Startup founders are known for their willingness to jump into unknown circumstances and forge ahead amid uncertainty. That kind of boldness makes the inaugural fall 2020 cohort of the Startup Hokies Accelerator truly remarkable. 

The Apex Center for Entrepreneurs accepted 10 early-stage, student-led startups into the new program. Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall cohort of student teams will experience the first-of-its-kind program in a virtual environment. Each startup will receive coaching and dedicated programming from faculty practitioners and can earn follow-on funding for reaching measurable goals and milestones under the mentorship of alumni from across the country.

“The introduction of an on-campus accelerator for student-led ventures marks an important inflection point in the student entrepreneurship experience at Virginia Tech,” said Sean Collins, managing director for the Startup Hokies Accelerator program. “The virtual mentorship from alumni-entrepreneurs from across industries and locations will empower student founders to successfully launch during uncertain times and create a lasting impact.”

Follow the links to learn more about the teams participating in the fall 2020 Startup Hokies cohort: Aunt Carol’s SauceCaught UpFernwehL.U.V. (Low Ultraviolet)Maroon AssistiveMass ApplyMIRAPromptlyRedshift Education, and Transcend | LW Ventures.

The 2020 cohort brings with it a strong resume of student founders from multiple colleges and academic disciplines at Virginia Tech. 

Erica Sullivan, Abby Morrison, and Billy Clarke of L.U.V. (Low Ultraviolet), one of 10 teams participating in the fall 2020 cohort of the Startup Hokies Accelerator. L.U.V. is a safe, fashionable, and sustainable UPF 50+ lifestyle brand.
Erica Sullivan, Abby Morrison, and Billy Clarke of L.U.V. (Low Ultraviolet), one of 10 teams participating in the fall 2020 cohort of the Startup Hokies Accelerator. L.U.V. is a safe, fashionable, and sustainable UPF 50+ lifestyle brand.

“The interdisciplinary approach and culture created around entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech have made for a robust, first cohort for the Startup Hokies Accelerator,” said Derick Maggard, executive director for the Apex Center. “Our portfolio of programs is interdisciplinary and provides any Hokie, from any major and any year the opportunity to engage in all phases of the entrepreneurship journey, and encourages select alumni to interface with the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Teams from the accelerator will look to follow in the footsteps of students who have graduated Virginia Tech within the last five years and have launched 225 companies. 

“The Startup Hokies Accelerator program is made possible thanks to the generous philanthropic support of alumni and members of the Apex Center advisory board, and as well as every one of the mentors who dedicate their valuable time to helping grow the startup ecosystem across Hokie Nation,” added Collins.

For more details on the Startup Hokies Accelerator, please visit apex.vt.edu/accelerator or contact the Apex Center at apexcenter@vt.edu.