The Founder Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator, is moving its next Sydney program online as the innovation hub hunts for sustainability startups.
Aspiring entrepreneurs or teams interested in building a startup with sustainability focus, supported by some of Sydney’s top mentors can apply to the Spring Founder Institute program here, and/or attend a free online startup event in Sydney on June 23 here.
Since launching in Silicon Valley in 2009, the Founder Institute has created more 4,000 companies and $20 billion in value.
FI Sydney is also welcoming two new co-directors in startup guru and National Head of Community for Stone & Chalk, Cheryl Mack and sustainability engagement professional and Director of OneWave, Charlotte Connell.
Connell has spent her entire career mentoring startups and ran Australia’s largest startup conference StartCon.
“I’m passionate about helping others realise their entrepreneurial potential so am really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves as a co-director,” she said.
She has a background in marketing and communicating environmental and social sustainability, and is excited about the inaugural sustainability accelerator.
“Entrepreneurship is about developing new ways of thinking to find solutions and I can’t think of a time where we’ve needed that more,” she said.
“Before COVID-19 hit, Australia was climate change ground zero. We need to come up with better solutions and startups will play a huge role in how we recreate the future.”
Co-director Phoebe Zhang said the addition of Mack and Connell to the Founder Institute created a gender-balanced team.
“We’re so pumped in launching our first sustainability accelerator. Now is the time, more than ever to advance sustainability innovation, and to help early stage founders solve the most pressing challenges our world is facing,” she said, adding that the mentors list, which includes Canva co-founder Cameron Adams, featured the brightest minds and biggest names in the entrepreneurship.
The pre-seed accelerator program begins on August 18, with applications closing on August 9 (early applications run to July 19 at reduced pricing).
Successful startups will score constant feedback and regular office hours with 50+ Sydney mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs and be fast-tracked to a suite of post-programs, including Funding Lab, for expert support for years to come.
Being part of the Founder Institute program also means you’ll be part of a global network of 4,000-plus alumni and 14,000 mentors across more than 185 cities.