Built with a strong bench of more than forty entrepreneur and business leader mentors, the Conquer Accelerator provides selected teams with ten weeks of intensive programming, focusing on completing tailored, goal-driven benchmarks. Teams work with instructors and mentors on topics like fundraising, technology, and longevity.

The Conquer Accelerator is a collaborative effort at Michigan State University and is made possible through generous partnerships with Amazon Web Services, HubSpot, and the Michigan State University Foundation and its family of subsidiaries Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures, and University Corporate Research Park.

Any qualifying business may apply to the Conquer Accelerator. An existing affiliation with Michigan State University is not a prerequisite. For those startups from within the Michigan State University system, the Conquer Accelerator fills a crucial gap in the development cycle of new companies within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Selected teams receive a $20k investment and work through an intensive ten-week program. In addition to the monetary investment, Conquer Accelerator teams are provided with one-on-one mentorship and support, a creative working space, and resources to enable them to grow their companies.

East Lansing

Startup applicants should reflect the following attributes:

  • Products or services that solve problems for specific target customers
  • Capital-efficient business, operational at less than $1M in external funding
  • Scalable distribution or proven ability to scale sales
  • Simple revenue model: transactions, subscriptions, affiliates
  • Functional prototype or prior product success
  • Measurable traction, ex.: engaged users, revenue, attractive unit economics
  • Three (or more) members in a cross-functional team
  • Ability to be located in East Lansing, Michigan for the entire duration of the program

Conquer Accelerator East Lansing 2020 runs June 1 – August 7. Applications are closed. 

Grand Rapids

Startup applicants should reflect the following attributes: 

  • Open to Michigan based small business
  • Engaged in high technology products or services
  • Located in the city of Grand Rapids by September 14th 
  • For-profit companies only 
  • Must be able to commit to and complete the 10-week program 

While the Conquer Grand Rapids program remains industry agnostic, strong preference will be shown for applied manufacturing and medical health technology companies.

Conquer Accelerator – Grand Rapids is a collaborative effort with the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids

SmartZone LDFA, Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures, and Michigan State University. 

The first-ever Conquer Accelerator Grand Rapids runs September 14 – November 20. Applications are closed. 


Conquer Accelerator Diversity in Entrepreneurship (CADE) is Conquer's first internship program designed to increase diversity within the entrepreneurial community by hiring young professionals from various ethnicities and backgrounds to collaborate with selected teams. 

The Conquer Accelerator Grand Rapids program was designed to take five startup companies and accelerate their business development. The goal is to not only accelerate the development of companies but also encourage private equity investment and prepare for federal grants. To increase diversity and develop entrepreneurial talent, Conquer provides each team with a student intern from underrepresented groups to join the 10-week program and ultimately hire them at the end of the program.