Advanced Entrepreneur Program

Advanced Entrepreneur Program


The Advanced Entrepreneur Program (AEP) is a Seed Accelerator where early-stage startups meet over 8 weeks and refine their idea, with over 40 hours of rigorous business development programming, from customer discovery to learning how to run their own board meetings.

Entrepreneurs will work with leading business experts and mentors, as well as their cohort in peer-to-peer learning environment, to validate their idea and develop their business foundation. The curriculum will cover the skills and tasks needed to grow a profitable and scalable business.

FORGE startups are early-stage companies that distinguish themselves by having:

  • A scalable product or service

  • An industry-changing innovation

  • Coachable management team

How the program works:

  • We run the Advanced Entrepreneur Program (AEP) 3 times per year, where up to 12 teams are selected to participate from a competitive application process.

  • Over an 8-week period, the AEP consists of 6 days of intensive live programming covering business fundamentals key to building a scalable business.

Program Curriculum:

Opening Reception 

MODULE 1 // Intro Pitch + Lean Startup + Value Proposition

MODULE 2 // Customer Discovery + Market Mapping

MODULE 3 // Team Building

MODULE 4 // Business Model + Due Diligence

MODULE 5 // Final Pitch + Mock Board Meetings w/ Mentors

Closing Reception

Learn more about the past cohorts:


Past Cohorts

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If you are just starting out and know your business is too early for FORGE, check out Startup Tucson's Fundamentals Series


Ever thought of starting your own business? Start smarter and learn faster with other entrepreneurs at Startup Tucson's Fundamentals 5-week series.

This series will teach you core skills and strategies for building a strong business and is a great way to prepare for FORGE's Advanced Entrepreneur Program, so check it out! 

Learn more:    


Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes, the S21 programming will be run hybrid online and in person.

No, the program is open to anyone who meets our selection criteria.

No, the program does not have any cost for participants.

Yes, both for-profit and non-profit teams are eligible to apply.

Our programs are not limited to venture-backed business models. If you do want to pursue investors, we can connect you to our network when your startup is ready, but that is not a core part of this program. We focus on supporting you in building a sustainable and revenue-generating business.

No, for the S21 cohort, teams from any location will be considered.

If you have any questions about the application or are unsure whether your business meets the criteria, please reach out to Paul Valdez, Program Manager with FORGE at UA.


or Schedule a call: