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How to start a startup at Stanford

Hackathons and Competitions

BASES 100K Challenge

Challenge is a startup competition for startups at all stages that tries to find the most viable startup, offering $100,000 in prize money. Prize money is split across categories, with the winning startup team receiving $45,000.


Stanford health hackathon held in October. Open to engineers, designers, business experts, and healthcare professionals - students and faculty - passionate about healthcare innovation.


Stanford's largest hackathon each February. Teams will hack for solutions under themed challenges - no prior coding experience is required - TreeHacks will provide starter code "hack packs," as well as beginner-friendly workshops and mentors.

Pear Competition

$25K uncapped note and resources to launch your start-up - no idea is too early. More than 10 student teams win. Apply January-March.

NFX Stanford FAST

Four teams will win $100-250K uncapped safe plus the chance to present to the NFX Partnership for a seed round. Apply from March 10th - April 10th

Incubators and Accelerators


Network of entrepreneurs, professors, and growth-stage startups at Stanford. Runs a non-profit startup accelerator for Stanford entrepreneurs and provides office space in Palo Alto, a strong founder community, mentorship, workshops, and more. StartX takes no equity and prides itself on being a community first.

Pear Accelerator

Pear's summer accelerator program by founders for founders. $150K for 5% equity and free office space in SF and Palo Alto.

Student Groups


Stanford's premier global entrepreneurship community. Hosts the annual ASES VC3 (http://ases.stanford.edu/vc3/) event, where 15 Silicon Valley investors and 30 Stanford entrepreneurs engage in one on one rotating pitch sessions, where startups receive valuable feedback from investors.

Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES)

BASES empowers the next generation of makers, designers, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurial leaders. Hosts the annual Startup Career Fair and $100K Challenge.

CS + Social Good

Also a course, CS + Social Good is an organization of technologists, designers, and thinkers passionate about maximizing the benefits of technology and mitigating its harms.

Stanford Energy Club (SEC)

Stanford's largest student-led energy club.

Stanford Social Entrepreneurial Students' Association (SENSA)

Promoting Stanford's social entrepreneurship culture.

Stanford Women in Business (SWIB)

Pre-professional community for women interested in business - gain prime access to networking opportunities, speaker events, job boards, and mentors.

Graduate School of Business (GSB)

Stanford Venture Studio

An entrepreneurship hub for graduate students exploring new venture ideas. It connects students to resources, entrepreneurial expertise, and an interdisciplinary community of like-minded peers and alumni.

Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES)

Connecting grad students with resources and world-renowned faculty expertise to demystify entrepreneurship.

Graduate School of Business (GSB) Entrepreneur Club

Hosting the largest E-conference dedicated to entrepreneurship in the world each year.

Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED)

Partnering with entrepreneurs in emerging markets to build thriving enterprises.

Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE)

Collaborating with more than 70 research affiliates in seven countries to analyze rising technology regions across Asia.

The Center for Social Innovation (CSI)

Cultivating leaders to solve the world's toughest social and environmental problems.

Energy Innovation

The Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford (PIE)

Network of experts from various technology and policy disciplines solving the world's most pressing energy problems.

The TomKat Center

Focusing on promotion sustainable energy and transportation, as well as research to solve future water-demand crises.

Energy Innovation Transfer Seed Grants

$100,000 in funding over two years for energy projects that illustrate potential commercialization.

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Ensuring a future where individuals can access ample food, water, and healthcare services while safeguarding the planet.

Healthcare Resources

Stanford Healthcare Innovations in Future Technologies (SHIFT)

Cross-disciplinary Healthcare Innovation Partnership at Stanford (CHIPS)

Fostering innovation by connecting Stanford students interested in innovative healthcare.


Bringing the world's most promising minds together to investigate, inspire, and innovate a healthier world for all.


Research program providing grants of $75,000 to projects improving clinical care.


Stanford's pioneering interdisciplinary biosciences program, provides seed grants and fellowships.

Additional University Resources

Mayfield Fellows

Offers an unparalleled opportunity for 12 students, from any major, to develop the theoretical understanding, practical knowledge and leadership skills needed to establish and scale high-growth tech organizations. Over nine months, fellows build an entrepreneurial mindset through courses, mentoring, networking activities and a summer internship.

Association of Industry-Minded Stanford Professionals (AIMS)

Postdoc community of future industry leaders, social innovators, and passionate science entrepreneurs.

Stanford Entrepreneurship Network

Group of university programs and student groups offering opportunities for the Stanford community to learn and explore entrepreneurship.

Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school)

Hub for innovators students and faculty innovators - focus on creating spectacularly transformative learning experiences.

Office of Technology Licensing (OTL)

Supporting Stanford technology for society's benefit while generating income to support research.

Pear Garage

A highly-selective founder bootcamp for Stanford Engineering students. It is a community for builders and hackers who want to learn the business side of startups.

Lightspeed Ventures Summer Fellowship

Gives highly motivated entrepreneurs, with at least one engineering or CS student on their team, the resources, guidance, and connections they need to grow their ventures.

Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP)

The entrepreneurship center in Stanford's School of Engineering. STVP is a lab that creates and delivers courses to students and offers extracurricular programs to the Stanford community.

Threshold Venture Fellows

STVP fellowship for 12 School of Engineering Master's students. Provides fellows with an opportunity to observe local venture capitalists and receive industry mentorship.

Notable Courses

Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

Bringing industry influencers to center stage once a week to share what it takes to become a disruptor.

Lean Launchpad

Hands on class where you apply the lean methodology to your own real-world venture. Taught by highly experienced staff like Steve Blank, George John, Jeff Epstein and more.

Startup Garage (GSB)

An intensive, hands-on, project-based course in which student teams design and test new business concepts that address real-world needs.

ENGR248: Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions

This course examines how leaders tackle significant events that occur in high-growth entrepreneurial companies.

ENGR145: Technology Entrepreneurship

Open to all majors, students learn about the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship through a mentor-guided project and case studies. Network with SIlicon Valley entrepreneurs and VCs.

ME301 Launchpad

An intense, action-based program designed for those who are primed to prototype and sell business ideas. Over the course of 10-weeks, teams will incorporate, develop robust prototypes, and find key customers and investors. Hosted at the d.school - incubate and launch all within 10 weeks.

CS 183E: Effective Leadership in High-Tech

Seminar style course that meets once a week and teaches effective non-technical tips to be successful in a high tech career environment. Tips on management, teamwork, problem solving, and career development.



University-focused venture fund backed by the founders of Reddit, Tesla, and more iconic companies. Investing up to $2M across all industries.

Dorm Room Fund

First Round Capital's pre-seed investing branch - providing up to $20k to student startups.


General Catalyst's pre-seed investing branch - student team building a large network of student founders.

Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs (SA&E)

Strengthening Stanford's startup community by fostering relationships among entrepreneurs and alumni investors.

Cardinal Ventures

On-campus startup accelerator for Stanford student entrepreneurs. Graduates two classes of companies each year while providing our founders with access to recruiting, technical, and legal resources.

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