There are a lot of programs and mentors available for entrepreneurs. That’s wonderful. However, not all of these well-intentioned efforts are effective in finding a scalable business model.

Sensei means person born before another. That’s why it’s the perfect name for what we do. We believe you can only learn how to build a startup from someone who’s done it before.

We teach entrepreneurs how to build profitable startups with very little capital. Yes, we are teachers but we are also practitioners. While we teach others, we are building startups ourselves. This grounds our teaching and guidance in reality. We don’t explain how to do it in theory. We serve entrepreneurs as their trusted guide, helping them put our proven principles into practice in the real world, unlocking the transformational power inherent in our process.

Whether you learn online using the Founder’s Workbench or in-person at the FounderSensei Startup House, FounderSensei is the best way for committed entrepreneurs to learn how to build profitable startups.
— Dave Linhardt, 8x entrepreneur, Founder & CEO
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A Sensei is a teacher, a person born before another. All of our Sensei's are experienced serial entrepreneurs. They have build successful companies from scratch. They have experienced success and failure and have deepened their understanding as a result. Unlike mentors who meet for coffee to give their opinions, a Sensei teaches you a proven process for running customer experiments, interpreting customer behavior, making pivot or proceed decisions that lead to product-market fit and finding a scalable path to customers. 

Our AI Sensei is included in the Founder's Workbench, an artificial intelligence platform that helps you determine what experiments you need to run and teaches you how to run them. The AI Sensei can even analyze your experimental data and make recommendations on whether you should proceed with your business model or pivot to a better one. In addition to the AI Sensei, Live Senseis are available online in the Workbench message boards and through live, 1-on-1 video coaching sessions. Offline, you can find them teaching entrepreneurs at the FounderSensei Startup House.

Sensei-Level Wisdom & Experience

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Resilience Psychology

Creating something from nothing requires sacrifice and accessing deep, creative energy. If you've not done this before, it may lie dormant inside you. A trusted Sensei can help bring it out.

Every entrepreneur must face severe challenges that are the most difficult of any area in business. The extreme ups and downs of building a startup is a struggle many of people are not strong enough to handle, especially without the proper training, mental fortitude and support team. Without a clear mind, a solid spiritual foundation and the ability to channel insight and creativity into your work, it will be extremely difficult to turn your dreams into reality. 

At FounderSensei, we've developed a proprietary approach to cultivate resilience, grit, intelligence, creativity and the ability to take decisive action even when the probabilities of success seem nearly impossible. As a Founder, your primary job is managing your own psychology so the Universe can work through your mind and spirit. This is a critical aspect of entrepreneurship that most people ignore at their own peril.

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A Proven Method For Getting Customer Traction & Designing A Scalable Business Model

All FounderSensei programs employ our proprietary methodology for building startups called Insight-Driven Iteration. An evolution in lean startup and design thinking, Insight-Driven Iteration tests the fundamental assumptions behind a startup idea before building product or investing significant capital. This process eliminates waste, speeds up the time to profitability and has a 100x higher success rate than Y-Combinator, the world's leading Accelerator/Seed Fund.

All our Senseis apply this same method to their own startups. Among our most recent six technology companies, our last five were profitable with very little capital, a feat that has a 1 in 32 quadrillion probability of success. (1/2000)^5.

Whether you are bootstrapping or looking for funding, our proven method teaches you the skills you need and provides a roadmap to guide you to the promised land.

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Evidence-Based Fundraising

Entrepreneurs who use the Founder's Workbench to design and validate their business models gain access to funding sources and additional support based on the insight discovered in their work. Our Evidence-Based Fundraising Engine uses the data from experiments in the Founder's Workbench and identifies high-potential ideas and entrepreneurs with strong DNA. These data help us identify promising entrepreneurs who are good at discovering customer insights and integrating them into their business models. We constantly look for the best entrepreneurs so we can help them with additional coaching and introductions to pre-screened investors that match.

In the end, it's not the pitch but the insight that matters most on the path to startup success.

Founder's Workbench Curriculum


  • FounderSensei Overview
  • Insight-Driven Iteration Overview
  • Determining Your Current Validation Level

I. How To Validate A Problem With Customers

  • Why Problem Validation Matters
  • The Most Common Mistake Entrepreneurs Make In This Stage
  • How To Run A Problem Validation Experiment
  • How To Interpret Customer Reaction & Resonance
  • How To Choose The Right Customer - Problem Combination For Your Startup

II. How To Validate A Solution With Customers - MVP 1.0 

  • Why Solution Validation Matters
  • The Most Common Product Development Mistake
  • How To Define MVP 1.0
  • How To Run A Solution Validation Experiment With MVP 1.0
  • How To Interpret Data From Your Solution Validation Experiment
  • How To Decide Whether To Pivot Or Proceed After An MVP 1.0 Experiment

III. How To Validate A Working Prototype or MVP 2.0

  • Why Pre-Orders Are A Great Measure Of Customer Resonance
  • The Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make When Building Product
  • How To Run A Solution Validation Experiment With A Working Prototype
  • How To Interpret Data From An MVP 2.0 Experiment
  • How To Decide Whether To Pivot Or Proceed After An MVP 2.0 Experiment

IV. How To Validate A Scalable Path To Customers

  •  Why Your Path-To-Customers Model Matters
  • The Most Common PTC Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
  • How To Match LTV With Channel Type
  • How To Run A PTC Experiment
  • How To Interpret PTC Data From A PTC Experiment
  • How To Decide Whether To Pivot Or Proceed On Your PTC Model

V. How To Execute & Scale Your Startup

  • Why Switching From Invent To Improve Changes Everything
  • The Most Common Mistake When Scaling Your Startup
  • How To Organize Your Company For Innovation & Scale
  • How To Decide If You Want Outside Funding Or Not
  • How To Determine What Your New Role Should Be

What Others Say About FounderSensei

FounderSensei is the #1 lean startup training program in the world.
— UP Global
I owe 100% of my startup success to FounderSensei. I came to FounderSensei with nothing more than an app. Now, I have a profitable, multi-million dollar business that is growing like crazy. Whatever else you are thinking about doing, like raising money or building more product, stop what you’re doing signup for FounderSensei. It will save six years of your life.
— Jaimie Johnson, Founder & CEO, Verde
FounderSensei is definitely NOT an Accelerator. It’s something fundamentally different.
— Troy Henikoff, Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners

Sign Up Today & Start Mastering Your Craft

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 The Founder's Workbench

Learn Online & By Video Conference

$290 per team for first month
$99 per user per month thereafter

(you may cancel at anytime)

Your Monthly Subscription Includes: 

  • Comprehensive education & training on our proven method for building startups from scratch, Insight-Driven Iteration (The Method)
  • Access to the business model design and validation web application tool to design, run, analyze experiments and make pivot and proceed decisions
  • Detailed instructional and workshop Sensei videos on The Method
  • Recorded workshop sessions where you can see real entrepreneurs putting the principles into practice in a real-world startup situation
  • Online Sensei support through online message board service where you can ask questions and get personalized guidance
  • Community support from other entrepreneurs who are applying The Method
  • Automatic access to the Evidenced-Based Fundraising platform to unlock access to qualified investors
  • Additional services are available on an a la carte basis. Live video coaching sessions with an experienced Sensei are available for $199 per one-hour session. Live weekly peer group sessions moderated by an experienced Sensei are available for $290 per month. The Founder's Workbench subscription is on a month-to-month basis. You can cancel anytime with a 30 day notice. Subscribe below to start mastering your craft.
  FounderSensei weekly peer Groups

Related Products & Services

Schedule a live, 1-on-1 video coaching session with an experienced Sensei that can help you find startup success

The Startup Bootcamp is a Three-Day Bootcamp that teaches you how to build a successful startup. Learn from an experienced Sensei in a group learning environment by running customer experiments in the real world. 

A Live Peer Group is the best way to get the support you need from other entrepreneurs who are in the same position as you are - working hard to build their startups. Don't be a solopreneur; get the support you need from your peers. 

Check out the FounderSensei channel on Youtube for access to FREE content and helpful tips on how to build a successful startup

Sign up today for a FREE Trial of the Founder's Workbench