Apply To Our Fall Session

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.
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.

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 $140 million in 260+ 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 ( with any questions.

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.

Accelerator Program
You can apply to the accelerator program either as First-time Founders or Experienced Entrepreneurs (Serial entrepreneurs or Growth-stage company).

The Accelerator Program for First-time Founders (relative to your stage) will focus on building your network of mentors and peers who can help you learn how to succeed. For example, if you are raising a Series B for the first time, apply to the first-time founders program to learn from mentors and other entrepreneurs who have successfully raised Series B rounds.

The Accelerator Program for Experienced Entrepreneurs (Serial entrepreneurs and growth-stage companies) is designed for founders that have had past success in previous companies of the same stage, and assumes you can hit the ground running. This track will focus on surrounding each serial entrepreneur with tactical help and other serial entrepreneurs like you to help build your company bigger, better, and more efficiently than the last.

In order to be eligible to apply to the Accelerator Program, at least one founder of the company must have a Stanford affiliation. A Stanford-affiliated founder is someone who was a Stanford undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, post doctoral scholar, academic staff member, or fellow in a recognized Stanford fellowship program.
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.
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. StartX offers an invite-only Visiting Founder Program, for non Stanford-affiliated teams.
You will need a recommendation from 1 StartX alumni founder to confirm your application submission.To receive a recommendation, please request your StartX reference to visit to recommend you before the submission deadline. If we haven't received the recommendation by the deadline, your application will be void. If you want to be notified as soon as applications open, you can register at here.
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.

Apply To Our Fall Session