Founder First, Founder Always. Join us in 2023: Founder Institute is the #1 place in the world to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses.

Applications Due By: Mar 05, 2023
Sessions Held: Mar 14, 2023 – Jun 20, 2023

Today’s economic ‘New Normal’ is full of reshuffling industries, and new problems in need of solutions – now is a time for entrepreneurs to act. 

Whether you need to test and validate early hypotheses before making a large financial commitment to your startup idea, or you are ready to push your startup to the next level through aggressive weekly growth sprints to refine your vision, improve key metrics, and prepare for investor diligence, Founder Institute has the proven processes and network to help you do it.

If you could use a structured process that tells you what to focus on when, and a lifetime of support from Wisconsin’s top investors and entrepreneurs, then apply to the Wisconsin 2023 Founder Institute today.

We will be hosting several free startup events in Wisconsin over the coming weeks, where you can learn from top entrepreneurs all from the comfort of home:

Wisconsin Events:

  • Startup Legal: Feedback from Top Regional Startup Lawyers on 6:00pm, Jan 31, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • How to Start a Global Startup in Madison on 6:00pm, Feb 09, 2023 (America/Chicago):

Global or Regional Events:

  • Founder Institute Online Information Session:
  • FI Alumni Panel: Meet Founders of Fast-Growing Businesses (Q&A + Networking) on 12:00pm, Feb 01, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • Founder Showcase: Pre-Seed Startup Pitch & Networking Event (Online Conference) on 12:00pm, Feb 08, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • Startup Open Mic: Pitch Ideas & Get Friendly Feedback (online event) on 12:00pm, Feb 15, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • Startup Fundraising Q&A: Meet Investors from the FI Venture Network (Online) on 12:00pm, Feb 22, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • Co-Founder Networking: Find a Business Partner, Online on 12:00pm, Mar 01, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • [Restricted] Venture Trailblazers, featuring Tim Draper (VIP Event) on 10:30am, Mar 06, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • Co-Founder Networking: Find a Business Partner, Online on 12:00pm, Apr 12, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • Co-Founder Networking: Find a Business Partner, Online on 12:00pm, May 31, 2023 (America/Chicago):
  • See all upcoming events

Make better, faster business decisions in 2023 by sharing your latest progress, challenges, and strategies for constant feedback and evaluation from our expert mentors and advisors, every step of the way–scale your team, develop new business opportunities, and recruit an amazing advisory board with the world’s largest network of international startup founders, CEOs, advisors, and investors.

The Wisconsin accelerator is led by some of the region’s top startup leaders, including Anthony Bigonia (Owner, Uncorkt), Dave Aumuller (Manager, Family Business), Jeff A Daniel (Co-Chair, Tech-Prize), Jeff Hunter (SVP Global Field Service, Blueflux Power, Inc), Scott Kortendick. In addition, some of Madison’s top entrepreneurs will be participating as mentors in the program, including:

  • Anthony Swindell: Director gBETA, Gener8tor
  • Arlene Martin: Founder & CEO, Martin Financial Resources, LLC
  • Bill Furlong: Founder & CEO, SquareStack
  • Carrie Thome: Managing Director , NVNG Investment
  • Dave Aumuller: Co-Director, Founder Institute of Wisconsin
  • Dave Saliaris: Owner, Saliaris Consulting Group LLC
  • David Atkinson: Founder, President and CEO, Z Sphere, Inc
  • George Vukotich: Founder, FinTank
  • Grady Buchanan
  • James Pruitt: Founder & President, Pruitt Zabkowicz S.C.
  • Jason Jacobsohn: Managing Director, Propellant Ventures
  • Jason Wischer: Advisory Solutions Consultant, Kanini Software Solutions
  • Jeanan Yasiri Moe: Director Of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)
  • Jeff Hunter: Co-Director, Founder Institute, Wisconsin
  • Jeffrey Daniel: Co-Director, Founder Institute, Wisconsin
  • Jim De Long: Independent Consultant, SeriousBots
  • John Prinz: Founder, Managing Partner, Gordian Growth & Income Fund
  • Kathy Henrich: Chief Executive Officer , MKE Tech Hub Coalition
  • Kiran Vedak: CTO, Designs Touch
  • Laura Million: Deputy Director, Racine Economic Development Corporation
  • Leslee Cohen: Managing Partner, AllRise Legal Counsel, Leslee Cohen PC
  • Meg Schmitz: Senior Franchise Consultant, FranChoice
  • Michael Hipp: Director Global Costing, Johnson Controls, Inc
  • Mike Foley: Owner, Divinci Painters, Inc
  • Monte Mitchell: President & CEO, Fourtre Consulting
  • Nick O’Brien: Owner, You Are Here
  • Peter Tapling: Managing Director, PTap Advisory, LLC
  • Peter Layton: CEO/Partner, Tallgrass Group/Blackthorne Capital Management
  • Rick Onyon: CEO, PosIQ
  • Ryan Micheletti: Head of Global Operations, Founder Institute
  • Scott Kortendick: Co-Director, Founder Institute, Wisconsin
  • Scott Williams: Partner, VC414
  • Tom Still: President, Wisconsin Technology Council
  • Tony Bigonia: Co-Director, Founder Institute, Wisconsin
  • And many more to be announced.
Since 2009, Founder Institute’s highly-structured accelerator programs have helped over 6,500 entrepreneurs to grow quickly, know what to do next, and make key connections through the largest community of startup advisors in the world. 

It all starts with our renowned ‘FI Core’ accelerator, which pushes founders at the idea and pre-seed stages to reach the milestones needed for investment and sustained growth. Alumni of FI Core then receive free access to our advanced ‘Founder Lab’ accelerators for years to come, and can get matched with prospective investors in the FI Venture Network – a collection of global funds actively investing in the earliest rounds of funding.

The results speak for themselves: FI Alumni have raised over $1.75BN in funding, and are building impactful businesses across 200+ cities and 95+ countries all across the globe. (see the FI 50 Report here).

Join us in Wisconsin to get funded and build a global business!

Apply to the Wisconsin 2023 Founder Institute today, or learn more at