep their day job or develop their companies during business hours. All of the program stakeholders, from the participating founders to the experienced CEO Mentors, share in the upside generated by the companies formed during the program. Participants also enjoy free services from three dozen Institute Partners, fundraising opportunities at fair market value, and a teamwork-oriented environment to build a company."

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Mentor-Capital

Mentor Capital Foundation

Organizational Sponsor: Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt

Location: New York

Faculty: Primarily service providers. Steven and Bill Harding of Financial Summit Ventures are the "guiding spirits".

Duration: ten three-hour sessions, over 10 weeks

Cost: $500

Selectivity Ratio: Accept all or almost all applicants. Currently 15 companies are participating.

Info: "Mentor Capital Foundation is a newly formed non-profit entity involved in various philanthropic activities and early stage technology investments." They lead a series of seminars structured for technology companies seeking the knowledge and leadership needed to secure venture capital.

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JumpStart NYC

JumpStart NYC

Organizational Sponsor: Levin Institute

Location: New York

Faculty: academics and entrepreneurs

Duration: 3 months

Cost: $0

Selectivity Ratio: NA

Info: "A proven, three-month educational program to help individuals leaving jobs in the financial services sector to apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities in opportunities beyond financial services.  One of Mayor Bloomberg’s initiatives to boost the New York City economy, JumpStart NYC was pilot tested in Spring 2009, delivering a program that helped participants develop new skills, explore project opportunities in New York’s entrepreneurial firms, and in many cases create new career paths and opportunities." The program targets primarily people interested in joining startups/technology companies, as opposed to founders themselves. Disclosure: I was faculty for the launch program of JumpStart NYC.

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NYC Seed logo

SeedStart

Organizational Sponsor: NYCSeed

Location: New York

Faculty: VCs and entrepreneurs

Duration: 8 weeks

Cost: includes funding

Selectivity Ratio: NA.  Currently applications are closed for 2010.

Info: An incubator program, providing up to 10 startups $20,000 plus mentoring and guidance for any worthy entrepreneurial idea. SeedStart is a joint effort among Contour Venture Partners, IA Ventures, NYC Seed, RRE Ventures and Polaris Venture Partners, and also includes Fish & Richardson, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and Silicon Valley Bank.

SeedStart is clearly inspired in part by similar seed fund incubator programs such as Boostphase (Atlanta, GA); Bootup Labs (Vancouver, BC); Capitalfactory.com (Austin, TX); Charles River Ventures QuickStart (Boston, MA); DreamIT Ventures (Philadelphia, PA); Iaccelerator.org (Bangalore, India); Launchboxdigital.com (Washington, DC); Nextstart.org (Greenville, SC); seedcamp (London, UK); Shotputventures.com (Atlanta, GA); Summer @ Highland (Lexington, MA and Menlo Park, CA); Techstars.org (Boston (MA), Boulder, CO, and Seattle, WA; The Difference Engine (Sunderland, UK); Y Combinator (Mountain View, CA); and Y Europe (Vienna, Austria). For more information on how to build a replica of Y Combinator, read Jed Christiansen. For a comparative listing and more background, see Readwriteweb and Dan Veltri. TechStars recently released very positive data on the success of their incubated companies.

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I’m excluding here some of the traditional incubators that typically offer a physical plant but not formal training. For a list, see the Business Incubator Association of New York State, Inc., and particularly NYU-Poly’s incubators

 

(Thanks to Nikhil Iyer for his help re
searching this post.)

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