I posted New Entrepreneurial Seal of Approval earlier today on Planning Startups Stories, my main blog.

It’s about The Funded Founder Institute, a four-month, $450 program to run selected entrepreneurs (including, by the way, wanna-be entrepreneurs) through weekly sessions with mentors and experts, ending with a certification that should smooth the path to investment.

This is just starting, but it looks like a great opportunity. Adeo Ressi, the founder, has a great track record in startups–with VC funding and successful exits–and what he’s after is getting a few people a better chance at a more level playing field. Learn the ropes before you get in too deep.

If you can’t hack the $450, he’s got a number of Microsoft BizSpark scholarships to offer, too.

So if this sounds at all interesting to you, apply now. Applications close May 9. The application costs $50. The window is closing for this first run.

I think this is likely to be a really interesting opportunity.

Adeo promises that selection will be reasonable. He wants a broad group of potential founders. And they won’t necessarily all be headed for venture capital, not even necessarily for angel investment or even any investment. There’s even some language on the main site inviting bootstrapping startups as well.

Also, he says he doesn’t want just sophisticated, experienced startup people. He’s also looking for people without experience who want to learn.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.