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StartX's Accelerator Program

StartX is an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford's top entrepreneurs through experiential education and collective intelligence. StartX requires no fees and takes zero equity.

Our Accelerator's Core Components

We take Zero Equity

As a partner of Stanford University and Stanford Health Care as well as many Stanford programs and the Stanford student government, we support all Stanford founders, including undergraduates, Master's students, PhD students, postdocs, alumni, and professors. Founders in the StartX community are carefully selected, and each session we welcome founders who are amazingly diverse, passionate, and talented. They're also generous. As members of StartX's thriving and supportive community, they help each other approach obstacles from different perspectives. They have studied medicine, engineering, business, humanities, law, science, and more. This creation of an interdisciplinary environment contributes to our community norm of trust and information sharing.

We are supported through foundation grants and corporate partnerships and take no equity in our companies.

We are Industry and Stage Agnostic

StartX founders tackle big problems in every industry, from biotech, medical device, hardware, cleantech, and non-profit to consumer and enterprise IT. Companies have entered the program at a variety of stages, from having recently developed an initial prototype to having raised a Series A.

Events Deliver Press and Funding to Founders

We host events where our network of investors and press contacts come to hear our companies pitch. These events have been attended by over 200 investors and press from leading publications likeTechCrunch, Forbes, WSJ, and more. Prior to each Demo Day, our staff and mentors work with each company extensively to refine their pitches. Throughout the session we provide access to numerous top-tier investors, angels, corporate representatives, and press. This is essential for fundraising, publicity, and corporate partnerships.

We Provide Access to the Stanford-StartX Fund

The Stanford-StartX Fund, co-founded in September 2013 by StartX, Stanford University, and Stanford Hospital & Clinics (now Stanford Health Care) (SHC), has deployed over $85 million in 180 StartX companies. The Fund supports more than a third of StartX companies and this number continues to grow at an impressive rate. The uncapped Fund is open to StartX founders who are fundraising and invests 10% of the round (no more, no less) when a company meets a set of objective criteria. Companies must raise a round of a minimum of $500K, of which 30% must be from professional investors.

We are a Community

We have over 350 alumni companies, and over 77% of our founders' companies continue to operate and are still growing. Our founders’ companies have been acquired by the likes of Twitter, Dropbox, Intuit, Apple, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Palantir, Salesforce and Instagram. They have raised funding from top firms such as Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, and Google Ventures.

They have been featured in major news publications, including Bloomberg, Forbes, Fortune, NBC, The New York Times, TIME,The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as TED Talks and the Harvard Business Review.

See our alumni companies on our Companies page.

Accelerator Program Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply to the StartX Accelerator Program, at least one founder of the company must have a Stanford affiliation. The Stanford-affiliated founder should have been enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program or have held a staff, faculty or postdoctoral position. Additionally, the Stanford founder(s) must hold a significant equity stake in the company.

We make exceptions in exceptional cases.

If you do not fit the requirements listed above for the Accelerator Program, it is still possible to join the community. We accept a small number of teams without any Stanford affiliation through our Visiting Founders Program. Please reach out to us with any questions through the Contact Form.

We accept teams of all sizes, but teams typically have two to three founders. We accept founders from companies of all industries and stages. StartX founders tackle big problems in every sector, from biotech, medical device, hardware, cleantech, and non-profit to consumer and enterprise IT. Companies have entered the program at a variety of stages, from having recently developed an initial prototype to having raised a Series A.

Accelerator Application Process

StartX alumni and trusted expert judges in our network initially review submitted applications to determine which teams receive a first-round interview. First-round interviews take place at the StartX office in front of a panel of judges composed of StartX mentors, venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, and StartX staff. Following first-round interviews, a select number of teams will complete second-round interviews which include meeting with StartX alumni and staff members. Decisions are then released in the following weeks after reference checks on the founders have been completed. Historically, the acceptance rate has been around 10% and the application process lasts nearly an entire month.

We hold three sessions of our accelerator program each year: spring, summer and fall. The Fall Session begins in October.

Applications For Fall 2016 Are Now OPEN!