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.
StartX founders tackle big problems in every sector, from biotech, medical device, hardware, cleantech, and non-profit to consumer and enterprise IT.

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 (SSF), co-founded in September 2013 by StartX, Stanford University, and Stanford Health Care, has invested over $98 million in 200+ StartX companies. SSF is available only to StartX companies with a Stanford-affiliated founder and is structured to be extremely founder-friendly: it is opt-in and utilizes clear objective criteria for investment. In order for SSF to invest in a particular round, the round size must be $500k or greater and 30%+ must have come from professional investors. SSF will invest 10.0% of a round. Please reach out to our Fund Manager Suzanne Fletcher (suzanne@startx.com) with any questions.

We are a Community

We have over 400 alumni companies, and over 78% 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.

StartX Program Requirements

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 Program
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.

Student-in-Residence Program
The Student-in-Residence program is a specialized program for student founders actively enrolled at Stanford and includes additional benefits (such as free office space, etc.) and a different educational track.
In order to be eligible to apply to the StartX Student-in-Residence program, at least one founder must be a current Stanford student/PhD/postdoc/etc.
Additionally, the Stanford student founder(s) must hold a significant equity stake in the company.

Professor-in-Residence Program
The Professor-in-Residence program is a customized track to fit within the constraints of teams that include an active Stanford professor.
In order to be eligible to apply to the StartX Professor-in-Residence program, at least one founder must be a current faculty member of Stanford University.
Additionally, the founder who is a faculty member must hold a significant equity stake in the company.

Visiting Founder Program
If you do not fit the requirements listed above, it is still possible to join the community. We make exceptions in exceptional cases.
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.
Note that companies whose founders do not have a Stanford-affiliation do not have access to the Stanford-StartX Fund.

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 between 8%-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 Spring Session begins in January.

Applications For Spring Accelerator Are Now Closed!