Founder Labs is a 5-week pre-incubator focused on the first phase of launching a startup - finding a team and validating the business idea. Through Founder Labs, aspiring founders build a founding team, learn technical, lean startup skills, validate ideas to find the right product-market fit and rapidly prototype and test. What does this look like? The breakdown: 50% male, 50% female. 50% technical, 50% non-technical. 10 engineers/developers, 5 designers, and 5 business/marketing individuals. These 20 participants work in teams, 5 days a week, to produce 5 minimum viable products over the 5 week period.
Visiting Advisors are an important part of the program, providing experienced-based knowledge and feedback to the teams. Visiting advisors include:
- Steve Blank (Entrepreneur, Author, Professor, Creator, Customer Development)
- Eric Ries (Entrepreneur, Author, Creator, The Lean Startup)
- Dave McClure (Founder, 500 Startups)
- Ann Muira-Ko (Partner, FLOODGATE)
- Theresia Gouw Ranzetta (Partner, Accel Partners)
During the Founder Labs pre-incubator program, teams moonlight on a problem hypothesis with the intent of applying to incubators such as 500Startups, Astia, TechStars or YCombinator after the idea is validated and a basic prototype (minimum viable product) created. Alternately, teams may launch and grow their startups independently after the program.