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 up to $5,000 in scholarships!

NYU students may apply for the fellowship in November 2020 and in March 2021. 

The application for the Spring ‘21 NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship cohort was due on November 16th at 6pm

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

  • What You Can Expect from the Fellowship

    Each Fellow will benefit from the community, receive mentorship, and build momentum to support their venture and themselves, including:

    Community: build connections with the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and meet other student entrepreneurs through monthly events.

    Mentorship: receive coaching on your venture and peer support on overcoming challenges as a student entrepreneur

    Momentum: learn about the lean methodology and apply problem-solution fit so that you have the necessary tools to solve a meaningful problem.

    Invitation to Apply for Financial Award: NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellows are invited to apply for up to $5,000 in scholarships.

  • 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.

    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 
    • Entrepreneurial commitment: Founder commitment to entrepreneurship, and specifically to their venture.
  • Application Process

    The NYU First Generation to College Founders Fellowship applications was due on November 16th by 6pm.

    Application Process for the Fellowship
    NYU students may apply for the fellowship at two points in the year - in November 2020 and in March 2021.

    • Step 1- Suggested Pre-Requisite: Schedule a coaching appointment and apply for and complete an NYU Startup Bootcamp
    • Step 2 - Apply for Fellowship:
    • 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 up to in $5,000 scholarship, following these additional steps:

    • Step 4 - Apply for Scholarship: Immediately following completion of the Fellowship, fellows may apply for the scholarship.
    • Step 5 - Awardee Selection
  • 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.