We looked at all the lean startup programs out there and concluded FounderSensei is simply the best.
— Matt French, UP Global

The One Thing That Matters

You must have an imagination to change the world. A visionary dreamer sees a world that doesn't exist, yet. This beautiful vision is the seed of inspiration required to make our world a better place.

But how do you know if your dream will come true, or if you are simply...delusional? 

Traction. Traction makes your dreams come true.

Traction is the physical evidence your dream can become reality. Without traction, you have no customers, no revenue, no profits and no investors. Without traction, all you have a theory, an idea and a nice pitch deck that doesn't resonate. The truth is, unless you have traction, no one except your mom believes your idea will work. Without traction, you have nothing. With traction, you have a business. It's that simple.

But getting traction is hard. If it was easy, then 99.6% of startups wouldn't fail.

Build An MVP

To get traction, you need an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to show customers.  But How can you build an MVP if you don't know how to code? 

Founder's Workshop Is The Best Way For Non-Technical Co-Founders To Get Traction

Business Model Validation

MVP Development

Seed & Angel Funding

FounderSensei provides the Founder-Friendly services that non-technical Founders need most: Business Model Validation, MVP Development and access to funding. 

Business Model Validation (BMV) - Based on our award-winning Founder's Workshop program, our Business Model Validation Service provides access to instructional content and online tools that guide entrepreneurs through the process of testing their ideas by running real-world customer experiments. This is a online self-serve platform that normally costs $19 per month and is available for FREE for a limited time only.

MVP Development - We provide an experienced software design and development team that has been carefully selected and trained in our rapid prototyping methodology. Only your product vision is required. You do not need to know how to code. We price our service on a flat rate basis as we work together to ensure our projects are well-defined and include only the minimum required to test your hypothesis. We provide clickable prototypes and fully-functioning MVPs that customers can use in a production environment. 

Seed & Angel Funding - We have developed a network of angel investors familiar with our program and eager to invest in promising startups at the seed or angel stage. In addition, we've created the FounderSensei Seed Fund which will invest $10,000 in 44 startups that are actively participating in the FounderSensei program. Through their participation, we gradually become aware how awesome our entrepreneurs are to the point where we want to invest in them.

There are three components of the Founder's Workshop.

  1. Insight-Driven Iteration is our proprietary methodology for finding product-market fit and a scalable path to customers. Insight-Driven Iteration is a process designed to unlock hidden insights from customers and put them back into the business model to enable your startup to gain traction and grow faster.
  2. Resilience Psychology is our self-development program for cultivating a resilient mindset in the midst of uncertainty, fear and doubt. Changing the world takes a huge emotional toll on Founders. Unless you manage this proactively, it could lead to intense skepticism, self-doubt, unnecessary failure and even depression.
  3. Mastermind Group is the peer group that will surround you while you are in the workshop. You will not be alone. The group consists exclusively of startup entrepreneurs who are facing the same challenges you are. With the Mastermind Group, you will face these challenges together.

Sensei Means "Person Born Before Another"

A Sensei (SEN-say) is much more than a mentor. A mentor is someone you meet for coffee to get an opinion. A sensei is an startup practitioner who guides you through the process of iteratively running customer experiments while helping you draw data-driven conclusions about your startup idea until you get customer traction. The sensei also provides important support & training to help you cultivate a resilient mindset necessary for managing through the ups and downs of a startup adventure.

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

Your Sensei

dave linhardt headshot.jpg

Dave Linhardt


  • Founded six technology startups over a 15-year period. Bootstrapped five consecutive startups to profitability without any outside capital, a feat that had a 1 in 32 quadrillion probability of being successful (1/2000)^5.
  • 6x serial entrepreneur and 4x intrapreneur with 25 years of marketing, technology, general management and startup experience.
  • Created $1.5 billion in enterprise value at AT&T Wireless and helped transform the industry by re-inventing wireless services with the Digital One Rate product.
  • Successfully turned around Yesmail, the first publicly-traded email marketing company, creating $30 million in enterprise value with no new capital investment.
  • Turned a $5K seed investment into $8 million enterprise valuation with first bootstrap startup generating a 1,600x return.
  • Successfully developed and implemented a disruptive growth strategy for a $60 million division at Experian transforming it into a growth business.  
  • LegitLead, big data SaaS (software-as-a-service) business in lead generation market
  • Life Phase Media & uBaby.com, life event data company and leading provider of multi-channel consumer data
  • BargainDepot.net, consumer e-commerce company and manufacturer in fashion accessories and home furnishing category
  • Maverick Direct Marketing, email marketing and the first predictive-analytics platform for delivering personalized email marketing offers
  • e360data, a behavioral consumer data company for offline catalog and online e-commerce companies
  • Brandango, data integration platform for multi-channel direct marketing companies
  • Held product development, engineering and marketing positions at Procter & Gamble, Sun Microsystems, Dow Chemical and 3M. 
  • BS Engineering Purdue University & MBA Harvard Business School

What Founders Are Saying About FounderSensei

I owe 100% of my success to the FounderSensei program. I came to FounderSensei with nothing more than an app. Now, I have over 50 paying small business customers!

Whatever else you are thinking about doing, like raising money or building a product, stop what you’re doing and take FounderSensei. It will save you six years of your life.
— Jamie Johnson, Founder & CEO, Verde

Here are more testimonials from entrepreneurs who participated in the FounderSensei program. 

Sign up today!

Founder's Bootcamp

Founder's Bootcamp is an online class designed to teach you how to get traction with customers and build a profitable startup. The class contains over 20 hours of instructional videos, lessons and homework assignments focused on giving you the knowledge and skills you need to find startup success. 

Founder's Workshop

If you are looking for help from an experienced Sensei so you can learn how to get traction with customers and find product-market fit for your startup, then sign up for the FounderSensei Startup Workshop. The Startup Workshop is a weekly, live webinar or in-person meeting if you are in the area.

Founder's MVP

If you don't have a technical co-founder and I you need an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test your idea, please sign up for the MVP Program by clicking the button below. Project cost varies by scope of work. However, most clickable prototypes are $5K and fully functioning MVPs are around $25K.