The Founder Institute
CEO and Founder of the Founder Institute
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Adeo Ressi is CEO of the Founder Institute, an idea-stage incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs with chapters in over 75 cities worldwide. The Institute will launch over 1,000 companies worldwide in 2014, and the Institute's mission is to help create 1 million new jobs.
Adeo serves as the Founding Member of TheFunded.com, an online resource for CEO's to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide. TheFunded.com has two goals: streamline the fundraising process and encourage more innovation through venture investment. Mr. Ressi also serves on the Board of the X PRIZE foundation, a non-profit chartered to inspire human achievements through competition.
Mr. Ressi has pioneered a number of advances in the field of venture capital and fundraising. He developed “convertible equity” along with Yokum Taku, Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which is a financing vehicle that provides all of the flexibility of convertible debt without hindering a company with loans. It is estimated that as much as 50% of early stage angel deals use this structure, and well-known incubators, such as Y Combinator, have adopted the structure. He developed the Founder Advisor Standard Template (“FAST”), which provides a standardized equity sharing arrangement for early-stage companies to retain key strategic advisors. He has also created Class F, a founder-friendly incorporation structure that is adopted by the most successful technology companies in Silicon Valley.
The Founder Institute is a four month program operating in over 75 cities worldwide that trains new and seasoned founders on the current best practices for building the next generation of companies. The program organizes weekly sessions where experienced entrepreneurs help other Founders develop and launch their new businesses. The program offers a founder-friendly startup environment, mentorship from renowned CEOs, fundraising opportunities at fair market value, and shared equity upside among all participants in the companies formed.
TheFunded.com is a private membership community of 20,000 CEOs of fast growth technology companies worldwide. Member CEOs research, rate and review venture capital funding sources under the protection of subpoena-proof anonymity. Members also discuss sensitive issues of building and scaling their business. Over 500 venture firms have built Certified Profiles, creating a transparent marketplace for venture fundraising.
The X PRIZE foundation inspires dramatic social change through competition. The original $10 MM Ansari X PRIZE was awarded to Paul Allen and Burt Rutan for building a lightweight sub-orbital space craft capable of carrying three passengers into space twice in two weeks. The foundation is currently pursuing additional space prizes, a $10 MM prize in genomics, and various sustainability prizes. Mr. Ressi has served on the Compensation and Recruiting Committee, as well as holding the Chairman position for the Strategic Planning Committee.
Game Trust developed the leading enterprise software platform to power community and ecommerce applications in online casual games. As CEO, Mr. Ressi secured $15 MM in venture capital and acquired two companies to build Game Trust, which forged relationships with over 25 game development partners authoring content for the platform and over 30 platform licensees, including large annual licenses with Viacom and AOL. The company was sold to Real Networks in 2007.
Mr. Ressi founded Sophos Partners in 2000, a venture consulting and turnaround firm with partners in New York, Boston, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo. At Sophos, Mr. Ressi forged relationships with a dozen venture capitalists to assist with corporate growth and turnaround opportunities, and he acted as interim CEO of EBusiness.com, an idealab company.
Mr. Ressi was Chief Strategy Officer of Xceed in 2000, the NASDAQ-listed web architecture and design firm with over 1,000 employees worldwide. At Xceed, he oversaw the filing of a secondary stock offering, organized complimentary service offerings across 13 offices worldwide, and developed the first intra-company financial projections. During his tenure, the company achieved a $1 billion public valuation.
Mr. Ressi founded methodfive in 1995, a strategic web development firm focused exclusively on the media and entertainment industry. methodfive developed strategies and systems for global media companies including The New York Times, The BBC, NewsCorp, The Economist, Scripps and Fox Networks. As CEO, he secured a $2 million investment from PricewaterhouseCoopers and grew the company to 250 employees worldwide, selling the company to Xceed for $88 million in 2000.
Mr. Ressi was a founder of Total New York in 1994, one of the first advertiser-supported web media and entertainment properties. Total New York preceded the existence of the World Wide Web. The property was later sold to AOL and Tribune Media, becoming AOL Digital Cities.
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