Student Accelerator Program

RIT’s Student Accelerator is a full-time, semester-long program aimed at assisting entrepreneurs and innovators in developing their business concepts to a point where they are ready to begin to seek angel investment. The program offers instruction across a range of subjects relevant to startups, including:

Customer Discovery


Leadership and interpersonal skills

Protecting intellectual property

Seeking investment capital

Each team will receive a stipend, mentoring, coaching, and workspace for your team. The program will culminate in a Demo Night where each student team will have an opportunity to pitch their business to a group of real investors.

Upon successful completion of the program, qualified teams may apply for our “2.0 Accelerator.” 2.0 focuses even more intensely on building partner relationships and prototyping with the goal of Beta testing by the end of the program.

Applications for the Student Accelerator are now open 


The Student Accelerator Program is for teams and does not accept single-person applications. Each team must be well-rounded and multi-disciplinary in order to have the skills necessary to accomplish the program goals.


Students should expect to work significantly more than 40 hours per week. Students in the past have worked upwards of 50-60 hours because they were driven to make their idea a reality.

Teams are not allowed to take classes during this program but may be considered for co-op credit, pending department approval. 
Funding is available for teams with a max of three students, with each student receiving a $4,000 stipend and access to a small prototyping fund (based on pre-approval).

Application Process

The application process will be done on a rolling basis. Teams will be reviewed as applications are received, so it is to your advantage to apply early. The program committee will invite selected teams to interview with us.

Before starting the online application, be prepared to answer the following:

  1. What will your company do or make? What is the basic idea? You may include a 3-4 minute video of your idea if you like)
  2. What stage is your business in raw idea, developed concept, developed prototype, beta testing, earning revenue?
  3. Who are your customers?
  4. What is new or different about your company/idea that isn’t already out in the world?
  5. Who do you see as your competitors? How are they similar or different than you?
  6. Explain how your company will make money.
  7. Why should we choose you? Sell yourself!


For more information, contact Rupa Thind

Start your application