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How to run a University Startup Accelerator
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How to run a University Startup Accelerator


How we structure and run the Global Founders' Skills Accelerator for top student startups at MIT

How we structure and run the Global Founders' Skills Accelerator for top student startups at MIT

Published in Technology , Education , Business
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  • 1. Kyle Judah Program Director & Entrepreneur in Residence at
  • 2. What is the Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator? • 3 month summer accelerator program for the top student startups from across MIT • We don’t compete with Techstars, we help our students hit escape velocity • Funded by private donations
  • 3. Hierarchy of Startup Needs
  • 4. 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 $16M raised by past 19 teams 1 acquisition (by Dropbox)
  • 5. Who is GFSA for? • Capstone entrepreneurial experience at MIT • Personalized • Ensures learning and value • Serves primarily current MIT students • 65% Engineering, 25% Management, 10% Other • 30% UG, 40% Masters, 30% PhD • 80% enrolled, 10% alum, 10% other
  • 6. 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 Temporary Board Meeting 1/month Mentoring as needed throughout week (I work ~16 hr days in program & on call)
  • 7. What Makes GFSA Unique? • The G stands for Global • Teams from Canada, Mexico, Spain and Morocco • Milestone based funding • Behavior modification • Focused on discrete objectives • Temporary Board of Directors • Hold teams accountable • Personalized mentoring • Honest brokers
  • 8. The Jack Goss Fellows • Pre-GFSA Bootcamp • Cover the basics & get up to sprint speed • GFSA • Real, tangible progress on student ventures • A community of peer entrepreneurs for the rest of their lives • Post-GFSA • Pathway out of the Accelerator insanity • Ongoing support & guidance • Reduce friction in studies vs. startup decision
  • 9. Optimize for founder success (learning), not startup success Measured through beginning & end surveys Weekly surveys Video pitches from 1st month & Demo Day Board decks produce portfolios of learning outcomes
  • 10. Good: Structure Matters Clear Pathways Into GFSA Commitment to Quality Easy way to rally support Bad: Unserved demand Non-committed Board Members
  • 11. Kyle Judah Program Director & EIR KyleJudah EshipMIT