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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.  Typical awards are up to $500 for team travel and up to $5,000 for residential programs.

Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Are we missing a competition or external accelerator program?  Venture Founders applications are open to students in any type of program, so just apply!  Or Contact Us

Looking for funding & external visibility?

Competitions*:

(All dates refer to application deadlines)

Global Student Entrepreneur Awards – Virginia Beach, VA qualifiers (Application Deadline | October, 14, 2021)

Baylor New Venture Competition – Baylor, TX (Executive Summary Deadline | November 1, 2021)

AWS University Competition – National (Application Deadline | November 1, 2021)

Tulane Business Model Competition – New Orleans, LA (2021 Applications Open Soon | Fall 2021)

Rice Business Plan Competition – Houston, TX (Application Deadline | January 31, 2022)

ACC Inventure Challenge** – Host University TBD (Application Deadline | Spring 2022)

The Shulze Entrepreneurship Challenge @ eFest – Minneapolis, MN (Application Deadline | Spring 2022)

TCU Values & Ventures Competition – Fort Worth, TX (Application Deadline | Spring 2022)

VentureWell E-Team Grant program –  (Qualification Phase Deadline | Spring 2022)

Please note:

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

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

Ready to apply?

Looking for mentorship and acceleration beyond Blacksburg?

Accelerators & Incubators:

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

Tech Stars – Global Locations (deadline: Rolling)

Silicon Valley Bank – San Francisco, CA (deadline: August)

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?

Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Are we missing a competition or external accelerator program?  Venture Founders applications are open to students in any type of program, so just apply!  Or Contact Us

Venture Founder Spotlights:

Global Student Entrepreneur Awards | Ali Roghani, ThermaSense

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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