I have graduated from the Founder Institute Summer 2011 Denver class. Making that statement is huge.
Honestly, I can say I have learned so much in 90 days. None of the learning has been easy. Some of it does not apply to me and my start-up today, but it will in the future.
The mentors were great. If anyone reading this is in FI, or thinking about applying, here is one piece of advice. Take advantage of the access to the mentors. These are people who have started multiple companies and are currently running start-ups. Talk to them, ask them difficult and stupid questions. Everyone really wants to help and make every founder a success. Do to a busy life, kids, and a day job, I did not talk to the mentors enough. Finally I had to take some sick days to visit with them in person. It was worth the time and effort.
The effort on homework is not small. Again, do the work and you will get the benefits. The things I have learned apply to my day job, and to my start-up. I am now an educated founder. As a technical guy, learning about the business side was great. All the things that I worried about just because I did not understand have been resolved. I have at least been introduced to hiring, raising money, lawyers and more. This type of education is better than an MBA. It is an education in the way these things work in the real world.
So, I have graduated. I am still recovering and catching up at home and work. In the next few weeks expect more posts on the blog for Cloud Firmware.