The StarTUp Accelerator is an eight-week, cohort-based fellowship where founders work collaboratively to accelerate ventures. The StarTUp Accelerator targets both TU-affiliated and non-affiliated founders seeking to grow their ventures and who have begun to introduce services or products into the market.
The Towson University StarTUp Accelerator is an intensive eight-week, cohort-based fellowship where ventures take residency and collaborate to accelerate their ventures.
- The accelerator targets venture creation, which are new business ideas that are innovative and disruptive with the potential to create new markets or transform an existing market.
- Founders who have begun to introduce their services or products into the market should apply.
- Accepted founders receive a $10,000 equity-free stipend as well as mentorship, founder-centric programming and exposure to successful ventures who are alumni of this model.
- Selected founders take up residency at the StarTUp at the Armory—TU’s state-of-the-art, award-winning entrepreneurship space in downtown Towson.
- Each cohort includes Mentor Fellows, past participants that are invited to participate second time to support the new cohort and to continue to build and sell.
Frequently Asked Questions
- All programming takes place in person and is mandatory.
- Scheduled programming occurs a minimum of two days per week, with a maximum of four days per week.
- The cohort meets every Friday for lunch and to share progress on milestones.
- Founders have daily access to Patrick McQuown, executive director of entrepreneurship. Ventures who take advantage of 1:1 sessions experience the best results.
See complete programming and mentorship details below.
Who should apply?
- Applicants do not have to be affiliated with Towson University.
- Applicants should not have a full-time job or another daily, full-time commitment outside of their venture.
- While solopreneurs are welcome to apply and have been accepted, ventures with a team can simply accomplish more.
- Ventures should have some traction in revenue, users, market, and/or fundraising.
Accepted ventures receive a $10,000 stipend. The stipend has no equity requirement and is intended to serve as a seed fund. Accepted ventures should expect payment within six weeks after the cohort begins.
Fellows have access to work space and resources at the StarTUp at the Armory. It’s not required that all team members utilize the space, but the space is open to everyone on the venture’s team.
Programming and events
All programming takes place in person and is mandatory. Scheduled programming occurs a minimum of two days per week, with a maximum of four days per week.
- Weekly top-level programming: Sessions include founder-centric topics such as leadership, company culture, how to pitch, equity, sales, fund raising, among others. All materials for review and discussion are provided.
- Weekly lunch and milestone check-ins: Each Friday, fellows meet for lunch and to share progress on milestones.
- Guest speakers: Guest speakers and other founders are invited to speak to each cohort. In some cases, guest speakers are available to meet and work directly with founders.
- Acceleration: Working as a cohort is paramount to acceleration. The vast majority of time is used for founders to build and sell their ventures, to collaborate with other founders, and to meet with the StarTUp team and others.
- Networking: Fellows are expected to attend social and networking events to hear from industry leaders, discover opportunities, and connect with other entrepreneurs.
- Annual Accelerator Showcase: Hosted each September, this culminating event brings together the winter and summer cohorts with business and community leaders.
- On day one, each founder identifies where they will be in terms of traction in 15 weeks.
- Progress on each venture’s milestones is discussed during the Friday lunch and milestone check-ins, where the cohort shares where they are and how other founders can assist one another.
- Examples of milestones include increasing revenue, users, markets, and/or fundraising.
- Each fellow has daily access to Patrick McQuown, executive director of entrepreneurship, and other mentors within the StarTUp for
coaching and support
- The best ventures typically spend an hour per day with Patrick to tailor individual needs.
- Mentorship does not end after the fellowship. It is expected that fellows continue their relationship as a cohort and with the StarTUp.