Founder Institute backers launch venture fund named Expansive

SAN FRANCISCO Thu May 15, 2014 6:00pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO May 15 (Reuters) - Entrepreneurs behind Founder Institute, which provides training programs for start-up companies, are launching a venture fund named Expansive.

The fund will make early investments known as seed rounds of up to $2 million per company, Founder Institute said Thursday.

Jon Soberg, former managing director at Blumberg Capital, will serve as a partner of the fund, along with Founder Institute Chief Executive Adeo Ressi.

Companies that take the funding will be able to choose their own board members from executives already in the Founder Institute network. They include Phil Libin, founder of online note company Evernote, and Aaron Patzer, founder of financial services company Mint.

Start-ups won't need to go through the Founder program to qualify for the investments. Unlike accelerators and incubators such as Y Combinator, which invest in the start-ups that participate, Founder is fee-based.

From its base in Mountain View, California, Founder has expanded to 30 countries. (Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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