A handful of folks that I know and respect have gotten involved in the Founder Institute’ Denver program. Andy Vuong of the Denver Post wrote a nice article on it titled Founder Institute is training minds for a great idea. Several people have suggested that the program is competitive with TechStars – including the first sentence of Andy’s article. However, I just don’t see it that way and encourage all kinds of programs like this in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In the case of the Founder Institute, it has a very different tempo and dynamic than TechStars per their weekly agenda. While there is a little overlap in the mentor group, their’s is very Denver centric. And it’s a part time program vs. something that is fully immersive.
Jon Nordmark, a well known Denver entrepreneurs who founded eBags is running the program. John previously ran a fun program called Startup Basecamp – I was at the one in 2000 where my infamous “bowling and get wasted test” (actually, just the description) made an appearance. I have a lot of respect for Jon and expect he’ll do a great job with this.
If you are interested in starting up a business and looking for an educational program around it, consider applying to the Spring 2010 Denver Founder Institute program.