The VentureWell Accelerator

Funding, Training, Networking, Mentorship, and Access to Investors

We help student innovators and startups find their path to impact

For over 27 years, we have helped student innovators and startups uncover opportunity, discover and validate their target market, and prepare for investment and commercialization. The VentureWell Accelerator is a suite of programs that gives you access to immersive learning, mentorship, industry experts, and network-building opportunities.

The evidence? We’ve had the privilege of bolstering over 1,700 innovators and propelling 720+ teams to successfully raise $1B+ in follow-on funding. These changemakers have launched their groundbreaking products, securing 270+ patents and creating over 400 new businesses. No matter what phase you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey, we have the right program to help you advance your innovation—and a network of experts to help.


Student team: students collaboratingAre you a student team pursuing a solution to one of the world’s biggest challenges? Explore the E-Team Program.

Our programs—Pioneer and Propel—have been carefully designed to offer up to $25,000 in funding and hands-on experiences that transform student inventors into thriving entrepreneurs. We give you the tools to turn your idea into a business while you build a community of support from mentors, our dedicated teaching team, and fellow student entrepreneurs from across the country.


Startup: people collaboratingAre you a startup preparing to commercialize your innovation? Ascend and Aspire will help you launch!

Elevate your seed-stage, science-based startup with Ascend and Aspire.

Ascend sharpens your investment readiness skills and aims to bridge the gap between customer discovery and commercial launch. You’ll spend one-on-one time with mentors, de-risk your startup, validate your financial model, and grow your network of founders.


Aspire prepares your startup for investor engagement with a goal of setting you up for success to raise equity investment. You’ll engage with investor-mentors, vet your fundraising strategy, refine your deal room materials, and stress-test your startup.

Walk away from both of these programs with increased confidence, clear milestones, and a robust network tailor-made for your success. If your company is your full-time focus and you’re ready to raise investment, our founder programs are right for you.

Startups that have completed Pioneer, Propel, and Aspire are eligible for follow-on investment from VentureWell.


Student: Pioneer buttonDiscover the best market for your invention

Designed for: Student innovator teams with science- and tech-based innovations.

You will: Understand possible paths for your venture and innovation, articulate your value proposition, and assess the broader landscape and industry value chain.

Why apply? $5,000 grant, two-day entrepreneurship training workshop, networking, and follow-up virtual sessions.

Three cohorts per year: winter, spring, and summer.

Applications are currently closed.

Student: Propel buttonBuild, validate, and resource your business model

Designed for: Student innovator teams who have completed Pioneer.

You will: Build out your business model canvas, develop and test your business model hypotheses, and advance customer discovery.

Why apply? $20,000 grant, two-day entrepreneurship training workshop, networking, and three-month coaching program.

Three cohorts per year: winter, spring, and summer.

Applications are currently closed.

Startup: Ascend buttonValidate your business model as you prepare for investment

Designed for: Incorporated pre-seed startups that have completed some work on customer discover and product-market fit.

You will: Translate customer discovery into an operational model, validate business model assumptions around financial reality and viability, prepare and present a honed pitch deck and financial model to potential partners and funders, and strengthen the business opportunity and team’s knowledge.

Why apply? One-to-one coaching with mentors, six-week workshop series, de-risk your startup, validate your financial model, and collaborate and network with fellow founders.

Cohorts per year: TBD.

Applications are open for Ascend Energy & Mobility Accelerator. Apply now.

Startup: Aspire buttonDevelop your fundraising strategy

Designed for: Incorporated startups preparing to raise equity investment

You will: Learn the nuances of the due diligence and equity investment process, work side by side with investors in your sector, and build your deal room and fundraising strategy.

Why apply? One-to-one coaching with investors, five-week workshop series, vetted due diligence packet and deal room, investor and founder networking, and potential for VentureWell follow-on investment.

Two cohorts per year: Aspire Climatetech (spring), Aspire Medtech (fall).

Applications are open for Aspire Medtech. Apply now.