Do startups need to be in the Bay Area anymore? This San Francisco accelerator for international founders doesn’t think so

Andee Gardiner noticed that many of the companies she worked with at her accelerator had the same strategy for attracting interest from U.S. investors: Change the location of their company on LinkedIn. “We’ve had 400 applicants and I can’t tell you how many of them say San Francisco on their LinkedIn (profile) and of course it took a phone call to learn that they’re not here,” said Gardiner, who is a co-founder of San Francisco-based Founders Embassy, an accelerator for international and immigrant founders. This type of startup catfishing is a symptom of a bigger challenge for international founders, Gardiner said: How do you raise money from top tier venture capital firms if you’re company is in another country? That’s where Founders Embassy comes in. The accelerator bills itself a two week crash course in all things Silicon Valley for international or immigrant founders.

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ICYMI: Founders Embassy Borderless Summit Recap

Founders Embassy’s Borderless Summit was held on June 5th, 2018, in the heart of the Mission, one of San Francisco’s most beloved neighborhoods. Attendees packed into the Grand Theater, a unique historic venue which gave the day a vibrant, eclectic feel from the moment guests stepped in the door. As chatter increased throughout the networking breakfast, excitement grew as the first-ever Founders Embassy class demoed their startups in front of hundreds of investors, thought leaders and fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

The day ahead would include 18 on-stage talks, startup pitches, panels and fireside chats, making it perhaps one of the most packed lineups ever to be attempted in one short day. Below is a comprehensive recap of what you missed:

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Andee Gardiner
How These Founders Are Making Silicon Valley Borderless For Immigrant & International Entrepreneurs

Immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses in the United States than American-born citizens, according to the Kauffman Foundation. However, because the Department of Homeland Security is rescinding the Obama Administration’s International Entrepreneur Rule, which allowed foreign-born entrepreneurs to stay in the US for up to five years to expand their businesses, immigrant entrepreneurship is declining.

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Andee Gardiner
Founders Embassy Accelerator: 14 Takeaways from the Summer 2018 Program

Knowledge is power, and knowledge from Silicon Valley's brightest minds is the kind of power that lives with international founders forever. We're thrilled to share some of the most important takeaways from the Summer 2018 Founders Embassy class. Several seasons a year, Founders Embassy selects and welcomes small classes of founders from diverse backgrounds to Silicon Valley for a rigorous two-week-long bootcamp-style acceleration program.

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Andee Gardiner
Founders Embassy Unlocks Silicon Valley For International Founders

It’s time to democratize access to Silicon Valley. That’s why we started Founders Embassy. It’s the first accelerator with the mission to give international entrepreneurs the connections, capital, and know-how to build successful companies here or at home. Too often, these resources are reserved exclusively for privileged founders with Ivy League educations who look like the last crop of big CEOs. So we’ve launched an equity-free two-week bootcamp-style accelerator in San Francisco that gives top global startups an entryway to the epicenter of technology.

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Andee Gardiner
Founders Embassy equity-free accelerator aims to unlock the Valley for internationals

Startups who are looking to get a deep-dive into Silicon Valley but don’t want to give away equity have not had many options to choose from in the past. There are several government-backed accelerators which simply house startups in facilities and arrange pitch nights. But many of those demos tend to sink without trace. What if you were hand-picked by a programme which simply charged you for a service?

That’s the general idea behind Founders Embassy which is now releasing its first class of 8 founders joining them in SF this summer.

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Andee Gardiner