Six Month Accelerate Program


The Anderson Venture Accelerator offers a curated and immersive experience customized by vertical for early-stage startups. Approximately 10 companies are accepted per cohort. The program runs once a year and offers one-on-one mentoring by UCLA Anderson alumni, weekly workshops that focus on the “how to,” connections to capital and regular networking events to engage with the Los Angeles startup ecosystem. Applications for Accelerate open in fall every year. Companies that participate in the cohort will have the opportunity to pitch and fundraise at the Venture Accelerator’s fall showcase. 

This program is for founders who are, at a minimum, at the prototype stage, but ideally launched and operational. The expectation is to accelerate from pre-seed to the seed stage of funding. The minimum benchmarks necessary to be considered for the program include the following:

  • A company that is working full time on its venture (at least two or three members covering business, tech/CTO and operations)
  • A company that is at the prototype stage and has proven out the concept for product-market fit
  • A company that has gained traction/validation in terms of monthly recurring revenue, users and/or funding

About The Program


Program Overview

  • Biweekly one-on-one mentoring sessions that assess specific needs and create custom milestones
  • Weekly workshops that cover company value proposition and narrative, customer acquisition/growth, PR/media, financial modeling, business plans, hiring and pitching, legal, insurance and accounting
  • Regular networking events with an extensive community of industry professionals, startup founders and Anderson alumni
  • A showcase event attended by angel investors, the Anderson network, early-stage venture capitalists, equity investing accelerators and the media

Program Benefits

  • Direct feedback and mentorship from industry professionals
  • Proof-of-concept grants
  • Consulting from experts in marketing, PR, sales, product development, financial modeling, legal and fundraising
  • Access to a large community of professionals and alumni
  • Access to all of the Accelerator’s service providers, including Google and AWS
  • On-campus location to engage with other UCLA departments for startup employees, including undergraduate interns, Ph.D. engineers and computer science developers
  • 24/7/365 access to a brand-new, 10,000-square-foot co-working space
  • No equity taken

Program Commitments

all programming workshops
quickly on feedback given during mentoring and advisory sessions
time to work out of the co-working space each week

How to Apply

  • Fill out the application form
  • Include resumes of all team members
  • Include a two-minute (max) video introducing your team
  • Include a two-minute (max) video with a prototype/product demo
  • Submit an executive summary that provides a description of your company, the problem it addresses, the unique solution it offers and the size of the market opportunity



What does the application process look like?

Applications will begin to be considered six weeks before the start of each cohort. You may apply earlier, but the formal review process will begin six weeks prior to the start of the program. Communication from the Accelerator staff to the applied companies will begin approximately four weeks prior to the start of the program.

When and where does the program take place?

Our cohort runs from February to June. Weekly sessions are held typically one to two times per week for two hours during business hours. All workshops are hosted at the Venture Accelerator at UCLA Anderson.

Do I have to be based in Los Angeles?

Yes. We require attendance at all of our mentoring sessions and workshops, as well as time dedicated to working at the co-working space.

What is the weekly time commitment?

Each week consists of two to three hours of facilitated sessions and occasional workshops. This program is specifically designed to allow you to focus on running the day-to-day operations of your business, while layering in support where needed to help you meet key milestones. It is no surprise that those who are the most committed are the ones who succeed.

How much does the program cost?

The program is free for all accepted companies if they are made up of current UCLA students. Companies that are not affiliated with UCLA must pay a nominal program fee that ranges from $500 to $1,000 per month depending on the number of team members.

Everyone must go through the application process to be eligible for this program. In addition, companies that are not affiliated with UCLA must go through a background check and provide references.

The Venture Accelerator does not take equity in or provide funding to any residency company.

Is the program focused on any thematic verticals?

We welcome applications from any field, sector or industry. Everything presented and taught during the program is relevant and applicable to all sectors and industries. Our companies include various types of products and services, such as SaaS, AI and machine learning, health care tech, mobile apps, e-commerce, CPG, food and drink products, social enterprises, fashion, B2B software and health and wellness.

Are there any minimum metrics or benchmarks necessary to qualify for the program?

We look for companies that have at least a prototype and have proven out the concept in terms of product-market fit. If the company is a tech product, we require that the company has a CTO dedicated to the venture, in addition to the founder. The founder/co-founders should be working full time on their venture.

Who are the program advisors?

Mentors and advisors come from various fields and have many years of experience. We leverage the distinguished UCLA Anderson Alumni Network to give you insights into multiple subjects, including, but not limited to, business strategy, startup law, product development, financial modeling, customer acquisition/sales strategy, public relations and branding.

Can my whole team participate in the program?

All members of your team can participate in the regular workshop programming. Also, everyone can take part in larger community activities and access the co-working space. However, there are certain “founders only” programs, which will be noted as such.

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