This past Friday evening I graduated from the Founder Institute’s Denver Summer Semester, and you know what? If I wasn’t wearing a skirt at graduation, I’m pretty sure that I would have done a tuck side jump in celebration. I have pom poms in the basement too, so I could have really gone all out.
On what seemed like an innocent spring day in May 2011, I attended my first Founder Institute meeting. It was at this meeting where about 30 “selected” accepted applicants gathered to get our entrepreneur butt kicked into gear. (Note: I had to rewrite that sentence three times). By the second day of the meeting, about half the class did not return, and the rest of us returned with a little more hunger…Hunger for our business idea, sleep, and dinner.
Adeo Ressi started The Founder Institute with the goal of creating a network of technology startup companies supported by top-notch mentors, hard-as-hell homework, and grill-you-to–the-bone constructive feedback. Basically, your really cute business idea is either going to sink or swim, and this time, you don’t get to wait for 45 minutes before you get into the water…So, like the rest of us, you dive into the water and start swimming to the other side, which is actually 3 months away. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, you’re skinny-dipping.
As the winner of the Denver Female Fellowship for the Founder Institute, and the only solo female founder in our semester, I felt this drive to be successful. And while my first association with success was to make millions of dollars by the time I graduated, the real success was the huge amount of progress I made on my business, and the connections I made with some of the FI mentors. It was mentors like Jim Franklin, Mike Stemple, and Jon Nordmark who helped me realize the true potential of not just my business idea, but me as an entrepreneur, a creative, and a damn good speaker.
I can’t help but to be sad that the semester is already over…And although there was this sense of accomplishment on the day of our FI graduation…I am returning to my business with a little more hunger…Hunger for my business idea, sleep, and now, getting funded.
Thank you to the Founder Institute and my Denver mentors and classmates!