TIA Summer Accelerator

The TIA Summer Accelerator propels the growth of exceptional Colgate startups and helps them reach viability.

Awardees receive $10,000 in non-dilutive grant funding, along with workspace, room, and board in Hamilton, N.Y., with the option of choosing a fully in-person or hybrid format. Teams grow their ventures with a group like-minded entrepreneurs at similar stages, guided by Colgate’s entrepreneur in residence, sharing best practices while benefiting from exclusive access to our expansive network of mentors.

The TIA Summer Accelerator is made possible entirely by gifts from alumni, family, and friends. Thank you to the generous contributors who have supported Colgate summer accelerator programs since 2013 with their gifts to Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Thought Into Action, and the Entrepreneurship in New York Fund. To contribute, make a gift to Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

RUBY founders Riley Decker ’23 and Emily Untermeyer ’23 discuss the importance of getting out and talking to customers directly, one of the tasks undertaken during the Field Work portion of the Accelerator.

Program and Application Details

The TIA Summer Accelerator will run from June 10 to July 29, 2024. Teams selected for the program will receive a $10,000 non-dilutive grant and workspace, room, and board in Hamilton for the duration of the accelerator, along with hands-on mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, unrivaled connections from the Colgate network, and additional startup resources from the Colgate community.

The program offers two formats—in person and hybrid—and consists of three portions:

  • Kickoff Bootcamp: June 10–21 in Hamilton, N.Y.
  • Field Work: June 24–July 23 in Hamilton, N.Y. or virtual
  • Capstone: July 24–27 in Boston, Mass.

Please note that participants choosing the hybrid format are responsible for their own travel costs to/from Hamilton and Boston; travel to Boston from Hamilton will be provided for participants choosing the fully in person option.

The TIA Summer Accelerator is open to for-profit and nonprofit ventures, and campus initiatives with at least one Colgate student or recent alumna/us (class of 2014–2023) on the founding team. At least one member of the founding team is expected to reside in Hamilton, N.Y., for the bootcamp portion of the program as well as fully attend the capstone at the conclusion of the program. 

Ideal candidates will have completed prototyping and have initial traction with their venture. During the selection process, ventures will be judged by a panel of Colgate alumni entrepreneurs on criteria that include quality of idea, size of problem, team, demonstrated ability to execute, stage of development, and market viability of venture.

Applicants are not required to be officially incorporated, however accepted teams must have an established business entity and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by the start of the program. The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation can connect accepted teams to resources to help establish this business identity in advance of the program start date. International students are directed to reach out to the Office of International Student Services (OISS) before applying to verify appropriate work authorization and ability to establish a business entity and receive an EIN.

Please note that the $10,000 award may be taxable; we recommend consulting a tax professional.

Interested applicants should apply via the online application. The deadline to submit applications is February 15. Review judges will evaluate all applications and develop a shortlist of finalists. These teams will be invited to a 20-minute Zoom interview. Decisions will be conveyed to teams by early- to mid-March.

Participating teams will be formally announced at the TIA Entrepreneur Showcase during Arts, Creativity, and Innovation Weekend on Saturday, April 6.


For more detailed information, attend a Virtual Information Session at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1. Click here to register.

If you have more questions, please email TIA@colgate.edu.

You can also view these video resources:

teams to date; 11 cohorts
of ventures still operating or acquired since the program’s inception
seed-granted capital awarded

The TIA Summer Accelerator is an amazing opportunity to focus full-time on your venture, with connections to the resources that you need to successfully get it off the ground.

Webster Lehmann ’22, founder, The Better Breakfast Co.

Teams by Cohort