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Startup Hokies-i (Incubator)

Working on an early stage idea but need help?  Looking to test your concept and transition from idea to reality?  The Startup Hokies-i incubator is for you!

About this program

The Startup Hokies-i incubator is designed to meet students where they are in their entrepreneurship journey and is geared toward supporting student-led startups entering the beginning stages of building their company.  This program operates on a rolling admissions basis during the fall and spring semesters.


The common application for Fall ’21 Incubator and Accelerator programs are NOW OPEN.  Apply Now!

Note: This common application is for both the -i Incubator and -x Accelerator programs. Upon review of the applications, a decision will be made as to the most appropriate fit for each team applying. Got questions? Drop us a note: apexcenter@vt.edu or schedule office hours with a member of our team.

Program overview

The Startup Hokies-i incubator program is geared toward supporting student-led startups entering the beginning stages of building their company. Companies in our incubator often possess an idea to bring to the marketplace, but have not yet fully tested their business model and are seeking direction to transition from innovative ideas to reality. The incubator provides a collaborative environment where students can meet other student founders, validate their business hypothesis,  explore possible customer segments, identify early adopters and test potential solutions.  

Student Consultants from our Startup Hokies program are available to teams for assistance in areas such as marketing, data and financials via the Hours with Experts program.  The workload in this program is self-directed and keys to success include attendance at Venture Builder Workshops and participation in Ignite pitches.  Additionally, alumni mentors are available to provide feedback and industry-specific expertise. 

Students in the incubator who have worked through the various aspects of their startup including problem validation, finding early adopters and launching an Initial Product Release (IPR) with meaningful traction are then well positioned to apply to the Startup Hokies-x accelerator program. 

Program details

Benefits for Incubator Teams

Incubator teams will receive access to the following resources:

  • Access to hot desking space at our new Apex office in downtown Blacksburg
  • Venture Builder Workshops with content aimed toward early stage entrepreneurs
  • Ignite Pitches | Weekly informal events where you can pitch your ideas and receive feedback from alumni and student entrepreneurs.  No application is required – just register and show up to participate.
  • Online resource toolkit to help guide you through the early stages of problem validation and customer acquisition
  • KickStart VT | Teams actively engaged in the incubator program will be given preference when applying to pitch at KickStart VT
  • Office hours with Apex Center team members who can assist you in accessing the appropriate resources
  • Access to alumni mentors who can provide you with feedback on an identified problem or obstacle you may be facing
  • Pro bono legal services | No cost advice from experts on corporate structure & documentation for qualifying teams
  • Pro bono accounting services | No cost advice on corporate accounting setup for qualifying teams

Funding

Teams in the Startup Hokies-I incubator are not automatically provided with seed funding grants.  Typically, the primary constraint for early stage startups is not lack of funding but rather validating assumptions in their startup concept.  Incubator teams are encouraged to focus first on making sure they have identified and validated a problem and identified early adopters of their solution before they begin to build a solution.  

Teams in the incubator who have reached these milestones and are in need of funding to test solutions are encouraged to participate in the KickStart VT seed funding program held monthly during the fall and spring semesters.  Teams selected to present at KickStart VT are provided with small seed funding grants designed to help them advance to their next milestone.  

Who Qualifies?

Any student team with a Virginia Tech team member qualifies for participation in the incubator program. At least one team member must be a current, full time Virginia Tech Undergraduate or Graduate student from any Virginia Tech college, institute or program.


Got Questions? 

Contact us at apexcenter@vt.edu

Fall ’21 Startup Hokies Application:

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