Frequently Asked Questions

What is a “Virtual Accelerator Program”?

While the program includes two mandatory in-person covenings, cohort companies are not required to relocate. However, companies that do opt to relocate have the option of receiving up to four months of desk space for three team members.

Our virtual accelerator program lasts approximately four months, with targeted content and feedback delivered via phone/video meetings, web-based presentations, and online collaboration.

Who can apply to the Michelson Runway Accelerator?

Michelson Runway is open to entrepreneurs working to develop engaging, technology-enabled learning experiences, design tools, assessments, and other products that support students in the higher education market.

What is the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be working on projects that are aligned with the Michelson 20MM Foundation’s mission of using technology to support opportunities for increased access, affordability, and student success in traditional and alternative higher education markets.

Can the founders be students?

Unfortunately, no. We are looking for founders who are able to commit 100% of their time and energy to their company.

What kind of startups are you looking for?

We are looking for teams who are creating products in the following areas:

  • Learning analytics and adaptive learning tools;
  • Tools that help institutions to adopt competency-based education;
  • Novel approaches to vocational education;
  • Tools that help at-risk students persist and succeed in traditional education programs by improving engagement;
  • Tools providing alternative models of financing education

What company/product stage is the program designed to support?

Michelson Runway is happy to support companies in early and growth stages, creating products across a wide developmental spectrum. To be considered for funding, applicants must submit at least one product as part of their application (prototypes are also accepted).

What type of financial support will selected applicants receive?

Every cohort company receives a $50,000 minimum equity investment via SAFE (an agreement popularized by Y Combinator). In addition to that, applicants are eligible for over $400,000 worth of benefits and perks from our partners.

Does Michelson Runway receive equity from the participants?

Yes, Michelson Runway will receive future equity from selected companies. All financial support distributed to participants will take the form of SAFE (simple agreement for future equity).

What is SAFE?

Developed by Y Combinator, SAFE stands for simple agreement for future equity and is intended to replace convertible notes in most cases.

Learn More About SAFE