Western Accelerator applications are now open for our Winter 2024 cohorts.
What We Offer
The Western Accelerator program is a great opportunity for high-growth startups to accelerate the growth of their businesses. Over the course of 15 weeks, ventures accepted into the program will receive hands-on mentorship and educational training from in-house experts and industrial partners. 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 these entrepreneurs.
Our program is a critical component of the cross-campus entrepreneurship ecosystem at Western University and is open to all Western students, faculty, and alumni with an expectation of a full-time commitment (Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.).
Founders participating in our programming will receive:
The Western Accelerator is a critical component of the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Western University. The program is open to Western alumni, faculty, staff, and students* with an expectation of a full-time commitment.
At least one founder must have a connection to Western (Student, Faculty, Staff or Alumni).
*Western students can apply to the Western Accelerator. However, the program requires a full-time daily commitment from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Monday to Friday). If accepted, a student may have to reduce their class load or defer the semester to participate.
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 (Alumni, Students, Faculty, or Staff).
- Teams must be willing to contribute a full-time effort in-person at Western University in London, Ontario (Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Teams must operate their business from the Western Accelerator coworking space located on campus.*
- Teams can have up to three founders in the Western Accelerator coworking space.
- Founders working out of the Western Accelerator must have decision-making ability.
- Founders must participate in all the scheduled events, workshops, and competitions throughout their time in the program.
Entrance to our program is a competitive process. We accept 6-8 teams per cohort (Fall and Winter).
There are two parts to the application for the Western Accelerator.
All teams are required to submit a written application via our GUST platform by the deadline.
You will be required to share/upload the following:
- Executive Summary
- Company Logo
- Company Website
- Team Picture
- Youtube Link to your 3-minute Investor Pitch Video
- Youtube Link to your 1-minute Marketing Video / Advertisement
- Investor Pitch Slide Deck - Below is a sample of the details we look for in your pitch deck.
Applications are reviewed by an anonymous and diverse panel of Judges, the top-ranked teams will have the opportunity to pitch their business to a selection committee. In this round, each team will be given 5-minutes to pitch their startup, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.
If you've impressed our judges, you're in! We'll connect with you and collect some onboarding information in Late November 2022.
Program Location (Coworking Space)
The Western Accelerator is an in-person and on-campus experience. At least one founder must be in the space daily (Monday to Thursday), actively working on the business from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Western University, Somerville House, Room 3366
Weekly programming at the Western Accelerator will be taught either in-person or through a virtual format pending our mentor's availability.
We accept 6 to 8 teams per cohort (Fall and Winter).
Entrance into the Western Accelerator is a competitive process. The Fall and Winter cohorts are for teams who have a 'Minimal Viable Product' (MVP) that is ready to go-to-market. These cohorts average a 15-week duration.
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 Western Accelerator yet. Teams who are in the early stages can find great resources available for you at our Entrepreneurship Centre (located Western Student Services Building, Second Floor, Room 2130). Book a meeting with one of our Entrepreneurship Advisors here.
Competitive applications for the Western Accelerator are startups with high potential to scale (i.e. have intellectual property (IP) and/or have a clear competitive advantage addressing a large potential market). We also look for a founding team with the skills, ability, and determination to launch their product offering into the market.
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!
Mark Your Calendar
The Western Accelerator has two cohorts per year. We accept six to eight teams per cohort. Keep an eye out for these important upcoming dates associated with our upcoming Winter cohort.
June 28, 2024
September to December 2024
Get in Touch!
The Western Accelerator was made possible by the generous support of our donor:
Kevin Sullivan (BA '83).