FAQs For Our Venture Programs
How much do I have to pay to be in a FedTech Program?
Nothing! We don't take any forms of payment from participants and we don't take equity. We're sponsored by the Department of Defense, through NSIN, the National Security Innovation Network, other government agencies and corporations.
How are entrepreneurs paired with technology and team (if not applying as a team)?
We pair entrepreneurs with technology and team based on several dimensions. When forming teams, we primarily consider the individual's preference, experience, expertise, complementary skillsets, location, personality type, and education. We understand the individual's preference of technology through a system that allows us to capture the rank and magnitude of preference for each technology in a given cohort.
How many entrepreneurs are selected?
We usually select 2-3 entrepreneurs per team and our cohort size is dependent on the program but can run anywhere from 6-24 teams in each cohort.
What should I expect during a cohort?
First, you'll be paired with a technology from our lab partners based on your interests. For those who apply as individuals versus teams, we can also pair you with a entrepreneur partner for the cohort. Next, you'll begin the two plus months of work. We'll ask you to interview customers (usually 50 or more), build a business model around your technology and develop product, R&D and funding plans. Along the way you'll work closely with our teaching and mentor team and be taken through modules on: lean startup, intellectual property and licensing, funding strategies for spinning out R&D, pitch skills and many other topics!
What should I expect after a cohort?
Many of our teams choose to start companies and we continue to work with the best of these post cohort. We aim to scout for the best technologies from our lab partners, however the decision to move forward as a company is comprised of several factors including, but not limited to: 1) cohesion of team 2) market opportunity 3) technology advantage. Regardless, all our teams are given a unique experience to learn about tech commercialization, lean startup and building hard tech companies.
What do we look for in applicants?
Past experience with tech entrepreneurship is always a plus. Still, the biggest thing we look for in prospective entrepreneurs is a hunger to do something extraordinary and a willingness to buy into the process of learning about a new technology, diving deep into its market and building a creative and flexible business model. We've found these people come from all backgrounds and walks of life.
What is the time commitment for FedTech?
We typically ask that participants reserve ~20 hours per week to go through our venture programs. We are intentional in designing this to be a commitment that can be made with a "day job." Our programs are not suitable for people who do not possess the potential for entrepreneurial grit.
I don't live in D.C., can I still participate?
Yes! We have many teams in each cohort who are non-local. Non-local teams are asked to attend our opening (2 days: Saturday & Sunday) and closing session in D.C (1/2 day) and participate in weekly pitches with our teaching team via webinars.
What are the outcomes to expect post-cohort?
Many of our teams choose to start companies and we continue to work with the best of these post cohort. Still, this is dependent on the results of your customer discovery throughout the cohort. We aim to scout for the best opportunities from our lab partners but we can't truly tell if there's a business opportunity until a team goes through our process. Regardless, all our teams are given a unique experience to learn about tech commercialization, lean startup and building hard tech companies.
What's the role of our lab partners?
FedTech's lab partners are the source of technology opportunities. We work collaboratively with our labs to identify inventors, inventions and research projects that could have commercial significance. We play matchmaker with our entrepreneurs and nurture our teams throughout the spinout process. When it comes time to license or develop collaborative agreements we don't broker between our teams and the labs. Still, the vast majority of our teams are able to secure favorable terms from our lab partners.
I'm not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident status, can I still participate?
Yes, however a few technologies may be off-limits to you depending on your citizenship. Some federal labs have specific requirements that we must abide by.
Still have questions?
Send us a note and we'll get back to you shortly.