East Lansing, MICH — The Conquer Accelerator program at Michigan State University is accepting applications for its Season Two Cohort, launching in summer 2017, now through February 3. Designed to help both startups and established companies overcome business hurdles, Conquer emphasizes smart planning and growth, extensive mentorship from an experienced bench of professionals, and structured educational components.
Any qualifying business may apply to the Conquer Accelerator—an existing affiliation with Michigan State University is not a prerequisite. For those startups from within the Michigan State University system, the Conquer Accelerator fills a crucial gap in the development cycle of new companies in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“The Conquer Accelerator acts as a final launching platform for startups from MSU and beyond, preparing companies to hit the ground running,” says Paul Jaques, Conquer Accelerator Director. “Our program puts the finishing touches on startup teams and prepares them for investment.”
Selected teams receive a $20k investment—in exchange for 5% equity—and work through an intensive ten-week program. Conquer Accelerator teams also receive one-on-one mentorship and support, a creative working space, and resources to enable them to grow their startup companies.
Built with a strong bench of more than 40 entrepreneur and business leader mentors, each of the ten weeks in the Conquer program focuses on completing specific goals, as well as working with mentors and instructors on topics like fundraising, technology and sustainability. Conquer culminates in demo day presentations with investors.
Startup applicants should reflect the following attributes:
- products or services that solve problems for specific target customers
- capital-efficient business, operational at less than $1M in external funding
- scalable distribution or proven ability to scale sales
- simple revenue model: transactions, subscriptions, affiliates
- functional prototype or prior product success
- measurable traction, e.g.: engaged users, revenue, attractive unit economics
- three (or more) members in a cross-functional team
- ability for entire team to be in East Lansing, Michigan for the entire duration of the program