The Tufts Venture Accelerator
An 11-week-long summer experience to help you build your venture
June 14 - August 18, 2022
The Tufts Venture Accelerator is a summer venture accelerator that provides structure, accountability, educational experiences and more that helps entrepreneurs who are building a venture make rapid progress throughout the summer. Participants will be guided through all the key stages of venture creation, from defining their market and customer to developing and testing a solution with a go-to-market strategy and pricing architecture, to building out their financials and planning their next steps regarding financing, team and company building.
In 2022 we will be offering two editions for our summer accelerator:
The Full-Time Edition
The Full-Time Edition will be held in-person/hybrid at our Venture Lab in the Joyce Cummings Center. It is open to Tufts students, recent alumni who graduated within the past 5 years, faculty and staff who are committed to working on their ventures full time as their only professional focus for the summer. Participants have access to weekly goal setting sessions, 1×1 coaching, dedicated mentors, educational workshops, fireside chats with entrepreneurs and more. Participants also have full access to our online learning center and searchable knowledgebase.
New this year: each full time team is eligible to apply for equity-free venture awards up to $10,000 per team, and will receive marketing support to establish a baseline marketing presence. Female or non-binary led teams are eligible for a one-year membership valued at $924 to WE Global Studio.
The Self-Guided Edition
The Self-Guided Edition offers accountability and educational support for entrepreneurs who do not meet eligibility requirements for the Full-Time Edition. Participants may have graduated more than 5 years ago, or they may be working on their venture on a part-time basis – but still need structured support to keep themselves accountable.
Participants may access our experimental self-guided accountability platform and curated educational content. They will receive weekly suggestions, content and resources. Participants may also join any workshops and fireside chats that are open to the public. Lastly, they will be invited into a community where they can hold their own CEO meetings and provide peer coaching and support.
What you should know about the Tufts Venture Accelerator
- Program duration: June 14 – August 18, 2022
- Applications open: March 21, 2022 @9:00am ET
- AMA (Ask Me Anything) Session: March 31, 2022 @6:00pm ET (Note date change from March 29)
- Deadline: April 3, 2022 @11:59pm ET
- Interviews: Week of April 11, 2022
- Notifications sent: Week of April 18, 2022
- Acceptance commitment: Within 48 hours of acceptance
What’s new this year for the full-time edition?
- Funding: Each accepted team is eligible to apply for equity-free venture awards of up to $10,000.
- Marketing support: Each accepted team will receive in-kind services to help them develop their corporate identity and a landing page.
- Teams with a female or non-binary-identifying cofounder will further have access to a one year membership valued at $924 to WE Global Studio, a venture studio and digital startup platform that powers the success of women entrepreneurs around the world.
How many teams are you accepting for the two editions?
- We are planning to accept up to 6 teams into the full-time edition.
- There is no upper limit to the self-guided edition – all are welcome.
Who’s eligible for the Full-Time Edition?
- Teams of 2-5 (No solo teams)
- Applicants must have actively participating executive or founding team members in major roles who are one, or more, of the following: Matriculated Tufts undergraduate or graduate student; full time postdoc, research fellow or resident; faculty, staff or current researcher; recently graduated alumni (graduated within the last 5 years)
- Applicants must not have raised more than $250,000 combined in grants, fellowships, convertible notes, SAFE notes, equity-based financing or other funding sources as of the application deadline
- Applicants must not have accrued cumulative revenues of more than $250,000 since founding their current venture
- Applicants must not have already participated in the Venture Accelerator with the same venture
- Applicants must be committed to working on their venture full time over the summer
- Applicants must commit to attending all mandatory programming
Can Non-Tufts team members participant in the Full-Time Edition?
Non-Tufts team members may be part of the venture’s management team and may participate in the accelerator. However, the Tufts team member(s) are expected to:
- Be the driving force behind the venture
- Have an ongoing active role in the day-to-day operations of the venture
- Hold an executive role in the founding management team of the venture
Is the Full-Time Edition in-person, hybrid, or remote?
- For 2022 the Tufts Venture Accelerator will be run as an in-person/hybrid program. Most workshops and events will be hybrid or remote to support remote callers.
- We will have a home base for all teams at the Venture Lab at Room 301 in the Joyce Cummings Center, 177 College Avenue, Medford, MA.
- Preference will be given to teams who are able to attend in-person for the full length of the program.
- Teams which are not based in Boston should make every effort to attend the program in-person for the first week, for the midterm presentations and for Demo Day at the end of the program.
How do I apply for the full time edition?
- The Full-Time Edition will be administered on the Startup Tree platform. Teams who have applied to the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition have the option to use the same application to apply for the summer accelerator.
- Applicants for the Full Time Edition will be considered via a screening and interview process (see Application and Selection Process section for details)
How do I apply for the self-guided edition?
- The Self-Guided Edition is open to all entrepreneurs at Tufts and beyond. All are welcome. Sign up with your email, answer a few questions and we will add you to our content platform for the summer.
- Applicants to the full time edition who are not selected for the full-time cohort are automatically added to the Self-Guided Edition.
What is the application process for the Full-Time Edition?
- Applicants will complete an application that will provide them with an option to reuse their $100k application if they applied to both programs
- A subset of applicants may be invited to a 15 minute interview
- Teams will be selected based on our assessment of whether our specific program design is a good match for the team’s needs and the venture’s stage of development
Is there any funding or startup perks for participants of the Full-Time Edition?
Once accepted into the full time program, teams may apply for venture awards of up to $10,000 from our venture award program.
- $5000 of the award will be distributed at the start of the accelerator to each accepted team.
- Teams may apply for the remaining $5000 by submitting a grant proposal including a detailed budget and a description for the intended use of funds. A funding board will review each application and make grant awards according to a predetermined set of selection criteria.
While all Tufts entrepreneurs may enjoy the startup perks that are open to public, accelerator participants may be eligible to receive additional select startup perks for business systems, IT systems and more.
What are the conditions for the Full-Time Edition?
Startup team members who apply and are accepted into the Full-Time Edition of the Tufts Venture Accelerator must agree to the following conditions:
- Participants must agree to attend and participate in all coaching and programming events offered as part of the program, including the mid-term and final team check-in’s, unless unable to for reasons connected to startup as confirmed by the Startup Coach.
- Participants must agree to adhere to the standards of academic integrity and Tufts community citizenship as outlined in University policies and Code of Conduct (see uss.tufts.edu/studentaffairs/ for details).
- Participants must agree to notify the Program Lead immediately if no longer able to agree to any of the above requirements. Violation of any of the requirements may result in the repayment of venture award funds and/or ineligibility for such funds in the future.