Founder Institute (FI), a global startup accelerator with over 1,000 graduate companies, has just announced that it has plans to launch in Bangkok, Thailand this end-2013.
The four-month program for existing and prospective founders will see 16 expected mentors like Adrian Vanzyl, CEO of Ardent Capital, Jay Jootar, Chairman of The VC Group, Natavudh “Moo” Pungcharoenpong, CEO of OOKBEE, and Pawoot “Pom” Pongvitayapanu, Founder and Managing Director of TARAD.com.
While not required to quit their day job, participating founders will be able to go through training, and receive feedback and support from experienced CEOs and investors. The Silicon Valley-based program was originally started four years ago to help anyone, regardless of gender, age, and background, to build a technology company.
Jeffrey Paine, Director at Founder Institute Singapore, also gave his comments on the upcoming program in Bangkok. He said, “It benefits first-time founders from Thailand immensely because it is the first program of its kind to train founders at the idea stage.”
Paine added that the program will be targeted at founders based in Bangkok but participants can come from all across the globe. That being said, the focus of the startups will depend on the founders, as it is after all their company.
Leading FI’s efforts in Bangkok are Krating Poonpol, Founder and CEO of Disrupt University; Benjamin Ranck, CEO and Co-founder of All Over Geo; and Charle Charoenphan, Co-Founder and CEO of Hubba.
Similar to FI’s involvement in Jakarta, Indonesia, classes will be conducted in both Thai and English, depending on the class background and mentors.
Charoenphan told e27 that the program will help individuals move from being an employee to a startup founder. “Most existing incubator except only established or experienced technopreneurs but there is no platform to help build new startups and that is where FI will play a major role,” he added.
“Second benefit is that it provide Thailand with a strong network of tech mentor around the world. FI provide an establish global mentors network that Thailand lack. We will have more reasons to bring top mentors around the world to come here.”
Furthermore, these prospective entrepreneurs might require an additional push to commit as a founder. While the interest in starting up might be increasing, these new entrants might still be treating setting up a business pretty lightly.
He said, “Many still treat it like a hobby in which they present their idea at some competition and if they win some prize then they might actually follow through with, if not, most will just abandon that idea.”
Looking to attract more than 35 applications by October 20, Charoenphan said that existing and prospective founders will get to prove themselves in the FI program. For one, in order to be accepted, individuals will have to pass a predictive entrepreneur test.
In terms of geography, 12 percent of all participants come from Asia, as compared to 60 percent from North America, 21 percent from Europe, two percent from Australia, and five percent from South America. Statistically, as of April 2013, the program has seen 1,003 graduate companies with 1,114 founders, and 89.5 percent of them still operating.
Interested participants should fill out a form on the FI page for their Bangkok 2013 program before October 20.
Disclaimer: Ardent Capital is an investor in e27.