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Business Observer Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 5 years ago

Institute may aid Bay startups

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The Founder Institute has trained hundreds of tech entrepreneurs.

TAMPA — Entrepreneur and author Michael O'Donnell has moved to Tampa Bay from Seattle, and aims to launch a local chapter of the Founder Institute this spring if enough potential clients demonstrate interest.

Based in California's Silicon Valley, the Founder Institute is a startup accelerator that has helped more than 650 technology companies around the world. The institute offers a part-time, four-month program that helps company founders plan, launch or bolster their business through training and support from experienced CEOs.

O'Donnell, who describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur,” and workshop facilitator John Spence, will lead the Founder Institute program in Tampa Bay.

The institute has recruited a number of prominent local technology leaders to mentor the courses. Among others, the list includes Marc Blumenthal, CEO of Intelladon; Bruce Bennett, CEO of Mad Mobile; Mark Swanson, CEO of Telovations; Peter Quintas, CTO of Nomi; Steve Tingiris, founder of Enthusem; Ashok Kartham, CEO of Mize; Geoff Wilson, president of 352 Media; and Brent Britton, attorney at GrayRobinson, and founder of Gazelle Lab. 

Because the program is part-time, participants can continue to work in their current jobs while training.

“Our research shows that Florida is a promising emerging market for new tech companies,” says Adeo Ressi, founder & CEO of the Founder Institute, in a statement. “New incubators and the many centers of research and innovation combined with the quality of life and low cost of doing business all make the Tampa Bay area an excellent prospect for an FI chapter.”

Potential participants and clients in the Founder Institute's Tampa program can fill out an interest form at before Jan. 27.

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