The VentureBridge is an initiative of the Swartz Center to help early stage Carnegie Mellon alumni founders develop their startups into fundable seed stage ventures. This effort is outside of the traditional education model and serves as a bridge between the many different ecosystems that Carnegie Mellon University alumni live and work.
If you are interested in mentoring VentureBridge alumni companies you can register to be a mentor here.
Questions?Please contact Aleksandar Petkov, VentureBridge Program Manager with any questions or sponsorship inquiries.
VentureBridge Key Components
VentureBridge Summer Accelerator
The VentureBridge Summer Accelerator is a 12 - week program hosted in the San Francisco Bay Area each summer. For each summer a cohort of 5 - 8 companies are selected to participate. The program is designed to create networks with mentors, customers, and early stage investors. Sessions include: Mentor matching, investor feedback, prominent founder dinners, roundtables and more. As a part of the accelerator Carnegie Mellon University invests $25,000 in each company. Companies also receive many other in-kind services.
Applications for the VentureBridge 2021 Summer Accelerator will open in March.
VentureBridge Mentor Match
The VentureBridge program hosts multiple Mentor Matching events throughout the year. These events bring founders (student and alumni) together with a network of experienced and vetted alumni who have agreed to mentor founders. Startups of all stages are encouraged to apply to be a part of these sessions.
The Mentor Matching sessions take place in the Spring, Summer and Fall.
VentureBridge Incubator Space
The VentureBridge offers temporary incubator space for visiting founders on the CMU – Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View and in San Francisco. These two locations cover the majority of the bay area. Locations can be used to work, host meetings or just a quiet place for a phone call. Please contact Aleksandar Petkov for details. This is open to any approved CMU affiliated founder, current or alumni.
Due to COVID-19 we are unable to provide access to the incubation space at this time.
Mentorship & Training
- The VentureBridge program offers unique opportunities and insight into the Silicon Valley ecosystem:
- Introductions to angel investors, incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, CMU-affiliated companies and alumni startups
- Invitations to attend different workshops and events located in the heart of Silicon Valley
- $25,000 Investment by Carnegie Mellon (summer accelerator only)
- Matching with 2-3 mentors
- Incubator space at CMU-SV facilities in Mountain View
- Incubator space at the Vault Co-working space in the Financial District, San Francisco
- Access to Conference Rooms, WiFi and free coffee
- $25,0000 in Amazon Web Services credits
- $5,000 in Amazon Web Service consulting services
- TalkMeUp Virtual Coachng over the summer
- Other benefits
VentureBridge Summer Accelerator
To be considered for VentureBridge:
- Teams must have one CMU affiliated (Student, Faculty, Staff, Alumni) founder
- Founders on the team must be Alumni, eligible for graduation or will be graduating within one semester.
- Once accepted, teams must be located or able to relocate to Silicon Valley for the duration of the program.
- All applications must be fully completed and submitted by the application deadline and late entries will not be considered.
- Applications are reviewed by the VentureBridge Selection Committee and the best startup applicants are invited to present in person at the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.
- After the selected teams have presented the VB Selection Committee evaluates the best candidates and five to eight teams are selected and invited to participate in the Summer Accelerator program.
- Candidates invited to the program have a week to confirm their acceptance of the invitation.
The VentureBridge Summer Accelerator will start in Spring 2021.
- Applications Open: March 2021
- Start Date: June 2021
- Demo Day: September, 2021
- Namrata Banerjee, VentureBridge Director, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
- Aleksandar Petkov, VentureBridge Program Manager, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
- Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship; Executive Director, Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship; Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship
- Bob Dobkin, Chairman of the Dobkin Intuitive Foundation, Founder and CTO of Linear Technology
- Gabe Fenton, President, Intuitive Private Equity Group
- Sheryl Root, Program Director of III's MSTV program, Associate Professor of the Practice for the M.S. in Software Management program
- Jon Cagan, Faculty director Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor, Mechanical Engineering;
- Lane Bess, Principal and Founder at Bess Ventures and Advisory
- Marcel Depaulis, Chief Technical Officer at Proofpoint
- Peter Clarke, Talent Partner at Accel Partners
- Will Sanders, Tech and Entrepreneurship Alumni Group