NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship

The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute is proud to offer a new fellowship and scholarship for NYU students who are first generation in their family to go to college. The NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship provides training and mentorship to student entrepreneurs at NYU, and will also have the opportunity to apply for $5,000 scholarships!

NYU students may apply for the fellowship in November and in March, via the same application as for the next upcoming NYU Startup SprintThe Fellowship shares an application with the Startup Sprint, and we encourage you to apply for both programs. 

The application for the Spring ‘21 NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship cohort will be due November 16th at 6pmSign up below to attend an info session for both the J-Term Startup Sprint and NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship to learn more!

This fellowship is sponsored by Santander through their Santander’s Universities program.

  • Information Sessions
  • What You Can Expect from the Fellowship

    Each fellow will receive mentorship, training and resources to support their venture and themselves, including:

    Training: Fellows will have access to comprehensive startup training, and will be invited to participate in the:

    • Startup Sprint: Two week long intensive program to help startup ventures find problem-solution fit (taking place in January and in May/June). Sprint teams will be granted $1,000 at the start of the program and be eligible for up to $1,500 in follow-on funding (in reimbursable expenses).
    • Summer Launchpad Interview: Fellows will automatically be guaranteed an interview for the highly competitive NYU Summer Launchpad Accelerator.
    • Ignite Fellowship Priority Consideration: All fellows will have their ventures reviewed for potential invitation into the upcoming Ignite Alpha cohort.
    • Other programs: Fellows may also be invited to participate in/apply to other select program opportunities, as they arise.

    Coaching: Regular (monthly or more frequent) coaching sessions with members of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute Coaching Team, Entrepreneurs in Residence, and/or Founders in Residence

    First Generation to College Founders Fellowship Cohort: Monthly gatherings where fellows will get to share progress, work through venture challenges.

    Invitation to Apply for Financial Award: NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellows are invited to apply for $5,000 scholarships after they complete the a Startup Sprint. Scholarships will be awarded to 7 Fellows per year.

  • Who It’s For

    The NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship is open to NYU undergraduate student entrepreneurs who are enrolled in a degree program from any NYU school or college, who are actively working on a startup venture. Recent alumni - entrepreneurs who have graduated within the last year (at the time of application) and who started their venture while studying at NYU - are also welcome to apply, but are not eligible for the scholarship.

    We seek to build a diverse, inclusive cohort of fellows. This opportunity is open to NYU full-time/part-time undergraduate student with at least one remaining semester at NYU who meet any of the following criteria:

    • Are first in their families to attend college
    • Are pell grant eligible
    • Are not pell grant eligible, but come from low income households (your family-contribution to your education costs is low)

    All applicants must also personally demonstrate:

    • Commitment to their venture: Applicants must be passionate and knowledgeable about the problem they hope to solve and demonstrate that they and their team have the skills necessary to build and launch their venture. Applicants must also demonstrate continued advancement and progress on the venture.
    • Demonstrated hustle: Applicants must be able to learn from, and take advantage of available resources. One way for applicants to show initiative is by meeting with the Entrepreneurial Institute for coaching appointments and completing a Startup Bootcamp in advance of applying.

    Applicant's Venture Considerations:

    Students pursuing ventures in any sector may apply (social impact, healthcare, biotech, deep tech, consumer products, enterprise technology, etc.). Independent of sector, the program has a strong preference for entrepreneurs tackling meaningful problems, building novel/differentiated solutions, and for businesses capable of radically scaling (including non-profits).

    We’ll consider how applicants answer the following questions about their venture:

    • Problem Identification: Does the venture solve a meaningful problem and how well does the team understand the problem they hope to solve and the customer segment/market they plan to address?
    • Idea & Competition: Is the venture idea novel and/or a radical improvement over existing solutions?
    • Milestones: What progress on the venture has been made so far - what has the team done/created?
    • Scalability: Does the venture have the ability to scale? What might be the potential impact and/or market opportunity of the venture at scale?

    Scholarship Selection Criteria:

    • Program participation: Successful participation in the NYU Startup Bootcamp and completion of the NYU Startup Sprint.
    • Entrepreneurial commitment: Founder commitment to entrepreneurship, and specifically to their venture.
  • Application Process

    The NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship applications will be due on November 16th by 6pm. Application link forthcoming. To learn more, RSVP for an info session today (above).

    Application Process for the Fellowship
    NYU students may apply for the fellowship at two points in the year - in November and in March, via the same application as for the Startup Sprint. Link to application coming soon.

    • Step 1- Suggested Pre-Requisite: Schedule a coaching appointment and apply for and complete an NYU Startup Bootcamp, or Tech Venture Workshop.
    • Step 2 - Apply for Fellowship: The NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship shares an application with the NYU Startup Sprint, and we encourage you to apply for both programs. The application for the Spring ‘21 NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship cohort will be due November 16th at 6pm. (info sessions listed above).
    • Step 3 - Fellows Selection: Fellows will receive notification of their acceptance for the program w/in one month after applications are due.

    Application Process for Scholarship
    Fellows may apply for the $5,000 scholarship, following these additional steps:

    • Step 4 - Pre-Requisite: Participate in a Startup Sprint (January-Term or Summer).
    • Step 5 - Apply for Scholarship: Immediately following completion of a Startup Sprint, fellows may apply for the scholarship. More details forthcoming in December 2020.
    • Step 6 - Awardee Selection: Details forthcoming in December 2020.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Do I have to identify as first generation to college founder to apply, or to be selected for the fellowship?
    No. The fellowship and scholarship are open to NYU full-time/part-time undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester at NYU who meet any of the following criteria:

    • Are first in their families to attend college
    • Are pell grant eligible
    • Are not pell grant eligible, but come from low income households (your family-contribution to your education costs is low)

    I’m interested in becoming a fellow, but I have other ways to cover the costs of tuition without this scholarship. Can I still apply?
    Yes! Fellows can receive the full benefits of mentorship and programmatic support, without applying for or receiving the scholarship.

    I’m interested in becoming a fellow, but do not have any more semesters left at NYU (I'm graduating). Can I still apply?
    Yes! Fellows can receive the full benefits of mentorship and programmatic support, without applying for or receiving the scholarship.

    I graduated over a year ago from NYU. Can I still apply for the fellowship?
    No. Only students who graduated from NYU less than a year prior to their application, and who started their ventures while at NYU, are eligible to apply for the fellowship.

    I’m a student from an international NYU campus. Am I eligible to apply for the fellowship?
    Yes!

    Are the scholarships taxable?
    No.

    How many scholarships will be awarded each year?
    We anticipate awarding 7 student loan alleviation grants to fellows each year.