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Founder Institute Launches In Singapore; Entrepreneurs Spoilt For Choice?'s Founder Institute early-stage incubator model can work in Singapore.

Founder Institute opens in Singapore!

Last February, I argued that the Founder Institute model of growing home-grown startups and entrepreneurs may very well work in Singapore. Yesterday the seed-stage mentoring and incubator program announced its expansion to Paris, Los Angeles, Denver and… Singapore!

The Founder Institute basically conducts a four-month training program for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs of high-tech companies, with weekly sessions guided by well-known CEOs. Program participants can look towards fund-raising opportunities at fair market value, and incubation in a startup environment where equity is shared among all participants in the companies formed.

Already, mentors confirmed for the Spring 2010 semesters include Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, Chuck E. Cheese, and uWink, Aaron Patzer, founder and CEO of, Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, Philip Kaplan, co-founder of Blippy, founder of Adbrite and F’d Company, and Ross Levinsohn, founder of Fuse Capital and former President of Fox Interactive, amongst others.

“We have discovered a formula to help passionate founders create meaningful and enduring companies in different markets around the world,” says Adeo Ressi, CEO of and the Founder Institute. “We leverage leading social science methods to identify top talent, and then we offer an intense startup curriculum focused on teamwork and guidance from leading local and global CEOs. Our unique approach has allowed the Institute to scale almost ten times larger than comparable incubators or accelerators.” He expects to graduate some 500 startup companies worldwide this year.

Anyone starting a technology company in Singapore is invited to apply here. The deadline for early admissions is February 15th, with all applications due by February 28th, 2010.

Too Many Incubators, Too Few Startups?

With its official introduction into Singapore, Founder Institute will be the first Western incubator in Singapore. What does this mean for the other incubators and angel funds here, such as the recent launch of Angel’s Den in Singapore, or the newly minted and MDA-backed Joyful Frog Digital Incubator started by Meng Weng Wong, Hugh Mason and Soon Loo?

Will it be a case of too much *money*, too few ideas? Only time will tell.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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  • Hugh Mason

    +1 Daniel: this is welcome news. Also agree that the entrepreneurship ecosystem in SG is gunning right now. There is certainly work to do to increase the supply of investment-ready teams going forward to incubation.

    To be honest, that’s exactly why Meng, Soon and I set up We want to help people become entrepreneurs and so we see all the other incubators rather as our customers. Our job is to help create deal-flow for them and we certainly don’t want to compete with any of them. We’d welcome the opportunity to work with the Founder Institute or any other incubator to share resources where we can.

    • Daniel

      Hi Hugh,

      Thanks for your reply and for dropping by this blog!

      It’s certainly great to hear that has taken a holistic and open view of the Singapore startup scene and I, for one, look forward to any collaboration that helps spur the entrepreneurial scene here.

      Would also love to interview you, Soon and Meng re: JFDI. Let me know.

  • Mohan Belani

    Nice prediction there Daniel :)

    Here’s what I feel. All of this shows that these foreign investments (incubators, funds, mentors) do look highly upon Singapore as an area worthy of growing and nurturing global startups (or they could have been giving a load of grants and incentives, which made moving to Singapore financially viable :P). This is really promising and now, we can all stop complaining of the lack of credible mentors in the ecosystem. It’s a great opportunity whole ecosystem and I’m definitely excited about it :)

    • Daniel

      Hi Mohan,

      I agree that it bodes well for the startup scene in Singapore. Let’s hope that more aspiring high-tech entrepreneurs surface to take advantage of this.

    • Jeff

      yes, 2010 will be an interesting year for Singapore’s entrepreneurial eco-system. The tools, financing, service provisions and people/mentor are there for the taking. As long as entrepreneurs take a bold step, listen and process and make the decision that only they can make, the ecosystem will hopefully flourish.

      • http://www.yolk.coms.g Yolker

        Very exciting and looking forward to participating and benefiting.
        I strongly believe such platform provide a conducive environment for founders to grow.
        Sometimes we just need to get out of being stuck behind the computer looking for answers and share our problems with fellow like minded people and find not just answers but breakthroughs.

        I am excited….

        • Jeff

          do join if you can bro.

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