The MIT delta v accelerator is the capstone entrepreneurial experience for students at MIT.
What are the benefits of joining MIT delta v?
- Intensive and customized coaching and mentoring — we meet you where you are and help you accelerate your startup’s progress
- Broaden your professional network by connecting with speakers, mentors, and advisors drawn from leaders in the Boston and / or NYC startup ecosystems
- Learn from your peers in the cohort and build lasting relationships
- Dedicated co-working space all summer
- Up to $20K equity-free additional funding for the venture — based on achievement against pre-determined milestones
- $2,000 / month for each eligible MIT student to cover living expenses
- Pitch to investors at Demo Days in Boston, NYC, and San Francisco/Silicon Valley
How is the Trust Center program different from other startup accelerators?
- MIT delta v is an educational accelerator designed to support MIT student entrepreneurs and help them accelerate their progress towards validating their target market and starting to build a viable, sustainable venture.
- We offer a customized, coaching-based approach, meeting teams where they are and helping them succeed.
- These accelerators do not take equity from founding teams.
- MIT delta v teams must have at least one current MIT student co-founder; other teams are not eligible.
- The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship offers access to a great deal of resources to student teams on and off campus.
What kinds of teams are we looking for?
You are at an early stage. You might have entered the MIT $100K, worked on your project in a course, or simply are working on the side with fellow students. You don’t have funding (not much, anyway), but you have made enough progress that this summer will be an excellent learning and growth opportunity. Quite possibly, you have even achieved some traction so that you will start the summer with momentum.
You are fully committed to your startup and intend to work on it full-time after the summer. You are HUNGRY and ready to put in everything you have to make it work!
How many people can be on my team?
Teams must have between two and five members that are all founder-level participants. If you have other people working on the project (interns, etc.), that is okay, but don’t include them on your application. We also cannot at this time guarantee office space for individuals other than your MIT delta v core team members.
Do all of my team members have to be current MIT students?
We are primarily focused on accelerating the skills of MIT students. While it is acceptable to have team members who are not current MIT students, the MIT students must be at a co-founder level and have a direct say in how the venture runs. Please note that for the purposes of this program, we consider MIT students who graduate during the calendar year of the program (e.g. February or June 2019 for the summer 2019 programs) to be equivalent to current MIT students. We also consider current MIT postdocs to be current MIT students.
Do you take any equity?
No. MIT delta v resources and milestone funding money come with no strings attached.
What if I need fabrication space for my idea — will dry and wet labs be made available?
Yes. We love these kinds of projects and want to encourage them. Facilities on campus will be made available to the teams within the standard safety procedures of MIT. If you are selected, we are happy to work with you to define the resources you need and work to make sure they are available to you and the team.
How many teams will you accept for each program?
We do not have a specific number that will be accepted. In 2018, we hosted 20 teams at the Trust Center and 7 teams at the MIT NYC Startup Studio, and 21 teams at MIT and 7 in NYC in 2017. We expect the 2019 numbers to be roughly the same.
The Martin Trust Center organizing team has full discretion over the final number of teams selected with the goal to accept as many teams as possible given the size of the cohort and the quality of the applicants.
What is required of my team once I am in the accelerator?
We are looking for teams that are able to work the whole summer in Cambridge, MA or New York City and who are prepared to contribute to the community of teams in the accelerator by working primarily out of the Martin Trust Center or NYC Startup Studio co-working spaces. This also includes engaging in accelerator programs and extracurricular activities, as well as actively sharing and learning with other founders in the program. Teams cannot simultaneously take part in MIT delta v and any other accelerator or incubator program.
We expect that every participant comes to each day of the program with an open mind and great attitude, ready to learn, improve, and accelerate.
What will teams be doing during the summer?
All teams make significant progress toward identifying their beachhead market, building the right product, and securing initial customers or partners so that they are ready to hit escape velocity by Demo Day. Teams do this by focusing on three key areas:
- Team building / organization development and dynamics
- Truly understanding their target market, customer and users, and the associated TAM. Have the data to answer the question: “Is there something here?”
- Learn the mechanics of venture creation (company formation, legal, financial, raising money, and so forth)
How will teams accelerate their progress on building their startups during the program?
- Teams will receive tailored one-on-one mentorship and coaching via interactions with our entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs), the NYC managing director, and numerous external mentors
- Teams will build their foundational knowledge via talks, workshops, and panel discussions by EIRs and guest speakers
- Teams will expand their professional network by meeting with professionals from the right industries during the program, and by pitching to investors and thought leaders from the entrepreneurial community during Demo Day events held in Boston, New York, and San Francisco/Silicon Valley.
- Teams will learn from each other via peer coaching
How much grant or stipend money will teams be eligible for and what are the eligibility requirements?
The Martin Trust Center organizing team, in conjunction with the advisory board assigned to each team, will determine the amount of milestone money, if any, to be awarded each month. You have the ability to receive up to $20,000 in funding during the duration of MIT delta v.
Only current MIT students, as defined in the “Eligibility” section, are able to receive the $2,000 / month fellowships. Only MIT students listed in the submitted application form will be eligible for the fellowship.
The fellowships will only be awarded during June, July, and August. The Martin Trust Center organizing team, in conjunction with the advisory board, will determine which team members will receive the fellowships. In general, a team member needs to be founder-level and work full-time in the program to receive money for a particular month.
Remember that all payments are considered income and are therefore taxable. Non-U.S. citizens are typically subject to a 14% tax withholding from any money they receive. We do not provide tax guidance.
How do the accelerators handle confidentiality?
While we will keep all information within the MIT delta v judging and organizing teams, we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality of information.
How do the accelerators handle intellectual property?
MIT delta v focuses on entrepreneurship skills, so we do not anticipate any intellectual property will be created as a direct result of either program.
Furthermore, MIT does not consider use of office space, libraries, machine shop facilities, and consumer-grade computers as constituting a significant use of MIT resources.
If your company is built around intellectual property developed using significant MIT resources, you should consult MIT’s policies for more information. The MIT Technology Licensing Office controls MIT intellectual property and can help you with questions.
The relevant MIT policies are:
- TLO 2.1 http://web.mit.edu/tlo/www/community/guide2.html
- MIT Policies 13.1 http://web.mit.edu/policies/13/13.1.html
Who is running the accelerators?
The accelerator is a joint project across all of MIT’s schools and colleges, and as such pulls in experienced entrepreneurs, faculty, and mentors from across all of MIT and the Boston / Cambridge and New York City communities. The program is fully overseen by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.
MIT delta v is run by Trish Cotter, associate managing director and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center and the program director for MIT delta v. Trish has a doctorate in work-based learning and an MSEDd in Education from the University of Pennslyvania, a BA from Boston College, an MBA from Northeastern, and an AMP from Harvard Business School. She is a high-tech entrepreneur having been an executive leader at Visual Networks and Netezza and has brought them through successful IPO and acquisitions.
The MIT NYC Startup Studio is overseen by Carly Chase, managing director of the program. After beginning her career at Goldman Sachs, Carly joined the NYC Economic Development Corporation under Mayor Bloomberg where she launched and ran a number of programmatic initiatives aimed at making NYC a friendlier city for entrepreneurs to start and grow their companies. At the end of the administration, she left to launch and run Boulder-based startup, PivotDesk’s NYC office until the company was acquired at the end of 2016. Since then, she has worked within a number of startups in various product development, marketing, and business development capacities before becoming the founding managing director of the MIT NYC Startup Studio, as well as the program manager of StartMIT.
Are there any visa or work permit issues for international students?
If you are an international student who will be graduating from MIT by June 2018, you will need to secure F-1 post-completion Optional Practical Training authorization before being able to participate since you will no longer be an enrolled student.
For international students who will be continuing their education at MIT on an F-1 visa, participation in MIT delta v is considered on-campus employment since you are receiving stipends from MIT. Therefore, no CPT or OPT authorization would be required.