Student Startup Residency
The FORGE Student Startup Residency invites students with advanced venture concepts in the biomedical, semiconductor manufacturing, and/or artificial intelligence vertical market to apply. The program offers a sizeable entrepreneurial training grant as part of an 8-week Summer ‘Startup Bootcamp’ that includes expert mentoring, notable guest speakers, and a pitch to a panel of actual investors. Students who complete the bootcamp are invited to apply for paid FORGE Student Entrepreneur in Residence positions in Fall 2024, where they learn about angel and VC investing, support the Wildcat Philanthropic Seed Fund, serve as vertical analysts, and shadow actual startup founders in FORGE’s Venture Advisors accelerators. Student Startup Residents also help promote the program and select the next cohort of students in Spring 2025.
- This opportunity is open to enrolled University of Arizona undergraduate and graduate students in any major graduating in May 2025 or later. Up to 30 students will be selected.
- Students must submit a ‘venture dossier’ consisting of résumé, startup concept pitch slide, market assessment, and competitive analysis. Incomplete dossiers will not be considered.
- The startup concept must belong to the student and originate from the student’s own idea. Concepts leveraging university-owned IP will be directed to Tech Launch Arizona.
- The startup concept must be post-idea: identify a specific, significant, large problem, have a hypothesis for how to solve it, identified a meaningful market for such a solution.
- Selected students must complete the Venturing 101 Course 2
before the start of the boot camp. This free, self-paced, course is available online and can be completed anytime prior to the start of the bootcamp.
STARTUP BOOTCAMP (May 13 – July 12)
- Students engage in an intensive 8-week program over the Summer of 2024 with regular director check-ins and mentor sessions, weekly guest speaker and industry talks, and daily team meetings.
- All students receive a total of $4000* upon completion of 4 stated milestones.
- Graduate students also receive an additional $1600* to lead and mentor a team of 4 undergraduate students.
- The boot camp culminates in a live pitch to a panel of angels and VCs who invest in the vertical. Students should not expect actual investments but should gain extraordinary insight and experience.
- The program (Summer and Fall) takes place in person at FORGE at Roy Place in Tucson and FORGE at the Phoenix Bioscience Core. Preference will be for students who can attend the boot camp in person, but a limited number of exceptions will be made for online only.
- Information sessions will be held on February 12th, 14th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd
- Students who attend an information session receive guided support in completing the application.
- Applications are due by 11:59 pm MST on March 22, 2024. Late submissions will not be considered.
* Funds awarded through this program may be viewed as taxable income by the IRS. You and your family should consult a tax advisor.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the program.
We encourage you to apply. We do not expect you to have a fully developed idea or an established venture. Successful applicants will exhibit big-picture thinking, problem identification, and value-creation.
Yes, if all Grant Criteria is met. Much of the program can be completed virtually, but to gain the most value from the program, participants will want to attend some events in person.
This includes any startups that focus on technologies or processes to advance services and health in clinical or consumer settings to ultimately improve patient outcomes. Some examples would include medical devices, consumer digital devices and apps, healthcare software or data systems, innovative treatments, and laboratory solutions.
This includes any startups focused on developing innovative technologies in the fields of semiconductors, artificial intelligence, or a combination of both. In the semiconductor realm, the startup might work on creating advanced materials, chips, and components that are essential for electronic devices, improving their efficiency, speed, and power consumption. In AI, the startup could focus on developing algorithms, software, and applications that enable machines to learn, reason, and make decisions, potentially revolutionizing industries like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing with intelligent automation and data analysis solutions. Combining both fields, the startup could work on hardware and software integrations, like AI-driven semiconductors, enhancing the capabilities of AI systems and the devices they operate on.
If a startup award application encompasses both the biomedical and semiconductor/AI domains, it would primarily be considered a biomedical startup. This categorization is based on the end-users and key stakeholders involved, who in this case, are within the biomedical sector. Essentially, the core focus of the startup's solution targets the biomedical industry, utilizing semiconductors or AI as a tool or technology to enhance or innovate within this specific field. The buyers, decision-makers, and direct beneficiaries of the startup's product or service would be entities or professionals in the biomedical space, such as healthcare providers, medical researchers, pharmaceutical companies, or hospitals. Therefore, despite the integration of semiconductors or AI technology, the startup's primary market and application are centered in the biomedical industry, defining its primary classification.
Mentors will be flexible with students, especially if you are taking classes. While it is up to the mentors to create a schedule with the grant recipients, you can expect 10-15 hours of work each week in the summer and fall.
No. the biomedical and semiconductor/AI are domains broadly defined, and eligibility is not limited to specific areas of study or degree programs.
No, however students who complete the program will gain valuable professional development, networking opportunities and experience.
- You will learn about the venturing process using the Lean Canvas framework.
- You will apply learnings towards the following:
- Identifying strengths, talents, and skills.
- Defining the problem your idea will solve.
- Analyzing your target market.
- Identifying your competition.
- Identifying potential funding opportunities.
- Outlining a sell strategy.
- Generating a business model.
- Creating a prototype.
- Defining success metrics.
- You will complete a combination of self-paced training and both in-person and virtual mentoring to teach you how to mature an idea and create a pitch deck.
- You will network and work closely with experienced mentors, angel investors, and entrepreneurs, and strengthen analytical and interpersonal skills.