Stanford’s StartX program received a $3.6 million grant and announced the formation of the StartX Fund, which will support Stanford entrepreneurs as they develop ideas and bring products to market.
StartX is a nonprofit startup accelerator that provides student entrepreneurs with education and training, professional connections, housing, office space, cash stipends, advice, and mentorship. It is a competitive program intended to stimulate the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Stanford and encourage students to found companies. It also supports alumni endeavors and aims to foster community among students, staff, graduates, and so on.
“StartX has evolved from a Stanford student-run initiative into a robust, proven learning system for hundreds of startup founders from throughout the university. We train and house these creative minds, and it is only fitting that we invest in their future success,” said Stanford president John Hennessy in a statement.
This grant arises from a partnership between Stanford University, Stanford Hospital & Clinics (SHC), and StartX. It will pay StartX $1.2 million in grant money each year, over the course of three years, to grow its operations.
The StartX fund is uncapped. StartX founders who are raising money will have the option to access investment from this fund. The fund won’t take the role of lead investor, but it will participate alongside other venture capital firms and angel investors. Stanford said that this marks the first time the university or the hospital has developed a fund to invest directly in the entrepreneurs emerging from the Stanford community.
So far the fund has approved commitments for six companies, including Knotch, a network that allows like-minded people to connect based on shared interests and Cytobank, a big data and analytics platform for single-cell technologies such as flow and mass cytometry.
StartX was founded by a group of Stanford students in 2009 to assist budding entrepreneurs in their midst. The accelerator has cycled through 10 sessions since then and worked with 330 entrepreneurs and 136 companies. Ten StartX startups have been acquired, with six StartX acquisitions in 2013 alone.
These Stanford entrepreneurs are also raising hefty amounts of venture capital. On average, they raised $1.8 million. Clinkle recently raised a $25 million seed round, which is one of the largest (if not the largest) in Silicon Valley’s history.
StartX received an $800,000 grant from the Kaufmann Foundation last year to bring its model to campuses and cities in other parties of the country. The money was slated to develop its curriculum and program and build a replicable model.
Other supporters include Microsoft, Intuit, Cisco, Blackstone, Charitable Foundation, AOL Greylock, Founders Fund, Groupon, and AT&T, and StartX has raised $1.65 million over the past two years.
Last year, Stanford launched a health care-focused program called StartX Med to support medical and biotech startups. This fund will also extend to these companies.