The Founder’s Institue will be expanding to 16 chapters and will be on four continents this year now that it plans to open classes in Colombia and Chile. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Founder’s Institute is a program that lasts four months where entrepreneurs are given mentorship and classes as they launch their companies.
Several of my colleagues have been through the program and a few have even launched companies with significant investment from the Silicon Valley VC and angel community. It is great to see that FI is increasingly focused on areas of the world where it is more more difficult to gain access to startup education and resources.
The founder, Adeo Ressi, is planning to bring the number of chapters to 20 this year. While I applaud Ressi on leading the charge for entrepreneurship in the developing world, we all need to figure out a way to move faster. Given resources, education, and mentorship, people all over the world can start companies that create massive value. We should be shooting for something like Founder’s Institute in every major city on the planet. I don’t mean a few dozen cities – I mean all of them. As of 2005, there were over 300 cities in the world with population of over a million people.
Think about it. Providing entrepreneurship education in ALL of those cities would be less expensive than other economic development projects for a much large gain in economic and social welfare. Technology is enabling people to start companies much more easily than before, given the right environment. It is up to all of us to unlock that fertile environment in as many places as possible as fast as we can.