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How we operate a University Startup Accelerator at MIT

Part 2 of my presentation at the Deshpande Conference, on how to operate a university startup accelerator, based off of what we do at the Global Founders' Skills Accelerator, a summer accelerator program for the best student startups coming out of MIT

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How we operate a University Startup Accelerator at MIT

  1. 1. Kyle Judah Program Director & Entrepreneur in Residence at
  2. 2. What is the Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator? • 3 month summer Accelerator program for the top student startups from across MIT • Housed in Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship • Funded by private donations • Global perspective for new venture
  3. 3. History of GFSA Unstructured program created teams like Locu (acq. for $75M) – what could structure & rigor do? Founders’ Skills Accelerator in 2012 Social Impact (WiCare, WeCyclers, SasaAfrica)
  4. 4. History of GFSA GFSA goes Global in 2013 China, Germany, Canada, Scotland, Russia, Turkey
  5. 5. Future of GFSA GFSA shoots for the moon in 2014 The market wants big ideas, we’ll give them big ideas Scaling impact at MIT, refining impact abroad 12 MIT Teams, 4 International More structure allows for earlier
  6. 6. Benefits of GFSA Monthly Stipend of $2,000/founder Up to $20,000 EQUITY FREE Personalized mentors Finishing School & Launchpad Pathway into Techstars, YC, Lemnos Labs
  7. 7. Recruiting Teams • Done from feeder programs (classes, competitions) • Promoted for 2 months across campus • Reach out to entrepreneurial faculty • Getting off our side of campus • Multiple info sessions, different times of the day, different locations
  8. 8. Application Process Application Process: 1 month long 1st Round: Over 50 faculty, alums, entrepreneurs review & vote on applications. No Trust Center Staff 2nd Round (40): Get to know the teams off paper. 30 min interviews Final Round(20): 30 min pitch and Q&A in front of Selection Committee (GFSA team, rotating faculty, rotating GFSA
  9. 9. Accelerator Structure Bill Aulet’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship • June – Customer/Market Dev & Team • July – Build it, Biz Model & Financials • August – Iterate, Pilot, Sell it • September – Pitch it 2 Speaker Sessions a week 1 hr ‘Partner Meeting’ every 2 weeks
  10. 10. Mentors Selecting Speakers for Mon/Thurs sessions: -Depending on topic, vary experience (Peer to Peer, Venture Coach, EIR) -Make sure lessons are practical & valuable, not just stories. Get feedback after every speaker -75/25 ratio in entrepreneurs to faculty speakers Selecting Board Members:
  11. 11. Kyle Judah Program Director & EIR KJudah@mit.edu Slideshare.net/KyleJudah KyleJudah EshipMIT

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