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Startups Prepare for Investor Engagement with Aspire

Aspire is a five-week in-depth, hybrid program that prepares startups for investor engagement. Investor-mentors work one-on-one with startups to simulate due diligence conversations and integrate feedback into deal room materials in real time. This program aims to prepare startups to raise equity investment.

We offer two Aspire cohorts each year. Aspire Climatetech is offered in the spring and Aspire Medtech is offered in the fall.

Applications for Aspire Medtech are open. Apply now.

Applications for Aspire Climatetech are currently closed. Sign up to receive updates.

Why Apply?

Spend one-on-one time with investor-mentors
You will work with high-caliber investor-mentors throughout the program who have experience investing or partnering with startups like yours.

Vet your fundraising strategy
Startups will leave with a clear articulation of their investment needs, including the investment ask and planned milestones for the round. Take part in a mock board meeting to prepare yourself for fundraising and investor conversations.

Due Diligence Deal Room
Spend time creating and refining deal room materials
to use during the fundraising process. Invest your time and energy into a work product for a deal room discussion, not a demo day pitch.

Stress-test your startup
Work through real-world disaster scenarios with your team
to discover how to best prepare for the unexpected.

Collaborate and network
Connect with fellow founders and leverage the VentureWell investor network after the program ends.

Symbols with legend Vetted Mentors + Network + Clear Milestones & Ask + Due Diligence Deal Room + Stress Tests

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 one-person teams. 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.

The Aspire Impact

  • 193 startups have participated in Aspire since 2015.
  • These teams have raised over $476M in follow-on funding since taking part in Aspire.
  • Our startups have an 82% venture persistence rate.

Questions? Email Patrick Beattie.

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