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New Partnership Offers Training for Valley Entrepreneurs

August 6, 2020

Early-stage entrepreneurs can learn how to build their businesses alongside a support network of startup and business experts through a new joint venture of the Founder Institute and UC Merced.

The Founder Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator, and the UC Merced Venture Lab have launched the Modesto Virtual 2020 Founder Institute, an early-stage business program designed for entrepreneurs, teams and business leaders interested in building enduring companies. To celebrate the program’s launch, a series of free online events will be held for attendees to receive more information about the program.

A full list of events is available online. The program begins Sept. 29. Find more details online.  

“A pillar of the University of California’s mission is public service,” said Peter Schuerman, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at UC Merced and director of the Venture Lab. “Helping new entrepreneurs and growing the economy of the Central Valley is one important way we serve California and build our shared future.”

Aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs and business owners looking to build solutions for the future will have the opportunity to get feedback through regular office hours with more than 20 Modesto mentors, investors and entrepreneurs. The mentors offer a proven, structured process to get to traction and funding that has helped Founder Institute alumni build great products and raise more than $950 million in funding globally.

Leading the efforts to launch the Founder Institute in Modesto are Katrin Jakob, Ph.D., managing partner, California Business Associates; Nancy Salmeron, M.A., founder of Believe. Change. Become.; and Yan Ren Butcher, Ph.D., founder of Dr. IllumiPlants.

Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 185 cities and 75 countries, the Founder Institute is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator. Leaders of some of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit teams, build products, transition from employees to entrepreneurs and more.

James Leonard

Executive Director of Public Relations

Office: (209) 228-4408

Mobile: (209) 681-1061

jleonard3@ucmerced.edu