The MIT Global Founders' Skills Accelerator is MIT's student venture accelerator, providing a capstone educational opportunity for MIT student entrepreneurs that prepares them to hit escape velocity and launch into the real world.
How it works
Teams will have dedicated desk space in the co-working space of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship from June to August. They will work on their ventures full time for the whole summer.
They will define and refine their target market, conduct primary market research and build knowledge about their customers and users. They will run experiments to validate or invalidate their key hypotheses with potential customers. They will be building and nurturing their founding team. They will make progress on the mechanics of starting their venture.
Peer learning is a core tenet of this program. Teams will be updating the cohort every week with the progress they have made and to pose any questions or requests for help. Teams will often pair up to help each other with issues and give each other feedback.
Mentorship and coaching
Throughout the summer we will support the teams' progress via 1x1 coaching sessions and meetings with external mentors who are carefully matched to the needs of their ventures.
Simulated "board meetings"
Once a month, teams will present their progress and get unbiased feedback in simulated "board meetings" to "board members" who are leaders from industry.
Guest talks and seminar series
We will also help teams expand their knowledge of entrepreneurship techniques and frameworks via an optional seminar series, as well as guest talks by thought leaders on topics of interest.
GFSA will culminate in Demo Day events, typically held in the first week of September, that will be organized in three cities: Boston, New York City and San Francisco.
These events are by invitation only. Students will have the opportunity to pitch their startups to investors and members of the press to kick-start their ventures and reach escape velocity.
The MIT GFSA organizing team, in conjunction with the advisory board assigned to your team, will determine the amount of milestone money, if any, to be awarded each month. You have the ability to receive additional funding up to $20,000 in milestone money during the duration of the MIT GFSA.
Only current MIT students, as defined in the "Eligibility" section, are eligible to receive the $2,000/month fellowships. The fellowships will only be awarded during June, July, and August. The MIT GFSA organizing team, in conjunction with the advisory board, will determine which team members will receive the fellowships. In general, a team member needs to be founder-level and work full-time at the MIT GFSA site to receive money for a particular month.
Remember that all payments are considered income and are therefore taxable. Non-U.S. citizens are typically subject to a 14% tax withholding from any money they receive. We do not provide tax guidance.
While we will keep all information within the MIT GFSA judging and organizing teams, we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality of information.
The MIT GFSA focuses on entrepreneurship skills, so we do not anticipate any intellectual property will be created as a direct result of the GFSA.
Furthermore, MIT does not consider use of office space, libraries, machine shop facilities, and consumer-grade computers as constituting a significant use of MIT resources.
If your company is built around intellectual property developed using significant MIT resources, you should consult MIT's policies for more information. The MIT Technology Licensing Office controls MIT intellectual property and can help you with questions.
The relevant MIT policies are:
- TLO 2.1 http://web.mit.edu/tlo/www/community/guide2.html
- MIT Policies 13.1 http://web.mit.edu/policies/13/13.1.html