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  • What criteria do you use to evaluate applications?
    We employ a comprehensive set of criteria to evaluate applications and identify promising startups. Some of the key criteria we consider include: Founder Coachability: We assess the willingness and ability of founders to learn, adapt, and take constructive feedback. Innovation: We look for startups with innovative and disruptive ideas that have the potential to make a significant impact. Market Understanding: Understanding the target market, its dynamics, and customer needs is crucial. Scalability: We evaluate the scalability of the business model and its potential for growth. Team: The composition and capabilities of the startup team are important factors. Business Plan: We assess the clarity, viability, and strategy presented in the business plan.
  • How are startups selected for participation in the program?
    Startups are selected for participation in our program through a rigorous and multi-stage selection process. The first round of screening is conducted through a blind review process, during which any identifying information is redacted from the application to reduce bias. This ensures that each application is evaluated solely on its merit and the strength of the business idea.
  • Is there an application fee?
    No, there is no application fee. We believe in removing barriers to entry for promising startups and entrepreneurs. Our goal is to identify and support innovative ideas, and we do not charge an application fee for this purpose.
  • Can solo founders apply, or is it necessary to have a team?
    Yes! Solo founders are welcome to apply. Our program is designed to provide resources, mentorship, and a supportive community to all, regardless of team size.
  • How competitive is the selection process?
    Our selection process is highly competitive. The blind screening process in the initial round ensures that all startups have an equal opportunity to be evaluated based on merit. As we progress through the stages, the competition becomes more intense, with semi-finalists chosen based on the strength of their business plans and their alignment with our program's criteria. We aim to select startups that demonstrate exceptional potential and are ready to benefit from our resources and mentorship.
  • What are the eligibility criteria for startups to join the Escape Velocity program?
    We are looking for startups that have preferably already undergone an initial phase of acceleration or incubation. We believe that this prior experience can provide startups with a solid foundation and readiness to leverage our resources effectively. It also demonstrates a level of commitment and dedication to their business idea.
  • How can startups apply for the Escape Velocity program?
    Startups can apply via the application portal on our website during the application open period. Please know, applications must be submitted before the stated close date to be considered for the program.
  • Can I apply for multiple internship positions?
    Yes, you can apply for multiple internship positions if you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in multiple roles. However, please note that you may need to submit separate applications for each position.
  • What is the Escape Velocity Internship Program?
    The Escape Velocity Internship Program is a joint program in collaboration with Startups and Scholars. Together, we aim to provide valuable opportunities for undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation. The program benefits from the expertise and resources of both organizations to offer a unique and enriching experience.
  • Can I receive academic credit for my internship?
    Depending on your university's policies, you may be eligible to receive academic credit for your internship. We can work with you and your university to provide the necessary documentation and support.
  • What additional benefits and perks do interns receive?
    Interns in the Escape Velocity Internship Program enjoy a range of additional benefits and perks, including: Invitation to Attend Program Networking Events and Startup Showcases: Interns have the opportunity to network with industry professionals, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs during our program's networking events. Speaker Series: Access to our speaker series featuring industry experts and thought leaders, providing valuable insights and knowledge-sharing opportunities. Intern Program Pitch Event: Interns have a unique event dedicated to showcasing their own startup ideas and receiving feedback from a supportive community of entrepreneurs and mentors. This is a valuable opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial aspirations.
  • How long is the internship program?
    Escape Velocity interns are employed for 3-month sessions, and requires a weekly 15-hour commitment . The program holds 3 internship sessions throughout the year.
  • Is housing provided for out-of-town interns?
    Housing arrangements are not provided as part of the internship program. However, we can offer guidance and suggestions for local housing options if needed.
  • Are internships remote or in-person?
    All internship arrangements are offered as hybrid opportunities. Details about the location and work arrangement will be provided in the internship listings.
  • Is the internship program paid?
    Yes, the Escape Velocity Internship Program offers paid internship opportunities. Compensation details will be provided in the internship job listings.
  • What types of tasks and projects will interns be involved in?
    Interns will have the opportunity to work on various projects and tasks that support the growth and development of startups within our program.
  • Who is eligible to apply for the internship program?
    Junior and Senior year undergraduate students who are passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation are eligible to apply. Specific eligibility criteria and application details can be found on our Internship Program page.
  • Are there specific milestones or deliverables expected during the program?
    During the course of the program, startups are expected to achieve significant milestones, with the primary goal being the successful launch of their product or service to the market. Additionally, while the specific milestones may vary depending on the nature of each startup, we work closely with our cohort to identify and track key milestones relevant to their growth stage. These milestones are designed to measure progress, validate business models, and drive success. Our program provides the guidance, mentorship, and resources needed to help startups reach and exceed these milestones, ultimately contributing to their long-term success.
  • Is it a fixed-term program, or can startups stay longer if needed?
    Our accelerator program operates as a fixed-term program, ensuring that startups have a clear timeframe within which to achieve their goals and milestones. However, we maintain a strong commitment to supporting our program alumni beyond the program's conclusion. While the formal program duration is two years, alumni will continue to have access to valuable resources and ongoing support. We believe that the journey of a startup extends well beyond the initial two years, and we are dedicated to being a long-term partner in their success.
  • How is the funding distributed to startups?
    The $250,000 seed funding is performance-based and is distributed based on milestones specified by the startup in collaboration with their mentor. The initial funding of $100,000 is provided at the start of the program to kickstart the startup's growth journey. The remaining $150,000 funding is distributed over the course of the 2-year program, contingent upon the achievement of predetermined milestones. Additionally, our program facilitates access to external angel investors, offering startups the opportunity to secure further seed funding rounds beyond the initial investment. This access to external investors is a valuable resource for startups looking to scale and grow their businesses.
  • What are the key benefits of participating in the Escape Velocity program?
    Participating in our accelerator program offers startups a range of valuable benefits designed to accelerate their growth and success. These benefits include: $250,000 in performance-based opportunity zone seed funding Free Coworking Space Qualified Interns Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator Membership Mentorship and Advisors Access to External Investors Program Support and Guidance Networking Events Startup Showcases Speaker Series
  • How long is the program?
    Our advanced accelerator program is a fixed-term program that spans a duration of two (2) years. During the program, startups benefit from a structured and comprehensive program designed to accelerate their growth and success.
  • Can you provide more details about the $250,000 seed funding?
    The $250,000 opportunity zone seed funding is provided through our anchor investor, Umergence, and is a critical component of our program. Startups receive this funding in exchange for equity in their company calculated during the due diligence process. The funding is intended to provide startups with the financial resources needed to accelerate their growth, develop their products or services, and reach key milestones. As an opportunity zone seed fund, we have unique requirements in that startups we invest in will be required to hold the majority of their operations and payroll in a qualified Connecticut Opportunity Zone for a minimum of ten years, or for the duration Umergence holds an equity investment, whichever is less.
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