VentureBridge Summer Accelerator

Program Description

The VentureBridge program is an initiative of the Swartz Center to connect early stage founders with successful alumni in top startup ecosystems to develop their startups into fundable seed stage ventures. This effort is outside of the traditional education model and serves as a bridge between the many different ecosystems that Carnegie Mellon University alumni live and work.

The VentureBridge Summer Accelerator is a 12 - week program hosted in the San Francisco Bay Area each summer. The program is designed to create networks with mentors, customers, and early stage investors. Sessions include: Mentor matching, investor feedback, founder dinners, pitch practice sessions, workshops, weekly roundtables and more.

Five to eight companies are selected to be a part of the cohort and the university invests $25,000 in each startup. As a part of the program companies also receive many other in-kind services. Find out more here.

Program Deadlines

  • Applications Open: March 17, 2020
  • Application Deadline: April 7, 2020
  • Virtual Presentations: April 21, and April 22, 2020
  • Selection Committee Decision Date: April 22, 2020
  • Cohort Acceptance Deadline: April 29, 2020
  • Start Date: June 17, 2020
  • Demo Day: September 8, 10, & 15, 2020

*Note: All dates included may be subject to change.


Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the VentureBridge Accelerator:

  • Teams must have at least one CMU affiliated (Student, Faculty, Staff, Alumni) founder.
  • Founders on the team must be eligible for graduation or will be graduating within one semester.
  • Once accepted, teams must be located or able to relocate to Silicon Valley for the duration of the summer program.

Application Process

  • All applications must be fully completed and submitted by the application deadline and late entries will not be considered.
  • Applications are reviewed by the VentureBridge Selection Committee and the best startup applicants are invited to present virtually to the VentureBridge Selection Committee.
  • After the selected teams have presented the VB Selection Committee evaluates the best candidates and 5 to 8 teams are selected and invited to participate in the Summer Accelerator program.
  • Candidates invited to the program have a week to confirm their acceptance of the invitation.
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