Accelerating Startup Partnership and Investment Readiness

startups become investment and partnership ready with aspire

ASPIRE is an intensive experiential workshop that prepares startups for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their ventures.

Startups must be Committed and Competitive!

  • Network Building.  Learn from your peers and share your experiences with a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs.
  • Engaged Mentorship.  You will work with stellar mentors over a series of dedicated days that have experience investing or partnering with startups like yours.
  • Clear Milestones & Ask.  Startups will leave with a clear articulation of their investment needs, including the total ask and planned milestones for the round.
  • Due Diligence Deal Room.  Spend time creating work product to use during the fundraising process. This is not a demo day.
  • Stress Tests.  You will simulate due diligence with real world stress tests – actual startup disaster scenarios.

Do you qualify?

For the upcoming September 2017 cleantech cohort, VentureWell will select 10-15 dedicated science and engineering based startups from across the nation that are launching high-impact inventions addressing sustainability issues.

  • Science & engineering inventions to create a sustainable world.  Clearly articulate your impact on energy, agriculture, environment, or global sustainability.
  • Experience with lean startup.  Validated customer segments & initial evidence of product market fit.
  • Startup formed.  Incorporated as a legal entity by the beginning of the program.
  • Team identified.  Management team and key roles identified and secured.
  • Commitment.  Members of the management team (maximum 3) can commit to the full 5 days of  the workshop. The startup is your full-time focus.
  • Intellectual property.  Assigned to the company or a clear pathway to the license.
  • Beyond proof of concept.  Initial prototype developed, pilot studies / field trials underway.
  • Actively fundraising.  Company has raised between $25K-$500K (grants or equity) and is  preparing for a round of equity investment within 12 months.

Mentors: Why be a mentor for ASPIRE?

  • Engage with entrepreneurs over a series of days.
  • Network with like-minded peers and share experiences with a cohort entrepreneurs.
  • Witness early-stage deal opportunities and real world stress tests.

Impact numbers

  • 93% of participants from 2015-2016 are still working on their ventures as of February 2017
  • 78% or participants in 2015-2016 reported they have made major pivots or improvements
  • Companies that participated in 2015-2016 have raised $15M+ collectively

ASPIRE is presented through the generous support of The Lemelson Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.