Brad's Books and Organizations

Books

Books

Organizations

Organizations

Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

« swipe left for tags/categories

swipe right to go back »

Founder Institute Coming to Denver

Comments (8)

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 ideaSeveral 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 BasecampI 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

  • http://www.facebook.com/thefunded Adeo Ressi

    Brad, I completely agree: the Founder Institute is not competitive with TechStars.

    I consider both programs complimentary, and, even if there is some overlap, any well-intentioned effort to help entrepreneurs is something that I fully support. Thank you for the kind words, and I hope that some FI Graduates in the Denver and Boulder area apply to your next TechStars cohort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonnordmark Jon Nordmark

    Brad — you are so right (as usual) about the TechStars / Founder Institute comparison. I don't believe they compete as much as they both feed the entrepreneurial eco-system which our local and national economies depend on. At their core, both TechStars and Founder Institute promote technical innovation and job creation. Yet, they are different —

    – TechStars is a deep immersion and 100%, full-time commitment to starting a new company; over the past few years, a number of great companies have been started via that process; in fact, my new company (Wambo) is deeply involved with one of the TechStars graduates, called UsingMiles.com, which shows tremendous promise

    – Founder Institute works very well for people who are still working — moonlighting their way into entrepreneurship (yet serious about it); that is how I started eBags.com — it involved many late nights and weekends while I worked my day-job

    The great thing about TechStars.org and FounderInstitute.com is the transparency created for entrepreneurs. When eBags started, I couldn't find entrepreneur mentors. Yet, new entrepreneurs typically need a network or mentors — because you can't be an expert in everything (legal, accounting, marketing, technology). While starting eBags, I felt like I was working in a black hole, trying to figure out the legal issues, the accounting issues, the financing, online marketing and technical issues. Fortunately, I had a few great co-founders, but still, it was sooooo hard. And, looking back, despite eBags success (10 million bags sold, 35% CAGR for nine years, profitable since 2001, no down financing rounds), we made a few big mistakes that we didn't find out about until years down the road.

    In any event, I love the effort to help newly minted businesses become successful contributors to society!

  • Simon Murtha-Smith

    I’m suprised that they charge a fee. I can’t really imagine PAYING someone to take equity in my idea, regardless of any amount of mentorship.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      I’m bothered by the fee also.  I despise “pay to pitch” and, while this is different, it’s still a barrier for me. 

  • FashionableLive

    The excitement surrounding Louis Vuitton Bags Santa Monica Place mall was palpable Thursday night as a gaggle of glamorous guests filed into the newly opened Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags boutique to Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags celebrate the brand’s LV Bags first Westside location. Cheap LV Bags Many people Lv Handbags showed their love for the brand by wearing some of Louis Vuitton’s most statement-making pieces.<a

  • Pingback: Check this

  • Pingback: very cheap auto insurance

  • Pingback: bartley ridge floor plan

Build something great with me