ASPIRE Guidelines

About ASPIRE

VentureWell is seeking seed-stage climatetech startups to participate in an intensive 5-week hybrid workshop to
prepare for the fundraising and company-building activities necessary for launch and realized impact.

We’re seeking engineering and science innovations that create positive environmental impact through the innovation’s application of design, especially ventures that address sustainability priorities including climate change, air and water pollution, food and transportation systems, waste management, and energy use.

Eligibility

VentureWell will select 10-15 climatetech startups for the cohort launching inventions for positive environmental impact. Startups should be preparing to raise pre-seed/seed or Series A rounds within the coming year.

Team identified & startup formed. First-time founders with the management team and key roles identified, no one-person founders. Incorporated as a legal entity by the beginning of the program.

Early market validation.
Validated customer segments and initial evidence of product-market fit. Articulation of economic value proposition and evidence of patient or clinician buy-in.

Intellectual property.
Provisional patent(s) filed and assigned to the company or a clear pathway to the license.

Technology validated.
Initial prototype developed, pilot studies or field trials underway. The program is designed for devices and diagnostics, no software-only products.

Actively fundraising.
Company has raised at least $25K (grants or equity) and is preparing for an equity investment round within 12 months.

Science and engineering inventions with positive environmental impact.
Clearly articulated assessment of how your technology will address key sustainability priorities through its direct application or design and manufacture.

ASPIRE is open to startups that have previously received funding from VentureWell (E-Teams) or startups new to VentureWell. We strongly encourage those who identify as members of one or more of the following communities to apply: Black, Latinx, Indigenous, women, gender-fluid, non-binary, and/or those with veteran status.

How To Apply

1) Cover Email
Clearly indicate that, if accepted, you can commit members of the startup’s executive leadership for the entirety of the program. The individual acting as CEO should be attending, at minimum. This is required in order to get the most out of program activities and to build a strong, interactive cohort for the entirety of the program, including the in-person portion of the workshop.

2) Brief Executive Summary
You may use this template: goo.gl/VE3Vru. Address all areas in the template, but edit the formatting to suit your brand. Elaborate in the Technical Summary as needed. (Maximum two pages.)

3) One-Page Technical Summary, Including:
The startup’s product or service, and how it works; stage of development and testing, and next steps for achieving subsequent technical milestones; current IP status and next steps; and diagrams or photos with a summary of any high-level data that demonstrates that the technology works.

4) Your Current Investor Pitch Deck

5) Visit venturewell.org/aspire, click “Apply Now” in the sidebar to submit your materials via our application portal.

Application Closes April 10, 2023.
Questions? Contact Tricia Compas-Markman.

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