Accelerator

2020 applications open!

About the Accelerator

Our Student Accelerator helps CUNY students go from the prototype stage to the launch of their startup. If you do not have a prototype yet, please check out our Ideas 2 Impact program.

Once per year 13 startups are selected to participate in a 10-week program focused on making the students’ ideas a reality. 

This program consists of both learning and doing. 3hrs per week in classroom lectures and exercises and 3hrs per week working with their team members and mentors.

Have a question, please review our FAQs below.

Philosophy

Our goal is to create an environment where you can focus exclusively on developing your idea, building a prototype and talking to customers. We accomplish this through education, mentoring, networks and projects. The education has been developed by world class educators, the mentors are successful entrepreneurs and/or investors, you plug into a great network that we engage with, and you work on immersive projects that change the way you think

What We Do

Our team consists of entrepreneurs, mentors, tech partners and professors, who are dedicated to helping students transform ideas into reality through workshops and direct mentoring. We work with 40 students across the City University of New York on forming teams, refining ideas, and testing ideas in the marketplace. Students develop prototypes and a business plans over the course of 10-weeks and then pitch their ideas to the public to gather feedback and prepare for the next stage.

Who Should Apply

We welcome students from any discipline and from any college at CUNY. You need is a desire and commitment to immerse yourself in the entrepreneurial process. 

Schedule

February 19 – May 8

Sessions are every Wednesday & Friday 10AM-1PM

Who We're Looking for & Requirements

Teams of 2-5 co-founders.

The best teams have co-founders with multiple talents: design, development, business, marketing, etc.

You must have a built-out pilot/prototype that is ready to prepare for launch.

You must have a minimum of two people on your team

At least one person on your team must be a CUNY student or recent graduate (within 1 year)

The team must attend Wednesday & Friday sessions 10AM-1PM

FAQ

Does CUNY take any equity in my startup?

No, we do not ask for equity. 

How much does it cost to participate in this program?

Nothing. It’s 100% FREE. 

Can I have a non-CUNY student on my team?

Yes! As long as there is at least one CUNY student on your team you are eligible to participate in the program. 

Is the Accelerator limited to certain types of startups?

No, the Accelerator doesn’t have any sector limitations. Both early and more developed prototypes are welcome in any industry sector. 

Will I have mentors?

We have a team of mentors who will work with you every Friday. 

Do I get course credit?

No. We are not an academic program. It’s a hands-on venture building program. 

What people say?

CUNY opened up a door for us at a time when not many would. Those few months of desk space and guidance allowed us to survive long enough to ultimately get in to Y Combinator and later go on to raise over $10M in funding
Tom Harari
Cleanly
CUNY startups provided much needed support and structure to help us get our idea off the ground when we needed it most


Chris Zumtobel
Think Olio
It's motivating to immerse yourself with other CUNY students, peers that are going through the same circumstances and tough situations still push through and do amazing things!

Yuk Chang
WrkBook
I walk out of the Accelerator today as another version of my self and also of the company... The program not only educated me but it challenged me in the way I could not imagine


Amina Sako
Sacko

For any inquiries please email