Applications accepted on a rolling basis

StartX Community

StartX is a collection of serial entrepreneurs, industry experts, tenured Stanford professors, and well-funded growth-stage startups. We believe that entrepreneurs can achieve more, as a group, than we can as individuals. As a community, our goal is to find creative ways to collaborate, so that each of our companies can have a long-term positive impact on the world.

From this, we designed the StartX Community: a community for founders who don't need to give up equity.

(NOTE: If you don't think you would meet the bar for the StartX community, and are a current Stanford student, you are also eligble to submit an application to the Student-in-Residence financial aid and mentorship program.)

We take Zero Equity

StartX is a 501(c)3 non-profit and takes not equity in our companies. We are supported through grants, donations, and corporate sponsorships, including $8M in grant funding from Stanford University, Stanford Health Care, and Kauffman Foundation.

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 joined the StartX community at a variety of stages, from having recently developed an initial prototype to having raised over $100M+.

StartX Community Requirements

You can apply to the StartX community as First-time Founders, Experienced Entrepreneurs, or as a Stanford Professor. In order to be eligible to apply to StartX, least one founder of your company must have a Stanford affiliation (or you must receive a referral from an existing StartX founder -- see "Visiting Founders" application). 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, all founders must hold a significant equity stake in the company.

First-time Founders
This application is relative to your stage, and will focus on whether we think we'll be able to build your network of mentors and peers who can help you succeed. For example, if you are raising a Series B for the first time, the first-time founders community can help you learn from mentors and other entrepreneurs who have successfully raised Series B rounds. We accept teams of all sizes, but teams typically have two to three founders. We accept founders from companies of all industries and stages.

Experienced Entrepreneurs
The StartX Experienced Entrepreneur application is suitable for serial entrepreneurs and growth-stage companies. Your application will be viewed from the lens of founders that have had past success in previous companies of the same stage, and assumes you can hit the ground running. This track evaluates whether surrounding you with tactical help (recruiting, BD, etc.) and other serial entrepreneurs like you will help you build your company bigger, better, and more efficiently than the last.

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 Founders
If you do not fit the Stanford-affiliation requirements listed above, it is still possible to join the community. StartX offers an invite-only Visiting Founders application, for non Stanford-affiliated teams. You will need a recommendation from 1 StartX 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 don't receive the recommendation by the deadline, your application will be disqualified.
To reserve your spot in the next application cycle visit
Note that companies whose founders do not have a Stanford-affiliation do not have access to the Stanford-StartX Fund.

StartX 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.


The strength of our community speaks for itself:

Companies in our community have been acquired by the likes of Twitter, Dropbox, Intuit, Apple, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Palantir, Salesforce and Instagram. They have raised funding from top firms like Sequoia, Benchmark, and Accel Partners. They've been featured in all the major news publications, as well as TEDtalks and Harvard Business Review articles.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis