Funding and Programs
Spark Factory™ is a free, virtual pitch event that offers mentoring to new founders so that they can develop their ideas and build their businesses. Participants pitch their vision to a community of entrepreneurs and innovators at the Spark Factory™ event and receive real-time feedback and follow-on mentorship around their critical business questions. For one month leading up to the Spark Factory™ event, each founder is paired with one of our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who help to refine your business pitch.
What Businesses Are Saying
It was quite remarkable as an early-stage company to interact with such a high caliber of mentors at the Spark Factory pitch event. The Spark Factory experience was undoubtedly one of the most valuable experiences (our company) has been through. We now have a heightened level of optimism and direction as a result of our involvement.Nick Martin
Co-Founder of Carbon Reform
How It Works
For a month leading up to the Spark Factory™ event, each founder is paired with one of our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who help to refine your business pitch. The event consists of 15 minutes of pitching, 15 minutes of Q&A, and 30 minutes of breakout rooms with mentors. Once you’ve finished your pitch, you can ask our group of expert mentors any questions about your business and get advice in a safe and supportive environment. Additionally, select mentors will provide follow-on support to companies who have pitched at Spark Factory™.
In one month, you will:
- Improve and practice your pitch with one-on-one support
- Pitch your company to 20+ experts and mentors and receive critical feedback
- Ask the questions you are grappling with and receive follow-on mentorship after the pitch
At the end of Spark Factory™, you will have expert insights to inform concrete next steps for your startup.
Who Can Apply to Spark Factory?™
Spark Factory™ is open to founders who are developing a concept for a science-based startup in the scientific sectors including, but not limited to, industrial or agricultural biology, advanced materials, chemical compounds, healthcare, nutrition, and renewable energy. Qualified participants will have a unique science concept that addresses a proposed market need and a preliminary understanding of the target market.
Participating in Spark Factory™ is free of charge and involves an approximately 10 to 20 hour commitment over a one-month time period. Applications are reviewed by the Innovation Space on a rolling basis.