Startup Sprints

The J-Term Startup Sprint (January) and Summer Startup Sprint (May-June) offer NYU teams the opportunity to get funding and test the value of their potential solutions. These are 2 to 3-week customer discovery and mentorship intensives.

If you have an idea, a team, or a project you’re working on and want to turn it into a startup, then the Startup Sprint is for you! The next Startup Sprint will take place Summer 2018, from May 30th–June 8th (with the option for a third week of resources and coaching). Applications are now open and will be due on April 6th at 5pm.

Please note, all applicant teams must have attended an info session prior to applying. Interested in applying but couldn't attend an info-session? Email and let us know!


  • Tell Me More

    The next Startup Sprint will be held from May 30-June 8th, 2018 (with the option for a third week of additional funding and coaching through June 15th). The program runs all day during the weekdays. A detailed schedule for the program is forthcoming.

    PLEASE NOTE: This program is NOT for credit. However, (just like a startup) it REQUIRES a full-time commitment during the program.

    What You Can Expect
    Get ready for a two week sprint, filled with challenging hurdles with greater rewards. Teams can expect to start off running with:

    • Workshops: Experts across the NYU and NYC startup communities
    • Founder talks: Learn from those who have been in your shoes
    • Customers: Create solutions customers love by “Getting out of the Building” and talking directly to prospective users, customers and partners
    • Connections: Opportunity to meet VCs, accelerators and more
    • Experimentation: Learn how to run experiments to build your MVPs and prototypes
    • Community: You’ll work alongside and learn from a community of NYU startup founders
    Who It's For
    Open to teams of NYU undergrad and graduate student entrepreneurs from any NYU school or college, with an idea, invention or early mock-up or prototype of their product or service.

    • Team: 2 or more entrepreneurs with at least 1 team member currently at NYU. Don’t have two team members? RSVP for the Summer Accelerator Team Hunt on March 19th at the Tandon School of Engineering.
    • Commitment: Committed to your startup full-time (at least 40 hours per week) for the duration of the program and a passion for the problem you hope to solve (with a plan for how you’ll continue after the program)
    • Buy-In: Understand the requirements of the program and have an openness to customer discovery
    • A lot of passion, hard work and hustle!
    Selection Criteria
    First things first, we’ll make sure you’re part of a team of at least 2 members. Remember, at least 1 teammate must be a current NYU student! From there, we will consider your idea or early prototype and how you believe your time in the Startup Sprint will launch your venture into the next phase of product development and launch. A few additional criteria will determine the final selection:

    • Attended an info-session: We want to know you understand what you’re signing up for. Therefore, attendance of an info session is mandatorySign up here for a Summer Accelerator Info Session. Can’t make any info session time? Email us at prior to submitting your application
    • Diversity: Preference given to teams with at least 1 female or minority co-founder
    • Graduation year: Preference given to students graduating in 2019 or after. Graduating in 2018 or a 2017 grad? Consider applying for the 2018 NYU Summer Launchpad!
    • STEM: Preference given to teams with STEM-centered solutions (science, technology, engineering, and math)
    • Coaching: Preference given to teams who have received coaching from a NYU Blackstone LaunchPad coach; Sign up for a coaching appointment here
    Benefits You'll Receive
    Each team will receive funding and perks to put toward their venture, including:*

    • Funding: $350 at the start of the program (reimbursable expenses), another $350 for teams who opt for the third week of the Summer Sprint, and eligibility for $1,500 after competing the 2 weeks and an additional $1,500 (if you complete the 3rd week) in future funding for the top-performing teams who complete the program
    • Perks: $5,000 in Amazon Web Services Credits, advice on legal issues, and more!
    • Ignite Fellowship: The top 3–4 teams from the program will be invited to participate in the Ignite Fellowship for the semester following the sprint
    • SLP 2019 (J-Sprint 2019 only): The top two-three teams from the program will be guaranteed an invitation to interview for NYU Summer Launchpad accelerator 2019, to launch their venture full time
    • Food: Breakfast or lunch each day of the program is included
    • Co-working space: 24/7 co-working space during the entirety of the program at the Leslie eLab (first two weeks) and MAGNET (for teams who optional third week in the Summer Sprint)

    *Startup Sprint is supported by the NYU Tandon CIE, the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1644681, and by VentureWell.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • When and where does the Summer Sprint take place?

    The program runs from Wednesday May 30th, 2018 until Friday, June 8th, 2018, at the Leslie eLab. Teams will have the option to continue on for an additional week of mentorship and workshops through June 15th. The third week will be held at MAGNET on NYU’s Brooklyn campus. All full-time team members participating in the program are expected to attend all program activities, which take place on weekdays of the program.

    • What are the basic requirements to be considered?

    Teams must have two or more founders. At least one co-founder must be a current student (graduating in 2019 or 2020 is preferred), or a faculty, researcher, or staff member. Graduating in 2018 or a 2017 grad? Consider applying for the 2018 NYU Summer Launchpad! All core team members must be committed to their startup full-time during the length of the program and should have the openness and the skills to execute intensive customer discovery. Preference is given to teams with at least one female or minority co-founder, and to teams pursuing concepts in STEM focused areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

    • Is this program only for students?

    While the Startup Sprints are primarily for students, teams may apply if at least one member is a current student, or a current postdoc, faculty, researcher, or staff member. International NYU students are welcome and encouraged to apply.

    • What if I need more people to join my team?

    On March 19th we’ll be hosting a team-hunt event where you can meet the other teams, join a team, or find additional co-founders. All teams are highly encouraged to attend. RSVP to the team hunt event here.

    • What types of ventures do you accept?

    The Startup Sprints are intended for all types of startups that have high-growth potential, but a slight preference will be given to ventures with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focus. Whether focused on social innovation, software, medical devices, physical products, hardware, or other areas, all are welcome to apply.

    • I have another class or internship during the summer. Can I still apply?

    Two or more core team members must be committed to their startup and pursue the Summer Startup Sprint full-time from May 30-June 8 (or June 15th if pursuing the third week). However, teams may include some non-core founding members or advisors who have outside obligations such as faculty appointments or internships, but they are ineligible to participate in the program.

    • Our team has two venture ideas, can we submit multiple applications?

    While you may submit as many applications as you like, if your team is selected for the program, we expect teams to be fully committed to the venture they are selected to participate with.

    • What is the deadline to apply for the Summer Sprint?

    The deadline to submit your application for the Summer Sprint is is Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST.

    • When will other Startup Sprints be offered?

    Startup sprints for students and post-docs will be offered bi-annually each January and at the start of each summer. Additionally, a faculty startup sprint will be held at the end of August.

    • We've already taken some funding. Can we still apply?


    • Who will review my application?

    Applications will be reviewed by and interviews will be conducted by senior members of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute team and NYU Innovation Venture Fund. Applications will not be shared with any external parties for any reason.

    • Do you give feedback on application results?

    Typically we do not give specific feedback on applications. However, we’d be happy to meet with your team to give more general feedback and guidance about your startup through our mentorship/coaching program (open to those currently affiliated with NYU only). You can book a coaching appointment here.

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