In general I’m a person that has an opinion on just about everything and I love sarcasm. Incubator programs like the founder institute could be great material to bash but that would be too easy and too cheap.
On one hand I was pretty sceptic on incubator/training institutes like the Founder Institute, but on the other hand the Founder Institute and other incubator programs fascinated me and I wanted to know more about it. So when I got invited to mentor at the Jakarta Founder Institute I quickly decided to accept the invitation.
If I would have bashed the Founder Institute before then probably the core of the bash would be that you can’t create entrepreneurs, in my opinion people are born entrepreneurs, it’s in their DNA. But that would have been a misconception on my side because the Founder Institute is not about breeding entrepreneurs. I don’t think the Founder Institute transforms people into entrepreneurs. While for a very few participants the Founder Institute is just the push they need to become entrepreneur, most will start their business anyway, with our without the Founder Institute. It’s already written in the stars, it’s their destiny.
So what is the Founder Institute about, what’s the use? Well, actually much more than I thought. First of all, the mentors provide the future entrepreneurs with a load of information and experience no school can provide them with. As a mentor I noticed that some other mentors were very educational for myself as well. Meeting with and listening to Kartini Muljadi was as impressive as educational and a great experience. But also the discussions about the potential of certain business ideas with other mentors like Martin Hartono and Erik Meijer were definitely interesting.
Next, the Founder Institute is much about connecting, the Institute opens doors for the new generation of entrepreneurs which otherwise would stay closed. Having private sessions and being connected with guys like Jia Shin and Brent Hurley are an invaluable and impossible without the help of the Founder Institute.
And last but not least, companies originating from the Founder Institute are much more likely to get funded. On one hand because the entrepreneurs are much more prepared for investors and on the other because of the authority the Founder Institute and the people behind it have.
Close before graduation day later this week I think about how things will go for the ones who managed to graduate. They’ve definitely gone through some hardships and showed they’re committed to their new company and willing to do whatever it takes. Obviously the majority of the original business ideas will perish but I’m sure that for most it will only be the idea that perishes and that the entrepreneur behind it will get back stronger, more determined and more successful.
Last I’ve got to express my admiration for the people behind the Jakarta Founder Institute: Sanny Gaddafi, Novi Rustandi and Andy Zain. I’m truly amazed by the passion, commitment and involvement they’ve showed over the passed month. With these guys behind the Jakarta section of the Founder Institute I’m pretty sure we will see some success stories.
To all graduating on thursday and starting their business, I say good luck and welcome to the club, you’re a PIRATE now (make sure you don’t drown)!