Applications Now Open for the Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program

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Now in its 2nd year, the Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program aims to help diverse NYU founders from all backgrounds learn the fundamentals of and prepare for venture fundraising.

Over four sessions, NYU founders building venture-scale businesses will learn the mechanics, terms and soft skills of the venture fundraising process. Sessions will include in-depth workshops on topics such as “unpacking deal terms” and “building your investor list” as well as panels with venture-backed entrepreneurs and investors. During the program, participants will have numerous opportunities to meet with investors for 1:1 office hours in preparation for fundraising.

Sessions will be led by NYU’s Innovation Venture Fund team, VCs, and venture-backed founders. Last year’s guest speakers included the founders of Ephemeral Tattoo, MyWellbeing, PowerToFly, Funnel Leasing, Statespace (Aimlab), Mighty, She Matters and GigFinesse, investors from 500 Startups, Techstars, 2048 Ventures, HearstLab, Alumni Ventures and Flat World Partners, and legal guidance from Brown Rudnick.

Background: There continues to be a massive gap in the amount of venture capital invested in startups led by women, BIPOC and other underrepresented founders, relative to their peers. As of Sept. 22, 2022, only 2% of venture funding in 2022 has gone to ventures led by women only, while funding to Black founder-led startups represents just 1.2%. While the majority of ventures supported at NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute are led by Women and founders who are People of Color, far fewer receive venture funding.

The Venture Equity program aims to arm NYU founders with knowledge to assess for themselves whether venture funding is a fit for their venture and if so, to equip them with tools and empower them to have a successful fundraising process in the future.

When/Where Will It Take Place? 

The program will be held virtually (via Zoom), from approximately 4-6pm ET on the following Wednesdays: Nov. 1, Nov. 8, Nov. 29, & Dec. 6.

Who Is It For?

The program is designed for founders building scalable ventures who are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in entrepreneurship who have never raised from institutional investors. The program is built for venture founders that have early indications of product/market fit and will be ready to raise funding in the next six months. If you have raised an angel or friends & family round and want to get ready to pitch to institutional venture capitalists, this program is also for you.

The program is open to all interested NYU students, faculty, staff and recent alumni (within 2 years of graduating NYU) who are building highly scalable, for profit ventures, and who have conducted rigorous customer discovery to validate problem-solution fit. At a minimum, to be considered founders should have created an MVP/Beta which they’re actively testing/piloting with customers.

Learn more about the program and eligibility requirements via the program website.

Honoring Max Stenbeck's Legacy

The Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program honors the life and legacy of entrepreneur and philanthropist Max Stenbeck. Max Stenbeck was a passionate believer in technology for good, as well as an advocate for equal opportunities and the rights of vulnerable children. The Max Stenbeck Charitable Trust continues to give back in his legacy, including through the generous support of the Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program at NYU.

What Are The Next Steps?

Learn more about the program, meet the teams that participated in the inaugural Fall 2022 cohort, and apply today! Applications are open now until Oct. 2 at 6pm (mark your calendars).