You can't learn entrepreneurship from a book. You can't learn it in high school or at a University. The best way to learn how to build profitable companies from scratch is to learn by doing under the guidance of someone who has done it before. A person who is "born before another." We call this trusted guide a Sensei. At FounderSensei, we pair entrepreneurs with experienced Senseis who provide guidance, wisdom and teachings that last a lifetime. 

The Sensei is critical but the Sensei is not the hero of this story. You are. 

No One Does It Alone

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Everyone Who Ever Accomplished Anything Great Had Someone Equally Great Supporting Them

 Steve jobs & bill campbell

Steve jobs & bill campbell

 Peyton Manning & tony dungy

Peyton Manning & tony dungy

 Michael jordan & phil jackson

Michael jordan & phil jackson

 Steve jobs & mark zuckerberg

Steve jobs & mark zuckerberg

How It Works


1. Learn A Proven Process 

  • Study and apply the Insight-Driven Iteration method to your startup idea

  • Use our Sensei teachings to develop a resilient mindset to deal with the ups and downs of creating a startup

  • Apply the lessons and methodology for the rest of your life

2. Get Traction With Customers

  • Discovery who are the early adopters who have the problem you are solving

  • Validate the solution & learn what these customers value most

  • Find a scalable path-to-customers & business model that scales to meet your goals

3. Attract Investors & Resources 

  • Qualify for FREE, personalized video sessions based on your documented experiments and evidence

  • Get introductions to investors that already like your area and your company stage

  • Participate in our Dojo Day event to pitch qualified investor groups

You will do all of this under the guidance of an experienced, dedicated Sensei. 

We Teach A Better Way To Build Startups

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For startups ranging from concept to $100k in monthly revenue, we teach committed entrepreneurs how to build profitable startups. Unlike most incubators and accelerators, we provide a proven methodology called Insight-Driven Iteration through an online education platform called the Founder's Workbench. Using this tool and framework with supported by an experienced Sensei, entrepreneurs can get customer traction, find a scalable business model and attract the resources they need to make their startups successful.

Sensei means "person born before another." All Senseis are proven entrepreneurs who have built profitable businesses from scratch. 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

We Use A Proven Process For Creating Profitable Startups

After creating eleven startups from scratch and building four enterprise business units, we developed a proven process for creating successful startups. As an evolution in lean startup and design thinking, our proprietary process lowers the risk of startup ventures and dramatically increases the odds of success up to 100 times higher than traditional means. By using this methodology, we build our last five technology startups to profitability with very little capital, a feat that has a 1 in 32 quadrillion probably of success. ((1/2000)^5 = 32 quadrillion.) We attribute this high success rate to the rigor of our process and the experienced judgment of our entrepreneurs (Senseis). 

Insight-Driven Iteration
A Better Way To Invent A New Business Model


  • Scientific methodology designed to test fundamental hypotheses associated with a new business idea
  • Driven by real-world customer behavior and insights that are discovered in the process
  • Organized around testing the riskiest assumptions first to minimize waste
  • Iterative process that assumes some of the fundamental hypotheses are going to be incorrect
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  • 100x higher success rate than traditional startup development approaches compared to the leading Accelerator, Y-Combinator
  • More capital efficient approach to profitability than traditional means
  • Makes pivot, proceed or kill decisions more accurately than subjective or "gut feel” analysis
  • A proven process for building startups that you can apply for the rest of your life

The Founder's Workbench
Is The Best Way To Learn How To Build A Profitable Startup

"We've taken everything we've learned about building startups and put it into an online platform so it can help serve millions of struggling entrepreneurs around the world." - Dave Linhardt, Founder

Online Education

  • Video instruction on how to apply our proven method to your startup idea

  • Practical recorded workshop discussions demonstrating how to apply the method in the real world

  • Deep insights on how to make difficult pivot / proceed / kill decisions

AI Sensei

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Sensei recommends which experiments you need to run at this time to minimize waste and maximize learning

  • AI Sensei helps interpret experimental data and determine what to do next

  • Step-by-step modules that walk you through the discovery process to find a scalable business model 

Live Sensei Coaching Sessions

  • Free discussion board coaching from Senseis and community on the Founder's Workbench

  • Personalized project areas to manage your experiments with your team and your assigned Sensei

  • Live, 1-on-1 or team coaching over video conference with your Sensei (additional fees apply)

When you signup for the Founder's Workbench, the AI Sensei makes an assessment of where you are in your startup journey. Our process is personalized for each startup and entrepreneur, helping them make the most progress with the minimum amount of effort. By helping you focus on the right things, entrepreneurs make more progress than they ever could on their own. 

Insight-Driven Iteration Assessment Process

FounderSensei Incubator: By Invitation Only 

The purpose of the Incubator is to identify high-potential entrepreneurs and to commit our team to their success. Every 90 days, we carefully select a group of startup teams who have embraced the Insight-Driven Iteration process, are uncovering customer insights and are integrating them into their business models resulting in increased traction. These hand-picked entrepreneurs are invited to take advantage of additional services to scale their businesses. 

Startup Teams in the Incubator can choose one of two paths:

1. For Teams interested in external funding, you get...

  • Free, live, 1-on-1 coaching sessions with a lead Sensei
  • Ongoing working sessions to get you and your team "investor ready"
  • Investor introductions & participation in Dojo Day to pitch investors interested in your market and your stage

2. For teams interested in growing from internal cash flows, you get...

  • Free, live, 1-on-1 coaching sessions with a lead Sensei
  • Ongoing working sessions to develop and execute plans to scale
  • Access to our Entrepreneur-As-A-Service network to get access to additional expertise and bandwidth to reach the next level

FounderSensei Is Not An Accelerator. It's 100x Better.

Who We Work With

  • We work with first-time and experienced entrepreneurs who are working on startups from concept to $100,000 in monthly revenue

  • Startup businesses can be in any industry - technology, physical products, services or anything else

  • Our process applies to any business with customers, which means every business

What Others Are Saying About FounderSensei

FounderSensei is the #1 lean startup training program in the world.
— UP Global
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

Read more testimonials from real entrepreneurs who participated in the FounderSensei program

Sensei (SEN-say) means person born before another

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 idea until you get customer traction.

Your Senseis


Dave linhardt 

  Paul benevich   3X ENTREPRENEUR, BA Purdue, MBA Pepperdine

Paul benevich 
3X ENTREPRENEUR, BA Purdue, MBA Pepperdine


We teach entrepreneurs how to build profitable startups

We are experienced entrepreneurs. We've created 11 startups so far. We bootstrapped our last five consecutive startups to profitability without any outside capital, a feat that had a 1 in 32 quadrillion probability of success (1/2000)^5. Our best bootstrap outcome generated a 1200x cash-over-cash return. We did this using a proprietary methodology we invented called Insight-Driven Iteration, which is an evolution of lean startup and design thinking principles. We have taken everything we’ve learned about building startups and have put it into the FounderSensei program. 

Products & Services

All of our products and services contain the our complete Insight-Driven Iteration methodology. We deliver this powerful content and approach in different products based on your budget requirements and best method of learning.  

Founder's Workbench

$29 per month

An online platform that teaches you how to build a profitable startup for less than you're spending at Starbucks. Includes the entire course content for learning the Insight-Driven Iteration process.

  • Teaches you how to find a scalable, repeatable business model for your startup

  • Complete training on the Insight-Driven Iteration process for building a profitable startup. Online educational content from experienced entrepreneurs who have created profitable businesses from scratch
  • Access to tools and software platform that guides you through the validation process to make your startup successful

Founder's Coaching

$290 for 2 hours

Personalized, 1-on-1 coaching from an experienced, serial entrepreneur who is a passionate teacher and practitioner. All sessions are live & personalized for your situation. 

  • Live 1-on-1 sessions with a startup coach that helps you get traction & find a business model
  • Learn the Insight-Driven Iteration process for building a profitable startup based on live, personalized sessions completely customized for your situation designed to increase your odds of success
  • Gain clear understanding of how to navigate through your startup journey and stay focused on what matters


$490 for 5 hours

For later-stage startups with $300K in revenue or more, our Entrepreneur-As-A-Service (EaaS) solution is a new type of professional service that adds an experienced entrepreneur to your team on a contract basis.  

The first 5 hours includes an initial assessment of the opportunity area and a proposed plan we can execute right away to deliver an immediate impact.

  • Control budget and expenses with our flexible on/off contract model
  • Reach the next level by adding a player and a coach to your later-stage startup team
  • Acquire an awesomely effective resource under a fast and flexible engagement model