I had been following the Founder Institute for a few years. The idea of "prepping up startup" while keeping my day job was the main reason. When they finally opened a charter in Singapore, I thought of applying. I thought I could endure the back-and-forth travel (I'm in Kuala Lumpur), every week, for four months. Good thing I came to my senses.
Then they opened in Jakarta, my hometown. I was very tempted to quit my job to enrol there, but then again it kinda defeats the purpose of joining—might as well join a full accelerator (which I didn't do because I wasn't ready).
Then they opened in Kuala Lumpur. I missed the 1st cohort, and I kinda lost interest on the 2nd. But when they opened registration again, few months ago, I decided to join. It's now or never, I told myself.
Different than most of my fellow Founders, I've been following tech news for more than five years. I've started (and failed) a few (attempted) startups, I've helped a friend pitch for his startup in Startup Arena, I've participated in numerous hackathons (and won a few), and I've read numerous startup-related blogs and books. Does it mean I didn't get anything from the Institute? Far from it.
I've learned a lot of new stuff first-hand, from mentors who are industry players, many of them are now in my list. I know them, and, more importantly, they know me. I've also made friends with fellow founders. I found my crowd.
The strongest influence FI has on me is the fervid push to quit my full-time job to pursue my dream. I've always wanted to do it, but I lack data to support my cause. FI's structured approach really helps—ideation, market research, customer development—they're the bits and pieces that build my confidence.