StartX is an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford's top entrepreneurs through experiential education and collective intelligence. StartX requires no fees and takes zero equity.
As a partner of many Stanford programs and the Stanford student government, we support all Stanford founders from undergrads to PhDs, postdocs, professors, and alumni. Founders in the StartX community are heavily vetted and diverse, and help each other approach obstacles from different perspectives. They have studied medicine, engineering, business, humanities, law, science, and more. This creation of an interdisciplinary atmosphere contributes to our community norm of trust and information sharing. We are supported through foundation grants and corporate partnerships and therefore take no equity in our companies.
StartX founders tackle big problems in every industry, from biotech, medical devices, hardware, and cleantech to consumer internet and enterprise software.
In just over two years, the accelerator has received applications from over 2,400 Stanford founders comprising over 1000 companies. Out of these, we have had just over 100 companies graduate from our accelerator program, and over 85% of our founders’ companies are funded and still growing.
Our founders’ companies have been acquired by the likes of Apple, Instagram, and Yahoo. They have raised funding from top firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, and Google Ventures. They’ve been featured in all the major news publications, as well as TEDtalks and Harvard Business Review articles. See our alumni companies on our Companies page.
We host a Demo Day every session where our network of investors and press contacts come to hear companies pitch. These events are attended by over 200 investors and press from TechCrunch, Forbes, WSJ, and more. Prior to each Demo Day, our staff and mentors work with each company extensively to refine their pitches. Throughout the session we provide access to numerous top-tier investors, angels, corporate representatives, and press. This is essential for fundraising, publicity and corporate partnerships.
We also provide need-based financial aid to help our founders pay for expenses such as housing and food. Financial need is based on the company and the individuals' ability to cover basic living costs and is assessed on the onset of the program if requested. After the session, teams can re-apply to subsequent sessions of the accelerator.
In order to be eligible to apply to the StartX accelerator program, at least one founder of your company has to have a Stanford affiliation. The Stanford affiliated founder must have been enrolled or have held a faculty or postdoctoral position within the previous four years of the application period. Additionally, the Stanford founder(s) must hold a significant equity stake in the company.
We accept teams of all sizes, but typically teams have two to three founders. We take founders from all industries and departments, including biotech, cleantech, hardware, medical devices, nonprofits, music, finance, IT, etc. Companies have have entered the program at a variety of stages from preparing to raise a Series A to having recently developed an initial prototype.
We make exceptions in exceptional cases.
If you do not fit the requirements listed above for the accelerator, there are other ways to join the community. Please reach out to us through the Contact Form.
StartX alumni and trusted expert judges in our network initially review submitted applications to determine which teams receive a first round interview. First round interviews take place at the StartX office in front of a panel of judges composed of StartX mentors, venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, and StartX staff. Following first round interviews, a select number of teams will complete second-round interviews which include meeting with a handful of StartX alumni and staff members. Decisions are then released in the following week.
The Fall Session begins early November. Applications open in mid-September.