1. First of all, kindly enlighten us about your business.
Founders Space is one of the leading startup accelerators in the world, with over 50 partners in 22 countries. Ranked the #1 incubator for overseas startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines.
2. What inspired you to go for this area of business?
I have founded 3 venture funded startups and two bootstrapped startups. After my 3rd startup, my friends started to come to me and ask for help. They wanted to know how to put together an investor deck and raise capital. I started by helping my friends, and then it kept growing.
I’m also passionate about education startups. I have written three books for entrepreneurs. These include “Make Elephants Fly” (published by Hachette), “Surviving a Startup” (published by HarperCollins), and “The Five Forces” (published by BenBella).
3. What are all the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
The hardest part was finding a prime office space in San Francisco, which is really expensive. I wound up partnering with a friend, who ran a co-working space right in the center of SOMA, which is the startup district. My friend’s basement was empty, and no one was using it, so I offered to split the profits with him if he gave us the space. Once we had the space, everything took off.
The other biggest challenge was COVID. We had to move everything online. That was a tough transition, but we managed to keep our momentum despite the radical change.
4. Share with us the achievements of your company in the industry so far?
We’ve mentored and accelerated hundreds of startups from all over the world. Our biggest achievement was entering the China market, where we established five incubators in major cities.
5. What are all your future plans for your business?
We plan to keep expanding internationally. Our next goal is to expand into India. That’s what we want to do as soon as the pandemic subsides.
6. In the crowd of different businesses, how you differentiate your business ?
We are the #1 accelerator for overseas startups wanting to enter Silicon Valley. We are also one of the few accelerators with flexible programs, ranging from a couple weeks to several months. This flexibility has enabled us to work with governments and companies all over the world, each with different requirements.
7. Do you feel you have achieved what you dream of?
Founders Space has far exceeded my dreams. I never imagined we’d get this far.
8. What are all the improvements you suggest in the area of Business you are in?
We suggest that accelerators constantly innovate. Just like startups, incubators and accelerators need to adapt to a changing world with new technologies and new opportunities. We are now very focused on online acceleration and education. That’s where the growth is.
9. Any piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Never be satisfied with where you’re at. You can always do more!
Steve. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff)
Chairman & CEO of Founders Space