In the last 4 years, the Founder Institute has helped launch more than 650 companies in over 40 cities to become the largest incubator in the world. Their mission is to “globalize” the Silicon Valley ecosystem to successfully launch 1.000 companies per year in 75 cities worldwide. After a successful first round in Spain, they are currently accepting applications into the 2nd edition of the Founder Institute Barcelona.
The model is simple: Take great people with new ideas and put them together with expert coaches and proven training methods to build innovative businesses. The Founder Institute’s global network of mentors, investors, and advisors is unparalleled and they are laser focused to help you build a world-class tech startup.
There are a few key differences that set the Founder Institute apart from other incubator programs. First, they require all applicants to pass the Predictive Admissions Test before entering the program. The idea is that judging a prospective entrepreneur on their idea alone is too subjective and narrow in its focus. The FI program is challenging and this test is necessary to find the best people with the right personality to persevere.
Second, is the structured alignment among all participants through a unique post-graduate commitment. To create an environment of collaboration and an ecosystem intent on developing disruptive innovation, every graduate company is required to contribute 3.5% of equity into a bonus pool that will be recycled back into the program for current and future startups. It fosters a strong sense of teamwork because when 1 person or company becomes successful, everyone receives some financial benefits.
Perhaps the most surprising difference is the ability for the accepted entrepreneur to keep their day job while participating in the Founder Institute 4-month program incubator program. Whether you have an idea or simply a dream to launch your own company, with a strong application and exam score, you can get started in April.
Last year, Founder Institute Barcelona’s 1st edition created 7 companies:
Qmunify – Founders Alvaro Zambrano & Omar Perez
Collecting customer feedback across languages has never been easier or more fun
Miniartbox – Founder Laura Lopez
Collecting, preserving, and sharing the amazing works by young artists
Letskickin – Founder Xavi Fuentes
The fun and easy way to organize a group gift among friends
Kampoos – Founder Oriol Miró
Helping sports organizations promote and manage their activities online
Vojo – Founders: Pablo Casals & Joel Farrés
Revolutionizing the way we experience travel through adventure tourism
Perkslist – Founder Pau Sanchez
The event planner’s best friend – helping with travel, accommodation, and activities for guests
Disismore – Founder Paolo De Fabritiis
Helping match companies with talented professionals with disabilities
As FI Barcelona prepares for their 2nd edition, they are holding open applications until April 28th. All those interested can learn more about the program, the vision, and the application process here. It is a rolling admission process and you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for the best chance at landing a spot on Barcelona’s summer 2013 roster.
UPDATE: for those of you on the fence about applying, check out these testimonials from Quora.