startups prepare for investment and strategic partnerships with aspire
ASPIRE is an intensive program that prepares startups for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their venture. Mentors-in-residence work one-on-one with startups to simulate due diligence conversations and integrate feedback into deal room materials in real-time.
You will work with high-caliber mentors throughout the program 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 investment ask and planned milestones for the round.
Due Diligence Deal Room
Spend time creating and refining deal room materials to use during the fundraising process. Invest your time and energy into work product for a deal room discussion, not a demo day pitch.
We push your boundaries with real-world stress tests – actual startup disaster scenarios.
Learn from your peers and share your experiences with a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs who are facing similar challenges.
Does your startup qualify?
For each cohort, VentureWell selects 10-15 dedicated science and engineering-based startups from across the nation that are launching high-impact inventions. Startups must be committed and competitive!
- Team identified and startup formed. First-time founders with management team and key roles identified—no solo founders. Incorporated as a legal entity by the beginning of the program.
- High-impact inventions. Innovation has a clear positive impact, solves a real problem felt by customers, and has a compelling value proposition.
- Early market validation.Validated customer segments and initial evidence of product-market fit. Articulation of economic value proposition and evidence of customer buy-in.
- Intellectual property. Provisional patent(s) filed and assigned to the company or evidence of a clear pathway to the license.
- Beyond proof of concept. Initial prototype developed and pilot studies/field trials underway.
- Actively fundraising. Company has raised at least $25K (grants or equity) and is preparing for a round of equity investment within 12 months.
learn more before you apply
- 116 startups have participated in ASPIRE since 2015
- These teams have raised over $190M in follow-on funding since taking part in ASPIRE
- 120 businesses have been catalyzed as a result of ASPIRE
Questions? Please contact Tricia Compas-Markman, Senior Program Officer.
ASPIRE is presented through the generous support of
The Lemelson Foundation.