Adeo Ressi’s Founder Institute is going international. This Spring, the startup mentorship program will be expanding to Singapore, Paris, Los Angeles, and Denver, meaning that the Founder Institute is now active in nine cities worldwide. Interested entrepreneurs can apply starting tonight, with an early application deadline of February 15 2010 and a final deadline of February 28. These four new programs will start simultaneously this spring.
Ressi, who founded the program, says that the Founder Institute is the first incubator program to expand beyond the United States (though there are other entrepreneur-focused programs like Seedcamp). As the Institute grows, it comes closer to Ressi’s goal of training 1000 founders a year. Conservatively, he think that this year the nine programs in aggregate will graduate over 700 founders and 500 companies, though he wouldn’t be surprised if the tally is more like 750 companies.
The Founder Institute was announced back in March 2009, offering entrepreneurs and very early stage startups an environment designed to help foster their growth and education. The program holds two four-month long sessions annually at each location, which include mentorship sessions from experienced tech entrepreneurs. The program also has a unique structure that allocates some equity to each of the founders involved, so that they have an incentive to work together (and there’s a better chance that they’ll see some financial gain out of the deal even if their startup doesn’t take off).
Here are some of the mentors Ressi confirmed for the spring semester. Ressi notes that about half of the mentors in Paris and Singapore will be visiting from Silicon Valley:
Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari, Chuck E. Cheese, and uWink;
Aaron Patzer, Founder and CEO of Mint.com;
Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote;
Philip Kaplan, Co-Founder of Blippy, Founder of Adbrite and F’d Company;
Ross Levinsohn, Founder of Fuse Capital and former President of Fox Interactive;
Bryan Thatcher, CEO of LockerBlogger, Empressr, and Fusebox;
and Mathieu Nouzareth, Founder of Cafe.com and serial web entrepreneur.