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MITdesignX seeks diverse, interdisciplinary teams working on challenging ideas with clear vision, passion and drive to design solutions and launch a real venture. Applications go through a rigorous selection process that reviews ideas based on human and social impact, feasibility, uniqueness, and scalability as well as team composition, diversity and skillset.

Selection

8 teams will be selected for the 2019 cohort.

Applicants can include graduate students, researchers, staff and/or faculty members from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning as well as from all MIT schools, other universities and industry.

Requirements

One participant on a team is required to be an active member of SA+P. This year, one position will be available to a non-SA+P affiliated team as well.

 

Alumni Teams

Alumni MITdesignX teams include participants from the Architecture and Planning departments, the Center for Real Estate, the program for Arts, Technology and Culture (ACT), and the Media Lab in addition to many participants from across MIT including computer science, engineering, management, biology, and the humanities.

Applications for the 2019 cohort are open October 5 through November 6, 2018. A first-round selection committee will review applications and advance up to 15 finalists for a pitch competition before a panel of judges on November 28, 2018. The MITdesignX 2019 Venture Accelerator starts with a Bootcamp in January during the MIT IAP period, followed by an accelerator class in the Spring term. After the final pitch night in May the teams continue to work on the development and scaling of their ventures and have access to workspace, mentors and staff until the end of the year. All participants must attend IAP and Spring courses and meetings in Cambridge. ​MITdesignX faculty and staff are available for questions about the accelerator or to discuss your ideas year-round. Contact designx@mit.edu or stop in at the designX space at 7-336.

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Application

Applications for the 2019 cohort are open October 5 through November 6, 2018. A first-round selection committee will review applications and advance up to 15 finalists for a pitch competition before a panel of judges on November 28, 2018. Mentorship and guidance are available for all applicant teams. In particular, applicant teams that advance to the Pitch Competition are encouraged to reach out before pitch-in night.

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Accelerator Studio

Bootcamp begins during the MIT IAP period on January 21st, 2018. The bootcamp program requires full teams to participate for the full two week session. The Accelerator Studio begins during the MIT Spring semester period on February 5th, 2018. The 16 week accelerator studio will follow the MITdesignX academic framework outlined in the about section.

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Pitch-Out

Pitch-out is held after the completion of the Accelerator Studio on May 30th, 2018. Pitch-out is a culmination of teams communicating their prototype, investor pitch deck and "masterplan” for their venture. Pitch-out is a key moment for teams to introduce their ventures to hundreds of investors, stakeholders, civic and industry partners.

Applications are open from October 5 to November 6, 2018. Applications must be filled in online via our website (follow the application open button on the left side).

Applications are reviewed by a broad panel for first-round selection by November 15, 2018. Fifteen (15) finalists will be requested to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges on the evening of November 28, 2018.

Judges will look at the strength of the idea and the solution being proposed, as well as the feasibility of the venture, the competition, market fit, team diversity and team composition.

Ventures must be aligned with the focus of the departments, labs and centers of SA+P, proposing solutions in the realm of architecture, planning, real estate, media arts and science, and arts, culture and technology. We are looking for ventures working on innovation in cities, design and the human environment.

MITdesignX, except for one exception explained below, is open to graduate students, researchers, staff, and faculty members from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), in addition to their partners from other schools and departments at MIT and beyond.

For the 2019 cohort, one position will be open to a team without a member of SA+P. The team must include graduate students or researchers from MIT and apply with a venture that is aligned with the focus of MITdesignX as stated above.

Eight (8) teams will be selected in each cohort.

No, accepted teams must join the cohort they were chosen for or forfeit their position.

Yes located at 77 Massachusetts Avenue on the third floor building 7 room 336

Yes, you are always encouraged to apply. Getting feedback and developing your ideas at every stage is critical.

No, You can only apply with one team per year.

A team must apply and join with at least two people, and not more than five.

You do not necessarily need a full development team at the start of the accelerator unless progress on a prototype or application is wholly dependent on that technical expertise.

No, but serial entrepreneurs are of course welcome!

Yes, new members may join a team at any time. However, only team members who participate in the accelerator will be recognized as having taken part in MITdesignX.

Only the original idea and team composition selected by MITdesignX will be eligible for the accelerator program and funding unless (a) a team member voluntarily quits the team and the remaining members continue or (b) an acceptable pivot by members of the remaining team continues. Funding cannot be split.

Students may receive a total of 18 academic credits (6 credits for completing the Bootcamp during IAP and 12 credits for the Spring semester accelerator program). MITdesignX classes are electives, please check with your departments regarding your individual credit fulfillments required for your degree.

Yes, the courses are an integral part of the accelerator. All team members are required to attend the bootcamp between January 22, 2019 and February 5, 2019, and the Spring accelerator class. Some minor exceptions could be made on an individual basis, but must be cleared prior to the start of the accelerator.

No, only students are required to enroll in the courses, and only students can receive credit for their work in the accelerator. Other participants are still required to attend the courses.

No, only team applications with a minimum of 2 members may apply.

Please contact us and share your ideas. We make every effort possible to help form teams. Others may have come to us with similar ideas. We also host informal meetups called “soundings” to share ideas. Follow us online and on twitter to hear about upcoming events.

Yes, accepted teams may use our 24/7 workspace located in Building 7, Room 7-336.

$15,000 is allocated to each team.

Teams will only be eligible for funding after the midterm break of the Spring semester, and upon incorporation of their business venture. If a venture is not ready for incorporation at that time, incremental payments can be advanced to your team during the Spring term in the form of reimbursements or payments of accepted expenses. The discretion for advanced funding will rest solely with the executive director of MITdesignX.

No, only teams receive funding. Individuals may receive payments based on reimbursements as per above. The grant is allocated to the venture not individual team members. In the case of changes made to team membership the grant follows the venture it was allocated to at the beginning of the program and is not awarded to individual team members.

No, U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is not required to receive team grants. However, businesses must be legally registered in the United States. Participants on student visas must check with the MIT International Student Office (ISO) to ensure their individual visa restrictions are carefully followed. Reimbursements or payments made by MITdesignX on a foreign student’s behalf may be made.

Teams will have until the end of the calendar year to form a business and receive the grant funding. Some advanced funding may be provided through individuals before incorporation. Teams that do not use their funding by the end of the calendar year or fail to form a business will forfeit the balance or entirety of their grant.

No, grant funding from MITdesignX cannot be used for sponsored research funding at MIT.

No, funding can only be made to U.S. entities, or paid as reimbursements to MIT students, staff, affiliates and faculty.

The grant is awarded to fund initial team expenses needed to develop the idea, including, but not limited to: data collection, database access, incorporation and legal costs, travel costs associated with meeting with potential partners or customers, programming, marketing, or product development.

At MITdesignX, IP is considered the property of the individuals and/or teams. MIT will not stake IP or patent claims to new ideas developed at MITdesignX. If your idea was created as part of prior research at MIT, or uses specific lab support of MIT, then MIT IP may apply. Teams must clear any MIT IP issues with the MIT TLO. Work by faculty or staff of MIT may also be subject to MIT rules pertaining to IP. The program offers resources to assist you in protecting and filing patents.

Yes, many students interested in developing their thesis ideas into ventures apply to the program and take advantage of the vast entrepreneurial resources made available through MITdesignX to fast-track the development of their ideas, designs and technologies. You must discuss this with your thesis advisor.

Yes, venture can join other programs such as DeltaV, Legatum, MIT100K, Sandbox, VMS, PKG and more. However, while in designX we require that you coordinate with us regarding mentors. Having multiple mentors in different programs can be unproductive.

Yes, but not concurrent to the IAP and Spring programming at designX.