Applications

Applications for the 2021 accelerator will open in early 2021!


Applications


Join the Desai Community!

We look for early stage companies founded by upcoming or recent University of Michigan graduates. We prefer companies with demonstrated product-building capability, market validation, and an exceptional team dynamic with the ability to execute quickly.

THE PROGRAM

While participating in our 10-month program, startups receive funding, tailored mentorship, hands-on training, national visibility, collaborative workspace in downtown Ann Arbor, and many key resources to help them achieve rapid growth - including free access to a 10-intern talent pool. The program runs from May through March. Read more about our program here.

CONFIRM ELIGIBILITY
  • Teams must have at least one founder who graduated from the University of Michigan recently (during the previous 12 months from the start of program in May).
  • Founders will be working full-time on the startup for the duration of the program.
  • Founders will be present for the duration of the 10-month program in Ann Arbor, MI from May through March.
THE APPLICATION

The application will become available in early 2021 for the 2021 cohort. If you have questions please email the Desai Team: desai-accelerator@umich.edu



FAQs


HOW FAR ALONG DO WE HAVE TO BE TO APPLY?

You should have completed customer discovery, have a working MVP or beta version of your product, early customer traction, and market validation.


DO I NEED A BUSINESS PLAN?

You will not need to supply a business plan as part of the application process, however be prepared to answer relevant questions if asked for an interview.


DO YOU INVEST IN SINGLE FOUNDERS OR TEAMS OF CO-FOUNDERS?

It is challenging to create a scalable startup alone, so we strongly encourage well-rounded teams of at least two co-founders with a cross-disciplinary range of skills.


HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH COMPANIES TO ACCEPT?

We review applications with a thorough due diligence process. Some questions we may ask while reviewing applications are:

  • How big is the idea? How unique is it?
  • Have you demonstrated commercial proof/early market validation?
  • Is at least one co-founder devoted full time to your venture's success?
  • Is your team diverse, open minded, coachable, and execution-oriented?

DO I NEED TO BE AN ALUMNUS OR FACULTY OF UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN TO APPLY?

Yes, one of the founders must be an upcoming or recent graduate of the University of Michigan to apply.


I AM A CURRENT STUDENT, CAN I APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?

Founders must be devoted full time to the venture, during and beyond the 10-month program. If the founders will be graduating before the start of the May 2020 program, we encourage you to apply. If not, there are a lot of great resources through the University of Michigan for student entrepreneurs like the Zell Lurie Institute.


CAN WE DO IT WITHOUT MOVING TO MICHIGAN?

You must be in Ann Arbor for the full 10 months of the program.


DO I NEED TO STAY IN ANN ARBOR WHEN THE PROGRAM ENDS?

No, we do not require you stay in Ann Arbor or Michigan, but we sure hope you do!

Join the Desai Community!

We look for early stage companies founded by upcoming or recent University of Michigan graduates. We prefer companies with demonstrated product-building capability, market validation, and an exceptional team dynamic with the ability to execute quickly.

THE PROGRAM

While participating in our 10-month program, startups receive funding, tailored mentorship, hands-on training, national visibility, collaborative workspace in downtown Ann Arbor, and many key resources to help them achieve rapid growth - including free access to a 10-intern talent pool. The program runs from May through March. Read more about our program here.

CONFIRM ELIGIBILITY
  • Teams must have at least one founder who graduated from the University of Michigan recently (during the previous 12 months from the start of program in May).
  • Founders will be working full-time on the startup for the duration of the program.
  • Founders will be present for the duration of the 10-month program in Ann Arbor, MI from May through March.
THE APPLICATION

The application will become available in early 2021 for the 2021 cohort. If you have questions please email the Desai Team: desai-accelerator@umich.edu



FAQs


HOW FAR ALONG DO WE HAVE TO BE TO APPLY?

You should have completed customer discovery, have a working MVP or beta version of your product, early customer traction, and market validation.


DO I NEED A BUSINESS PLAN?

You will not need to supply a business plan as part of the application process, however be prepared to answer relevant questions if asked for an interview.


DO YOU INVEST IN SINGLE FOUNDERS OR TEAMS OF CO-FOUNDERS?

It is challenging to create a scalable startup alone, so we strongly encourage well-rounded teams of at least two co-founders with a cross-disciplinary range of skills.


HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH COMPANIES TO ACCEPT?

We review applications with a thorough due diligence process. Some questions we may ask while reviewing applications are:

  • How big is the idea? How unique is it?
  • Have you demonstrated commercial proof/early market validation?
  • Is at least one co-founder devoted full time to your venture's success?
  • Is your team diverse, open minded, coachable, and execution-oriented?

DO I NEED TO BE AN ALUMNUS OR FACULTY OF UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN TO APPLY?

Yes, one of the founders must be an upcoming or recent graduate of the University of Michigan to apply.


I AM A CURRENT STUDENT, CAN I APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?

Founders must be devoted full time to the venture, during and beyond the 10-month program. If the founders will be graduating before the start of the May 2020 program, we encourage you to apply. If not, there are a lot of great resources through the University of Michigan for student entrepreneurs like the Zell Lurie Institute.


CAN WE DO IT WITHOUT MOVING TO MICHIGAN?

You must be in Ann Arbor for the full 10 months of the program.


DO I NEED TO STAY IN ANN ARBOR WHEN THE PROGRAM ENDS?

No, we do not require you stay in Ann Arbor or Michigan, but we sure hope you do!

Stay in touch!

Stay in touch!