With Accelerate, top MIT student entrepreneurs turn ideas into beta products

Published: February 14, 2013

A great pitch and a detailed business plan alone will not guarantee a successful launch of a startup. The importance of product development and execution cannot be overstated.

Recognizing that, the MIT $100K Accelerate competition gives student entrepreneurs the mentorship and support for that critical product development phase.

Accelerate is the second component of the three-part MIT $100K Accelerate competition. Thirty-six student teams are selected by a panel of judges. The students are then provided with workspace, $1,000 dollars for product development, and mentorship from industry experts to help execute their ideas during MIT’s Independent Activities Period in January.

The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is a catalyst for student teams armed with promising business ideas and plans, but before 2011 there was little emphasis on the development period, a time when teams tweak their projects and determine precise market needs. The Accelerate contest, now in its second year, was created to give participants the opportunity to iterate and improve their ideas while building stronger connections with potential clients and mentors before solidifying their final business plans.

Come watch this year’s Accelerate teams showcase their progress and final projects at Demo Day beginning at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Morss Hall in Building 50. The finale will open with a talk by Craigslist founder and namesake Craig Newmark and culminate with the announcement of the contest winners.