2020 GW Summer Startup Accelerator (GWSSA)

What We Provide

How It Works

Accelerator Curriculum and Programming

The GW Summer Startup Accelerator is organized into a series of workshops taught by our teaching team.  Key topics for each week include: 

Week Topic Areas of Focus Advisors Topics
1 The Problem Orientation. Introduction. Customer Discovery. Personal Finance. Work-Life Balance.
2 Your Soluion Value Proposition. Customer Segmentation. Unit Economics. Market Sizing. Business Development. Strategy.
3 Underlying Magic / Technology Product Sprint. Competitive Advantage. Barriers to Entry. Legal. Intellectual Property.
4 Marketing and Sales Market Sprint. Go-to-Market Strategy. Customer Acquisition. Lifetime Value. Competition. Marketing. Sales.
5 Business Model Costs. Revenue Models. Financials. Pitching to Investors. Finance. Accounting. Media Training.
  Mid-point Pitches    
6 Team Human Resources. Founders Agreement. Branding. Work-Life Balance. Legal. Governance. Founders Agreements. Contracts.
7 Projections and Milestones Business Scaling Canvas. Personal Finance. Valuation. Finance. Personal Finance. Investors.
8 Status and Timeline Key Activities, Key Partners, Key Resources. Pitch Coaching. Pitching to Investors.
  Showcase and Demo Day    
9 Due Diligence Due Diligence Prep. Dealing with Investors. Managing Investors.



The curriculum is based on the National Science Foundation I-Corps and I-Corps GO programs. It has been used to great success at GW and other leading universities.

Expert Mentors and Advisors

Great startups need great mentors and advisors. Each team will be supported by one or more dedicated mentors throughout the program. The GWSSA Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs and investors who have worked extensively with early-stage startups.

The teams also engage regularly with our Panel of Advisors. These are entrepreneurs, VCs, professional services providers, and GW subject matter experts who participate throughout the program. Advisors will work one-on-one with each venture on specialized matters in the advisor’s area of expertise. Advisors also use their personal networks to connect GWSSA participants with prospective customers, suppliers, and other potential partners.

Co-Working Space

During the program, the teams work in a fully-equipped co-working space. The space is designed to maximize productive interactions among participants, teaching team, mentors and advisors.

Engaging with the GW and Greater DC startup ecosystem

The GWSSA also provides abundant opportunities to engage with the rich and varied ecosystem for innovation at GW and in the Greater Washington DC area.

Housing and Living Expense Stipend

During the program, all participants reside free-of-charge in GW student housing on campus.  Each GW student participant also receives a modest living allowance.

Support for Customer Discovery

Each team also receives a grant of up to $3,000 to cover any expenses incurred by the team members to do customer discovery interviews to test elements of their venture’s business model.



If you have any questions, contact:
Lex McCusker
Director, Student Entrepreneurship Programs
George Washington University