About this Program
Who we are
Launched in January 2017, the Western Accelerator provides an intense, rapid and immersive education for prospective entrepreneurs. Our goal is to accelerate the life cycle of high potential ventures and to compress a year’s worth of learning into a few months for their entrepreneurs.
The Western Accelerator is a critical component of the cross-campus Western Entrepreneurship ecosystem and is open to Western students, faculty, and recent alumni with an
expectation of a full-time commitment.
What we do
During their time in the accelerator, teams can expect:
• Weekly Programming: half-day educational sessions on leadership, sales, investors, pitch skills, etc. as well as mentoring sessions with successful entrepreneurs
• Join networking events with successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors and service providers
• Participate in “Demo Day” at the end of program—a dynamic event where teams deliver their idea and business plans to an audience from the local entrepreneurship, business and investment communities
• Monthly milestone meetings to discuss your progress and to set goals for the upcoming month
• Receive a $3,000 per month stipend
As part of your Western Accelerator experience, you can expect to participate in a weekly workshop that will give you the education and real-world feedback that you need to launch your business. Workshop topics can include:
• Value Proposition
• Design Thinking
• Startup Legal
• Digital Marketing
• Intellectual Property
• Public Relations
• And more!
We look for teams who have a high-potential to scale and who meet the following criteria:
• At least one founder must have a connection to Western (Student, Faculty, Staff or Alumni)
• Teams must be willing to contribute a full-time effort
• Teams must operate their business from the Western Accelerator
• Teams can have up to three founders
• Founders working out of the Accelerator must have decision making ability
• Founders are required to participate in all Accelerator events, workshops and competitions throughout their time in the Western Accelerator
What we look for
We look for startups who have completed product development and are ready to launch! If you are still in the idea or build stage, you may not be a good fit for the Accelerator yet. Teams who are in early stages can find great resources available for you at Western’s Propel Entrepreneurship Centre.
Competitive applications for the Accelerator are startups who have high potential to scale (i.e. have IP and/or have a clear competitive advantage addressing a large potential market). We also look for a founding team who have the skills, ability and determination to launch their product offering into the market.
Teams applying to the Accelerator should have a functioning prototype or minimum viable product (MVP) that can be offered to their customers.
You don’t have to have every feature or offering built and ready to sell. In fact, we encourage you to test your MVP early and often so you can build and shape your business based on customer feedback.
Entrance to the Accelerator is a competitive process. We accept 6-8 teams per
Semester (Fall, Winter and Summer).
There are two parts to the application to the Western Accelerator.
Stage 1 - All teams are required to submit a written application that consists of:
1. Write a one-page letter stating why you believe you will benefit from
participation in the Western Accelerator and how you will contribute to
2. Create a 10-page slide deck to describe your business. Please follow the
guidelines prescribed by Guy Kawasaki here: http://guykawasaki.com/theonly-
Applications can be found here!
Stage 2 - Applications are reviewed by an external panel, and the top ranked teams will have the opportunity to pitch their business to a selection committee. Each team has 10 minutes to pitch their startup, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.
- Funds up to $12k per team
- Takes up to 0.0% equity
- Accepts 8 companies
Business Products, Business Services, Computers and Peripherals, Consumer Products, Consumer Services