Startup Academy

Startup Academy

Startup Academy is an optional 2-day (14-15 August 2018) pre-matriculation program designed to help graduate students across the University of Virginia connect and collaborate around innovative technology, product and service ideas. The goal of the Startup Academy is to give incoming students an opportunity to become quickly immersed in the entrepreneurial community at UVA, get connected to the people and resources available and build a network to help identify: 1) problems worth working on, and 2) people to help develop solutions.

Program Overview

The Startup Academy will begin on Tuesday morning (9:30am, 14 August 2018) with introductions and a quick overview of resources at the university.  The program will begin to introduce topics to drive teams to develop and refine business concepts.  Given the short timeframe, the sessions will focus on a few topics to include design thinking, customer discovery, and hypothesis-driven experimentation.  Students will be split into groups to practice skills by focusing on a specific problem or a technology with potential for commercialization. The program will end with each team presenting their findings and suggested next steps at the end-of-day on Wednesday.  If a student has a startup already launched, he/she may apply to have their concept/venture be one of the group projects.

Who should come?
The Startup Academy is designed for any graduate student who might consider an entrepreneurial path while in school and/or upon graduation. Whereas some students may have already begun working on a technology, product, or even launched a business, the Academy also welcomes students who are not currently working on an idea. Regardless of background or entrepreneurial focus, anyone may participate by bringing their expertise and helping form a team around a technology or problem for purposes of the workshop.


Application Process

Please answer the questions below and submit your responses by Monday, 25 June.  We will notify you by Friday, 29 June if you have been accepted in to the Startup Academy. 

Cost and Registration

The program cost is $50, which includes all instruction, materials and program events – plus a t-shirt! Students are expected to fully participate in all workshops and programming, particularly the team activities. Students must arrange their own lodging. Lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday will be provided plus a social gathering on Tuesday evening.

Registration for the program is capped at 30 across all the graduate schools at UVA.


If you have questions, please contact Madelyn Taylor (TaylorM@darden.virginia.edu).

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