Fellowship, healthcare, a co-founder, office space, advisors, investors, and everything you need to build a venture back-able company
Have you ever wanted to start a company but didn't know how or with who? If yes, Tech Catalyst was made for you. We are looking for ambitious, skilled people who want to stray from the beaten path. People who want to start a company but don’t have a co-founder, or have no clue where to start.
Now is your chance to build the next big thing. Apply by March 31st at 11:59PM EST to be considered for the 2020 cohort.
Admissions are rolling until our 30 person cohort is full. Don't procrastinate, apply now!
If admitted into the cohort, you would be required to be in Ann Arbor for 6 months while you go through our in-person accelerator program. We will assist with the transition and making connections with other members in the cohort including roommate matching. If you live in Detroit or the surrounding areas, you must be able to commute to Ann Arbor daily.
Tech Catalyst is a 6 month, full time program, that has to be done entirely in Ann Arbor. That means you will be focused on building your dream startup full time. While here, you and your future co-founders will be working out of our downtown Ann Arbor space for both parts of our program.
During the first three months you will find a co-founder, brainstorm, test ideas, and do extensive customer research. Everybody who is accepted into the program gets a fellowship during the first three months that covers living expenses and healthcare.
If you’ve moved fast, found a co-founder, and have a strong idea, you’ll get pre-seed funding and continue with the program.
Months 4-6 will be spent primarily building your product or service. We will provide you with the mentors, capital, and direction to win. This is your grind time. A heads down cycle of selling and building.
After 6 months of full time work on your company, it is time to show it off and make it big. The program culminates with a Demo Day attended by the top investors from around the Country. There you'll kick off fund raising for your seed round.
Yes! More seriously we are looking for ambitious, skilled people who can build and want to stray from the beaten path.
Nope! Even if you want to work on a idea, it will likely change or evolve as you test it out. Throughout the three month Phase I you will be brainstorming ideas, testing them out, and adapting accordingly.
The first three months of the program are focused first on helping you find a co-founder from among the other cohort members and second on validating an idea. To learn more about finding a cofounder see: “How do you help me find a co-founder?” Throughout the program we will run workshops to bring everybody up to the same level of startup knowledge. Mentors will check in with you individually and then as a team to help you prioritize and see unknown unknowns and our network of industry experts will help you move as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, most of the program is about you building an awesome business so there is doing whatever you need to do in order to accomplish that.
We start helping you find a co-founder before you even join the program by heavily curating the people we admit. We make sure you know as much about the other people in the program as possible so that you can quickly find people who complement your skills and interests. We run activities that range from low-stakes get-to-know you games to multi-day hackathons to learn whether you can work with people under pressure. On top of the structured activities we do workshops to help you understand how to quickly test out potential co-founders and then get to work.
No. Working relationships are as complicated as romantic ones. We make sure there are excellent people in the room and then provide both structure and unstructured activities to help you find the right co-founder.
Yes - the standard deal is $75k (plus the $5k/month stipend + Healthcare for three month fellowship) for a 10% equity stake in any company you start as part of the program if your company successfully enters Part II of the program. The fellowship itself has no strings attached.
Yes! We have a strong thesis around immigrant founders. They have demonstrated the ability to thrive in a new and uncertain environment with little support. Many key traits shared with successful founders. We have specifically designed Tech Catalyst to allow us to enable international participants to become founders. Depending on your exact situation there will be different pathways available. Feel free to reach out to email@example.com regarding questions.
We don’t focus on any particular industry but we do focus on helping people build tech-enabled companies that can scale quickly and have a clear gameplan to win.
We invest in people, not in companies. Unfortunately that means if you have already formed a team then this program is not the right fit for you.
However, if you are a solo-founder that has made progress on a startup and are willing to join the cohort with the same expectations of all other participants (including partnering with an equal co-founder) then we are excited to have you.
No. Teams of two are crucial because it is hard enough to develop a business relationship with one person in a short three months, let alone multiple people. Successful startup teams of more than two usually have multiple years of experience working with each other.
Yes. It is extremely hard to build a working relationship with someone new without being physically in the same location. There is some minor flexibility on the timeline, but please contact us before applying.
If there is someone that you’d like to work with, we’d encourage you both to apply to the program as individuals and enter the cohort with an open mind that the right partner may be another member of the cohort who you have yet to meet.
Meet the founders of Tech Catalyst
Mitch is a True Blue Wolverine with degrees in Computer Engineering and Entrepreneurship from University of Michigan. He’s fascinated by the disruptive potential of deep tech innovations and founded his first company in Ann Arbor. Over the past several year’s Mitch has been a founder and early employee at Bay Area robotics and autonomous transportation companies, most notably Symbio Robotics and Skyryse.
Ben is a space-robot doctor, medieval historian, and thing-maker by training. His resume is weird: He’s done talent investing in Singapore with Entrepreneur First, started an elder care robotics company, tried to make the world more magical doing deep learning and product at Magic Leap, and did stints at Susa Ventures and NASA among other things.