Resources

Accelerator – Almaworks

Almaworks is Columbia University’s startup accelerator for NYC student entrepreneurs. We take no equity and aim to help early-stage startups run by NYC college entrepreneurs achieve significant, sustainable growth.


Program Structure

The program lasts for an intensive 8 weeks. The fall 2017 program consists of mandatory weekly meetings every Friday 3pm to 6pm starting 10/5/17. The Friday meetings allow teams to discuss their problems with each other, check-in with advisors, and get feedback from various mentors, and participate in intensive workshops. Teams are expected to be working on their projects on a daily basis throughout the duration of the accelerator.


Program Benefits

You’ll get direct access to some of the best startup mentors around. These include entrepreneurs who have built multimillion dollar businesses as well as startup growth experts, venture capitalists, and accountants and lawyers specializing in serving early stage startups. These mentors give personalized advice through weekly office hours. Check out some of our previous mentors here.

You’ll be surrounded by a great community. Gaining initial traction is often one of the most challenging roadblocks for startups. We offer an environment of supportive founders working on their own early-stage startups and weekly meetings to address potential challenges many early-stage startups face.

You’ll get help with market validation. Almaworks caters to startups that count college students as their primary audience and has organized an enthusiastic pool of college students to try out products and give feedback to startups in the program. Almaworks is also directly plugged into the Columbia University college community through its parent organization CORE, the largest student-run organization on campus.

You’ll get connected to investors. Throughout the accelerator, we will also occasionally make intros to investors that invest in the same verticals some of our startups are operating in. We’ll also host workshops centered around funding and you’ll have access to mentors who have direct experience in venture capital.


Program Costs

The program is free. We do not take any equity in your startup and you have full ownership of your startup IP. As of now we also do not provide funding, but there are various spring startup competitions at Columbia University that offer $250,000 in total prize money.


Suitability

Applications will open up in September. Startups that will benefit from the accelerator the most should have:

  • 2-4 founders, at least half of whom should currently be an undergraduate, graduate, or recent alumni (at most two years out of school). Dropouts of college-age will be considered.
  • A minimum viable product and the technical expertise to iterate on this product.
  • A burning passion for the product and at least some domain expertise
  • A desire to prioritize growth over everything else for eight weeks (especially schoolwork).
  • At least some progress with market validation and efforts to find initial product market fit

Products with a target audience of college/university students might benefit more from our resources.

Questions? Email us at almaworks@columbia.edu.