Attending an info session is mandatory prior to applying.
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Startup Sprints are two-week programs that teach and support aspiring NYU entrepreneur teams to transform their ideas and inventions into businesses. Whether you are an NYU graduate student, undergrad, or staff member, a Startup Sprint will challenge you to deepen your understanding of your customers in order to launch successful solutions and business models which meet their needs—we call this "problem-solution fit." During the program, your team will have access to expert startup coaches who will help guide you through this process. You will also be provided with skills-building workshops, grant funding, peer support from your cohort of startup teams, and more!
Past participants have called the award winning Startup Sprints "transformative and groundbreaking," garnering a 9.6/10 average net promoter score from over 200 past participants! Program alumni have been accepted into Y-Combinator & Techstars, have raised venture capital, have won the NYU Berkley Center's Entrepreneurs Challenge, and have been gone onto participate in the NYU Summer Launchpad program and Female Founders Fellowship.
Startup Sprints are held in the winter and summer when regular classes are not in session. Participants from any NYU global site (and their co-founders) are welcome to apply.
Applications for the Summer '24 Startup Sprint will open during the Spring '24 semester.
Attending an info session is mandatory prior to applying.
PLEASE NOTE: This program is NOT for credit. However, (just like a startup) it REQUIRES a full-time commitment during the program.
Teams can expect to start off running with: We give strong preference to teams who have completed a Startup Bootcamp at the Leslie eLab. Apply to a Startup Bootcamp today to let us get to know you! A few additional criteria about your team will determine the final selection: We also consider your answers the following questions about your venture, with a strong preference for teams who have validated their approach through first person, customer discovery interviews and and customer traction: Each team will receive funding and perks to put toward their business venture, including: The Startup Sprint is open to teams with at least one NYU student (grad or undergrad), faculty, or researcher founder from any NYU school or college, with an idea, invention and/or early mock-up or prototype of their product or service.
Teams can expect to start off running with:
We give strong preference to teams who have completed a Startup Bootcamp at the Leslie eLab. Apply to a Startup Bootcamp today to let us get to know you!
A few additional criteria about your team will determine the final selection:
We also consider your answers the following questions about your venture, with a strong preference for teams who have validated their approach through first person, customer discovery interviews and and customer traction:
Each team will receive funding and perks to put toward their business venture, including:
The Startup Sprint is open to teams with at least one NYU student (grad or undergrad), faculty, or researcher founder from any NYU school or college, with an idea, invention and/or early mock-up or prototype of their product or service.
How many teams apply and are selected for each Startup Sprint? We typically receive 80+ applications for each Startup Sprint, and select about 14 teams for each cohort. Since the application process is competitive, we strongly advise meeting with a coach AND applying to a Startup Bootcamp to let us get to know your team first. This way, you can stand out from the competition.
What are the basic requirements to be considered? Teams must have two or more people able to participate full time in the Startup Sprint (only one needs to be a founder). At least one founder must be a current student, faculty, researcher, or staff member at the time of application (or have graduated no earlier than Fall '22). All participating team members must be committed to their startup full time during the length of the program, and should be willing to listen to and learn from coaches and customers.
What types of ventures do you accept? The Startup Sprint is intended for all types of startups which have high-growth potential and are highly differentiated (tacking a problem in a novel way), including non-profits. Whether focused on social innovation, software, medical devices, physical products, hardware, or other areas, all are welcome to apply!
Do I, or my team members, have to attend an info session to apply? Yes. Info session attendance is mandatory for at least one member of your team. If you aren't able to make any of the info session dates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to the info session video recording.
When and where does it take place? The program runs twice a year — once in January, and again in May/June (all day M-F) — in person at the Leslie eLab, on NYU's Washington Square campus. All participating team members are expected to attend ALL program activities. While the program will take place in person, we will follow NYU's guidance in consideration of the health and safety of the NYU community, and may offer a hybrid option to participants who are unable to attend in person due for unavoidable reasons (with pre-approval).
We've already taken some funding. Can we still apply? Yes. Please do.
I have another class during this period. Can I still apply? Two people (at least one founder) must be committed to their startup and able to participate in the Startup Sprint full-time during the program.
Our team has two venture ideas, can we submit multiple applications? Yes. However, if your team is selected for the program, we expect you to be fully committed to the one venture you are selected to participate with.
What's the timeline for the application process? We review applications the week following the application deadline. We then invite select teams to interview (10-15 minutes). If you are selected for an interview, you'll be notified of your team's acceptance by the following week after. Select teams may be requested to participate in a Startup Bootcamp before a final acceptance determination can be made. The entire process takes about three weeks.
Who will review my application? Senior members of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute team and NYU Innovation Venture Fund review all applications and lead all interviews. At least three members of the Institute team review each application to ensure a diversity of opinions are considered. Personally identifiable information within applications will not be shared with any external parties for any reason, in accordance with University policy and federal regulations (FERPA).
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 coaching program.
If I applied to a Startup Sprint in the past and was not accepted, can I apply again? Yes, absolutely! It's very common for teams to apply to the program multiple times and we highly encourage repeat applicants. We expect to see progress made on your venture since your prior application. Many teams who have participated in the program submitted multiple times before being accepted (as the program has about a 15% acceptance rate).
Do you have an offline version of the application questions to review? Yes! You van view and make a copy of the application questions from the 2023 Summer Startup Accelerators linked here. We HIGHLY recommend you make a copy of this document and fill out the application questions here before submitting through the Qualtrics form.