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Venture Founders

Looking to accelerate progress on your new venture?

Rather build your dreams than get paid to build someone else’s?  

You belong with Venture Founders.

About this program

How does it work?

Venture Founders at Virginia Tech receive resources to match their passion. Our Founders are funded to travel to external competitions and/or placed in world-class programs to rapidly move their new ventures forward and tap into the rich community of Hokie- entrepreneurs worldwide.

Past Venture Founders have competed at events nationwide and completed acclaimed programs such as the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, TechStars, Y-Combinator, 20/20 Accelerator, and more.

Who’s chosen?

Students must first apply and gain admission into external competitions, events, and programs such as those listed below.  Once admitted, students can apply for Venture Founder funding.  Awards are merit-based and awarded on a competitive basis.  Typical awards are up to $500 per individual for team travel and up to $5,000 for residential programs*.

Looking for funding & external visibility?

Check Startup Tree for information on select competitions, or find your own and apply!


*Competitions and programs at Virginia Tech are not eligible for Venture Founders $ funding for travel or residency

*Awards are limited to a maximum of $5,000 per startup concept per fiscal year (July 01-June 30)

*A team from the Startup Hokies Incubator program is selected to represent VT each year at the ACC Inventure Prize event

Looking for mentorship and acceleration beyond Blacksburg?

Accelerators & Incubators:

LightHouse Labs U – Richmond, VA (deadline: Rolling)

Tech Stars – Global Locations (deadline: Rolling)

Y-Combinator – Palo Alto, CA (deadline: Rolling)

Halycon Social Impact – Arlington, VA (deadline: Rolling)

500 Startups – San Francisco, CA (deadline: Rolling)

RAMP – Roanoke, VA (deadline: Rolling)

AngelPad – NYC & San Francisco, CA (deadline: Rolling)

Ready to apply for Venture Founders?

Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Venture Founders applications are open to students in any type of program, so just apply!  Or Contact Us

Venture Founder Spotlights:

TechStars NYC  | Austin Garrett & Ian Garrett, Phalanx

e-Fest – Schulze Challenge | Naman Singh, MassApply

Microsoft Global Hackathon | Sai Gurrapu, Wonderly

Apply here

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