Summer Launchpad runs from June 9th-August 6th, 2020. Teams who haven’t completed a past Startup Sprint will likely also be required to participate in the Summer Startup Sprint (May 26th-June 5th) prior to participating in the Summer Launchpad.
PLEASE NOTE: This program is NOT for credit. However, (just like a startup) it REQUIRES a full-time commitment during the program.
Get ready for a 9-week accelerator to help you set and meet your customer acquisition, product development, and team milestones, and to launch your venture full-time. Each week the teams push to achieve key business milestones, to validate product-market fit, acquire customers, and solidify their business model. Summer Launchpad is deeply connected to New York City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, tapping mentors, coaches and potential investors who help teams accelerate from vision to scale. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:
- Mentorship: Mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and boardroom-style feedback from a dedicated advisory council of VCs and subject-matter experts. See below for a list of some of the past program mentors.
- Guest Founder Talks: Weekly talks from preeminent NYC founders and Venture Capitalists. Talks from 2018 & 2019 included Scott Harrison (CAS) founder of Charity: Water; Dennis Crowley (Tisch) founder of Foursquare, Caren Maio (Gallatin) founder of Nestio, and Andrea Breanna (Gallatin & Tisch) founder of RebelMouse and former CTO of HuffPost.
- Workshops: Led by experts across the NYU and NYC startup communities, workshops will teach relevant skills in finance and capital raising, customer acquisition, product development, business operations, and other topics selected to help you succeed in your venture.
- Customer development: Get closer to product-market fit through customer validation by “Getting out of the Building” and talking directly to prospective users, customers, and partners.
- Design & Marketing Intensives: Learn how to run iterative experiments on your product, business model and marketing channels during short expert-instructor led design and marketing sprints.
- Accelerator and Angel Investor Office Hours: Office hours with numerous later-stage accelerators, angel, and seed-stage investors throughout the program.
- Community: You’ll work alongside, learn from, and contribute to a community of NYU startup founders and fellow SLP participants.
- NYU-Yale Pitchoff: A pitch showdown where six teams from NYU and Yale present to a live audience of 200 of their closest friends, but only one will take home a ridiculously large trophy!
- Public Demo Day: All teams will have the opportunity to pitch in October at the NYU Demo Day to 500+ attendees, as the capstone to the NYU Entrepreneurs Festival.
- Friends and Family Demo Day: For select teams, this is an opportunity to pitch to angel investors, venture capitalists and others.
Each team will receive funding and perks to put toward their venture, including:
- Funding: $10,000 in zero-equity, non-dilutive grant funding toward your venture.
- Cloud Computing: $10,000 in Amazon Web Services credits for participation in the program.
- Coaching and Mentorship: One-on-one office hours with Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, and expert mentors.
- Legal Services: Pro-bono legal guidance from McCarter & English to help you incorporate the right way to kickstart your company.
- Accounting Services: Pro-bono accounting services from EisnerAmper.
- Co-working Space: 24/7 access to the Leslie eLab for full-time program participants.
- Access to Future Programs: Select teams will be invited to participate in the Ignite (Beta) Fellowship, and will have opportunities to meet with later-stage accelerators and incubators to help grow their ventures after completion of Summer Launchpad. Select founders will also be invited to incubate their companies at NYU, as Founders in Residence at the Leslie eLab and Ignite Lab in Brooklyn.
Open to teams of NYU entrepreneurs from any school or college, with a proof of concept/prototype and who has validated problem-solution fit. Highly scalable ventures addressing ANY sector from ANY NYU school are welcome to apply, including non-profit ventures.
- Team: Entrepreneurs with 2+ founders able to participate full time.
- Graduation Year: Preference given to student or post-doc teams graduating in 2019 (or after). Those graduating from NYU after 2020 are also welcome to apply.
- Diverse Team: Preference will be given to well-rounded, multi-disciplinary teams (i.e. representing multiple NYU schools!), and extra consideration will be given to teams with at least one co-founder who is female or represents an underrepresented minority in tech/entrepreneurship.
- Commitment: Committed to your startup full-time (at least 40 hours per week) and to participate in ALL program activities for the nine weeks (absences need to be disclosed in the application); and committed to launching your venture full-time after the program.
- Buy-in: Understand the requirements of the program and have an openness to customer development.
- Community-minded: Demonstrated willingness to help other startup teams and interest in being part of a community.
First things first, make sure you’re committed to your startup full-time (at least 40 hours per week) and available to participate in ALL program activities for the nine weeks. And remember, at least 1 co-founder must be an NYU student or postdoc!
- Attended an info-session: We want to know you understand what you’re signing up for. Therefore, attendance at an info session is mandatory. RSVP for an info session on this page.
- Solving a meaningful problem: Through customer discovery and other means, you’re able to show you’ve validated that you’re solving a problem which has the potential to bring substantive, scalable and tangible value to customers and other beneficiaries, with potential to scale value/impact to a large market/beneficiary sector.
- Problem-solution fit: You’ve validated the problem you’ve identified through customer discovery and you believe you know how you can solve it (meaning you have problem-solution fit).
- Proof of concept/prototype: We’ll look at your proof of concept, and your plans for how you’ll take your solution to the next level to validate it with customers during Summer Launchpad (getting you to product-market fit).
- Milestones & goals: We’ll consider the milestones you hope to achieve during and after Summer Launchpad, with consideration for how you believe the program will help you achieve your goals.
- Demonstrated passion, coachability, and hustle! Last but not least, we want to see you’re the type of team who benefits from mentorship and coaching, and peer support (why else participate in a cohort-based accelerator?). And we want to see that you have passion and hustle for the problem you’re solving! Therefore, it will greatly increase your chances of acceptance if you’ve participated in other mentorship-intensive programs led by the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and NYU partners, including a Startup Sprints, Startup Bootcamp, Ignite Fellowships, Innovention, $300k Entrepreneurs Challenge, or intensive coaching through the Startup Coaching Program. If this doesn't describe your team, apply for a startup bootcamp or register for a coaching appointment today!