HomeUSATechstars and University of Southern California Launch Accelerator

Techstars and University of Southern California Launch Accelerator


Techstars and the University of Southern California (USC) are launching the USC and Techstars Digital Economy Program to cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports startups and inspires entrepreneurship within the USC community.

The program represents a collective effort to cultivate, engage, and enhance the innovation ecosystem at USC. Through the program with Techstars, the university’s network of students, alumni, and faculty will access opportunities such as entrepreneurial-focused events, training, and programming that create a pathway for early-stage and aspiring founders to progress on their entrepreneurial journey.

Techstars Startup Community Catalyst will focus on developing and energizing the innovation ecosystem within the USC community, and will feature:

  • Startup Weekend, a three-day event designed to ignite ideas and build startup communities
  • Ecosystem Development Lab, a training program for community leaders to strengthen the foundation of their entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • University Catalyst, a 10-week, pre-accelerator program for idea and early stage startups

These three programs will precede and create a pipeline of entrepreneurs for the USC and Techstars Digital Economy Accelerator, a 13-week intensive program designed for early stage startups advancing digitization across bioscience, biomedicine, physical science, engineering, information, and computer sciences.

Nearly all programming events will be in-person. Some events will be held on USC’s Silicon Beach Campus, an area in southern Los Angeles County that includes USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey, and USC Viterbi’s Institute for Creative Technologies in Playa del Rey. Other events will take place at the USC Stevens Center for Innovation.

Ecosystem Development Lab will convene USC community leaders and stakeholders for two days in April 2024 to learn key methodologies to grow the University and Southern California’s unique startup ecosystem.

University Catalyst pre-accelerator program applications will open in April 2024 and be accepted through July 2024. The 10-week program will launch in the fall and provide early-stage founders access to valuable startup education, mentorship, community building, and Techstars’ network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and corporate partners. University Catalyst will be delivered in a hybrid capacity with both virtual and in-person components.

USC and Techstars Digital Economy Accelerator program applications will launch in September 2024. Twelve early-stage startups will be selected for the inaugural program, all of which will have an affiliation to USC, including having a founder, employee, family member, or investor who is connected to the university. Founders who are selected will receive hands-on mentorship, curated entrepreneurial content and programming, up to $120,000 in funding, and access to Techstars’ global network of mentors, investors, alumni, and corporate partners. Those interested in applying when applications open in September 2024 should get in touch here.

Techstars is hiring for a Managing Director to lead the program, acting as a coach, connector, and curator for the participating founders.