Conquer Accelerator Accepting Applications for Third Season

Posted Jan 25th, 2018

The upcoming ten-week cohort launches in June

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Conquer Accelerator program is accepting applications for its Season Three Cohort, launching in June 2018. Applications will close on March 30th. Designed to help both startups and established companies overcome business hurdles, Conquer emphasizes smart planning and growth, extensive mentorship from an experienced bench of professionals, and structured educational components.

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 in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

"The Conquer Accelerator acts as a final launching platform for startups from MSU and beyond, preparing companies to hit the ground running," says Paul Jaques, Conquer Accelerator's program director. "Our program puts the finishing touches on startup teams and prepares them for investment."  

Selected teams receive a $20k investment—in exchange for a convertible note—and work through an intensive ten-week program. Conquer Accelerator teams also receive one-on-one mentorship and support, a creative working space, and resources to enable them to grow their startup companies.

"We're pleased to see how this program grows, year-over-year," said Tom Stewart, the business accelerator's program manager. "This year, we are excited to see finalists from GreenLight Michigan Business Model Competition will have the opportunity to be automatically considered for entry into the program."

Built with a strong bench of more than 40 entrepreneur and business leader mentors, each of the ten weeks in the Conquer program focuses on completing specific goals, as well as working with mentors and instructors on topics like fundraising, technology, and sustainability. Conquer culminates in demo day presentations with investors.

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, e.g.: engaged users, revenue, attractive unit economics
  • three (or more) members in a cross-functional team
  • ability for entire team to be in East Lansing, Michigan for the entire duration of the program

The Conquer Accelerator's upcoming teams will be announced on April 30th, 2018; the program will kick off on June 1st, 2018, concluding on August 10th, 2018.