The NYU Summer Launchpad program is gearing up for one of the most sought after and exclusive programs for graduating student entrepreneurs. This 10-week accelerator program exists to provide the latest skills, resources, and connections to develop startups into viable ventures. Participating teams hail from a cross section of schools and majors around the campus. Applications are due April 17th. Click here to learn more and apply to the program.

As the NYC startup scene continues to evolve and expand, accelerator programs are created - but not all are equal. It’s essential for entrepreneurs to assess the qualities of each before committing to this immersive opportunity.

Frank Rimalovski and Lindsey Gray our beloved teaching team

Experience the life of an entrepreneur

Immersing yourself in an environment and culture that provides a true sense of the “startup lifestyle,” while being supported by University resources such as experienced business mentors, professionally facilitated skill-building workshops, peer to peer collaboration, and legal guidance.

Non-dilutive funding

Participants selected for Summer Launchpad will receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $7,500 to be used to support their summer activities. While different programs employ a wide variety of financial arrangements with their teams, most take equity in return for the financial support they provide. It’s rare that a program would provide funds and resources to a startup without taking something in return, but our relationship with the University enables us to do so, providing a major benefit to participating teams.

Access to co-working space

With the opening of the new Leslie eLab located in the heart of the Washington Square campus, you’ll have access to meeting rooms, co-working areas, the Prototyping Lab, unlimited coffee, and many more resources for the duration of the program. Not only is this a great high-tech physical space to work for the summer, it also acts as a platform that connects a strong community of startups.

Access to mentors and subject-matter experts

Summer Launchpad teams have access to some of the most well-respected mentors and subject-matter experts in variety of fields at the Leslie eLab for weekly office hours. The University and its brand open up doors to a wealth of experts and experienced professionals who are ready and willing to share their knowledge with the community. Furthermore, NYU alumni are great source for mentorship. Many successful alumni are eager to give back to NYU by participating in programs like this. We have a great bench of mentors from the broader NYC startup community, including the city’s top venture investors and entrepreneurs, who will advise the Summer Launchpad teams during the program, and help plug them into the NYC startup ecosystem. See the list of last year’s mentors here.

Weekly speaker series with successful entrepreneurs

We’re fortunate to have many successful entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts who are willingly share their expertise - and the good, the bad, and the ugly of their past experiences building their own startups. We have found that teams find great value in learning from successful role models who have been through the entrepreneurial journey. See the list of last year’s speakers here.

Peer network

Being an entrepreneur can be as stressful as it is rewarding. Anyone who has been an entrepreneur before will tell you that having a strong support network will be key for getting you through the tough days. The Summer Launchpad will not only help you forge a stronger bond with the members of your own team, but there will also be ample opportunities to mingle and collaborate with the other teams in the cohort. Whether it’s by providing peer feedback to each other’s presentations at weekly workshops or catching up over drinks at one of the social outings we sponsor, Summer Launchpad will introduce you to a new network of supporters and friends.

Exposure to the VC community

While we don’t expect that every team participating in Summer Launchpad will be ready for venture funding this summer, it’s always a good practice to get the input of potential investors well ahead of the time you’re looking for their financial backing. Building relationships with investors long before you come to them asking for an investment is key to securing a favorable deal. Teams that participate in Launchpad will have an opportunity to connect with members of the VC community throughout the summer as they serve as mentors, guest speakers, or attendees at networking events and company showcases.

‘Best practices’ that will help you learn in 10 weeks what might otherwise take years

As successful entrepreneurs-turned educators like Steve Blank, Bob Dorf, Eric Reis, and others have shown, there is a set of activities and best practices that entrepreneurs can follow to increase their likelihood of success - and saving a lot of time and money in the process. The Summer Launchpad helps teams adopt the ‘lean startup’ methodology and ensure you know how use your limited resources efficiently as you develop for your business model.

A final opportunity to take advantage of the resources NYU offer to its students

If you are a student set to graduate this spring, you’re probably starting to get nostalgic about the perks of life as a student – the community of people, wealth of resources, or simply the physical spaces you get access to as part of the NYU student body. (If you are not yet feeling this yet, start paying attention and we promise you will!) Launchpad offers graduating students 10 more weeks to take advantage of all that NYU has to offer while pulling together the best of NYU’s resources for entrepreneurs in one amazing 10-week program.

Did we mention free money?

More information about the program details and eligibility requirements, as well as the program application, can be found here. Applications are due by April 17th!