Jones is a judgement-free journey to a vape-less life, through a personalized nicotine replacement subscription, behavioral support and digital community.


  • Caroline Huber (Stern '23) |
  • Hilary Dubin |


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An app that enables the discovery of sample sales in fashion capitals of the world.


  • Estee Goldschmidt (Stern '17) |




A mixed media development environment for computer science education.


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Summer Launchpad

NYU Summer Launchpad (SLP) is an award-winning immersive 9-week accelerator for scalable startups led by NYU students (including those graduating in '23/'24) and researchers. Each year, 8-10 teams receive one-on-one coaching with NYC investors and entrepreneurs, immersive customer development training, legal and accounting services via McCarter & English and EisnerAmper, and $10,000 in non-dilutive funding, all in a dynamic and community-minded atmosphere. This has culminated in enormous value to past teams, with Summer Launchpad participants rating the program a 9.8/10 average Net Promoter Score!

Now in its 12th year, the program was the launchpad for successful NYU startups including Brooklinen, Rilla, Jones, GigFinesse, Baton, Govern for America, Sabai, She Matters, Diversity Org, MyWellbeing, Medivis, Frich, and many others. Summer Launchpad alumni are collectively generating more than $300 million in annual revenue, have created over 400 new jobs, and have raised over $310 million in venture capital!

The 2024 Summer Launchpad will take place in NYC from June 11-Aug. 8. Applications are due on March 26 at 6pm ET.

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  • Tell Me More

    The 2024 Summer Launchpad will take place from June 11-August 8 at the Leslie eLab on the NYU Washington Square campus. Applications are due on March 26th at 6pm ET. Apply here today.

    PLEASE NOTE: This program is NOT for credit. However, (just like a startup) it REQUIRES full-time commitment during the program.

    What You Can Expect

    Get ready for a nine-week accelerator to help you set and meet your customer acquisition, product development, and team goals, 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 and the broader US entrepreneurial ecosystem (including from Boston and Silicon Valley), tapping mentors, coaches and potential investors who help teams accelerate from vision to scale. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:

    • Investor Mentorship: Boardroom-style feedback from a personalized advisory council of VCs. See below for a list of some of the past program mentors.
    • Entrepreneur Mentorship: 1:1 Mentorship with dedicated experienced entrepreneurs and subject matter experts, and weekly hands on guidance from the coaches at the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.
    • Guest Founder Talks: Talks from preeminent founders and Venture Capitalists. Recent speakers include Scott Harrison (CAS), founder of Charity: Water; Nobu Nakaguchi (Tisch), founder of Zola; Caren Maio (Gallatin), founder of Funnel Leasing; Rich Fulop (CAS, Stern), founder of Brooklinen; Ragy Thomas (Stern), founder of Sprinklr; Dennis Crowley (Tisch), founder of Foursquare; and Di-Ann Eisnor (Steinhardt), founder of Core and Neighborhood Start Fund.
    • Workshops: Led by experts across the NYU and NYC startup communities, workshops 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.
    • Accelerator and 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: Six teams from NYU and Yale present to an audience of ~300 of their peers.
    • 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.
    Selection Criteria

    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 one co-founder must be an NYU student, faculty, staff, researcher, or postdoc!

    Additional selection criteria includes:

    • Attending an Info Session: We want to know you understand what you’re signing up for. Therefore, attendance at an info session is mandatory.
    • Solving a Meaningful problem: Through customer discovery and other means, you must show that you’ve validated that the problem you’re solving 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 must be able to show that you've validated the problem for a specific customer segment, which has been identified through extensive customer discovery and validation. You should be able to show that the solution you've validated can solve the problem. Preference is given to teams with demonstrated customer traction (e.g. demonstrated demand via early sales/pre-sales and/or pilots testing your solution in the market).
    • 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. HINT: The program predominantly focuses on the business aspects of your venture. While you will have time to build your solution during the summer, the majority of the time will focus on topics related to business model and customer development, sales, marketing, operations, finance and other business topics (though some product management, user testing and other topics may also be a focus). Be sure your interests align with these focus areas!
    • Demonstrated Passion, Coachability, and Hustle! Last but not least, we want to see you’re the type of team who benefits from mentorship, 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 Startup Sprints, Startup Bootcamps, Female Founders Fellowships, the InnoVention Competition, the 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!
    Benefits You’ll Receive

    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: Office hours with VCs, Angel Investors, and expert mentors.
    • Legal Services: Pro-bono legal guidance from Brown Rudnick to help you incorporate the right way to kickstart your company.
    • Accounting Services: Pro-bono accounting services.
    • Access to Future Programs: Select teams will be invited to participate in the Ignite Fellowship, apply to the Female Founders Fellowship and Grant programs, as well as the Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program, 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.
    Who It's For

    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 and differentiated ventures addressing ANY sector from ANY NYU school are welcome to apply, including scalable non-profit ventures. Other requirements and preferences for participating teams include:

    • Progress via Coaching & Programs: Teams must have demonstrated they're making continued progress on their venture AND demonstrate they clearly benefit from coaching and support through participating in other earlier-stage startup programs. Those who have participated in frequent venture coaching, a Startup Bootcamp, the Female Founders Fellowship, and other intensive programs are much more likely to be considered for this competitive program. If you have not yet completed a Startup Sprint, you'll be asked to co-apply (same application) for the Sprint in addition to the Summer Launchpad (aka the Sprint is a pre-requisite to participate in Summer Launchpad unless the Directors of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute give your team express permission in advance of your application to forgo the Sprint). You still have time to participate in these pre-requisite programs and opportunities! Apply for a Startup Bootcamp and meet with a venture coach today so we can get to know you and your venture before your application.

    Beyond this, ventures who apply to the program must meet the below requirements:

    • Team: Startups with 2+ founders or team members able to participate full time. Only one founder has to be an NYU student or recent alumni (having graduated in 2023 or 2024).
    • Graduation Year: Preference will be given to student teams who graduated in 2023 and 2024. Those graduating from NYU after 2024 are also welcome to apply, as well as staff and faculty members at NYU.
    • Right Skillsets: Preference will be given to well-rounded, multi-disciplinary teams (i.e. representing multiple NYU schools!) whose skills match the venture they're creating and who are deeply passionate about the problem they're solving for their venture.
    • Commitment: Teams must be committed to their startup full time (at least 40 hours per week) and able to participate in ALL program activities for the nine weeks (absences need to be disclosed in the application). Teams must be committed to launching their venture full time after the program.
    • Buy-In: Understand the requirements of the program and have an openness to customer development and the work required by the program.
    • Community-Minded: Demonstrated willingness to help other startup teams and interest in being part of a community.
  • FAQ - Summer Launchpad

    Now that you read about the program, its benefits and who should apply, check out the answers to additional questions you might have.

      • Is this accelerator only for students?

    No. Our preference is the founding team is composed of graduating students (those graduating in Fall '23 or Spring '24), but others are welcome to apply if at least one member is a current student, recently graduated within the past year (Spring '23), or is a current faculty, researcher, postdoc or staff member. Faculty, researcher and postdocs working on hard tech/life science ventures may instead be interested in participating in the sister program - the NYU Technology Venture Program - which is designed just for faculty-led ventures commercializing technology developed at NYU.

    • Can I participate if I'm not in New York or am an international student at NYU?

    The Summer '24 program will be held in person in New York City, and if participants will be required to be located in NYC on Tuesdays-Thursdays each week during the program.

      • What types of ventures is the accelerator for?

    Summer Launchpad is intended for all types of startups which have high growth potential and are highly differentiated from competitors. Whether focused on social innovation, software, medical devices, physical products, hardware, or other areas, all are welcome to apply. Both for profits and non-profits are welcome to apply as well (and several non-profits and B-Corps have participated in the program in the past).

      • What are the basic requirements to be considered?

    See above in "Who It's For" and "Selection Criteria" for more details.

      • How selective is the program?

    Summer Launchpad is highly selective, accepting only ~10% of applicants each year. Ventures which are less developed (you do not have demonstrated problem-solution fit, or a proof of concept/prototype) are encouraged to consider applying to a Startup Bootcamp or Startup Sprint instead.

      • When and where does it take place?

    June 11-Aug. 8, 2024. Prior to the program teams will also participate in an orientation at the end of April and will come in for Venture Coaching to establish individual team-based milestones for the program. Teams will also receive post-program mentorship and prep in advance of the NYU Demo Day in October.

      • I have a part-time internship or other opportunity lined up for summer. Can I still apply?

    All core co-founders members must be committed to their startup full time (during and after program), and thus to pursuing their startup via NYU Summer Launchpad full-time. However teams may include some non-core founding members or advisors who have outside obligations such as faculty appointments or internships, but they are only eligible to participate in some Summer Launchpad program activities. Have questions about this? Email us at prior to submitting your application.

      • What if I need more people to join my team?

    We will be hosting team hunts each semester (visit the calendar section of this website to sign up!).

    • Our team has two venture ideas, can we submit multiple applications?

    While you may submit as many applications as you like, if your team is selected for the program, we expect teams to be fully committed to the venture they are selected to participate with (both during and after the program).

      • What is the deadline to apply? 

    The application for the 2024 Summer Launchpad will be due on March 26th at 6pm ET. Apply here today.

      • When can I expect to hear a decision about my acceptance?

    Teams will be notified within a week and a half of the application closing date if they've been selected to interview for the program. If you're invited to interview, you'll receive final notice of your acceptance around the middle of April.

      • We've already taken some funding. Can we still apply?

    Yes - many past participants in the program had taken both dilutive and non-dilutive funding prior to participating.

      • Who will be reviewing my application?

    Applications will be reviewed by and interviews will be conducted by senior members of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute team and NYU Innovation Venture Fund. Applications will not be shared with any external parties for any reason.

      • 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 mentorship/coaching program (open to those currently affiliated with NYU only). You can book a coaching appointment here:

      • Do you have an offline version of the application questions to review?

    Yes! You van view and make a copy of the application questions 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.

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