FounderSensei is for entrepreneurs who want to master their craft of creating successful businesses from scratch. We teach a proven methodology, called Insight-Driven Iteration, that enables Founders to create profitable startups with very little capital. Unlike accelerators that focus on mentor dating, pitch training and demo days, FounderSensei focuses exclusively on business model validation through scientific customer experiments and resilient psychology in a mastermind setting. 

Sensei means "person born before another." All Senseis are proven entrepreneurs that have built profitable businesses from scratch. Entrepreneurship must be learned by doing. We believe only someone who has been there before you can be your trusted guide.

All Senseis must meet the following criteria. There are no exceptions.

  • Sensei must have created at least two profitable businesses from scratch that were self-sufficient without additional outside capital
  • Sensei must have had at least one startup failure
  • Sensei must be a master practitioner of the Insight-Driven Iteration methodology
  • Sensei must be an exceptional teacher and have personal empathy for entrepreneurs in The Struggle
  • Sensei must have a sincere passion for helping other entrepreneurs without expectation of anything in return


Dave Linhardt is an serial entrepreneur and innovative business leader with 25 years of experience creating and growing technology businesses. Dave is a 8x entrepreneur and 4x intrapreneur. He bootstrapped his last five startups to profitability with no outside capital creating millions in value, a feat that had a one in 32 quadrillion probably of being successful (1/2000)^5. We helped create a billion dollar unicorn at AT&T Wireless and turned around two multi-million dollar divisions at Experian and Yesmail. Dave is the creator of FounderSensei and continues to work as the first Sensei in the program because he loves doing it!

Dave also has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dave's LinkedIn profile

Paul Benevich is an experienced technology entrepreneur. Paul has created a three of technology startups and several professional services companies. He excels in creative thinking, business development and helping motivate people around him to work on meaningful opportunities. Paul is a true entrepreneur and excels at creating something from nothing. Eons ago, Paul was Dave's big brother at Acacia Fraternity at Purdue University.

Paul's LinkedIn profile.