Stanford University becomes like a VC firm for student startups


Stanford University students have a new reason to celebrate. This university has been a hub for creative minds coming up with new solutions to make this world a better place- in other words, have emerged to be home to many awesome entrepreneurs. The good news is that, Stanford University and Stanford Hospital and Clinics have confirmed a grant of $3.6 million for three years to non-profit accelerator StartX and its medical vertical StartX Med.

Student-run initiative encouraging young minds

StartX is a Stanford University affiliated non-profit accelerator that was founded four years back by Stanford student Cameron Teitelman. StartX Med is the medical vertical developed by Divya Nag, a StartX alumni who is also the founder of Stem cell Theranostics, along with Andrew Lee, her company co-founder. The idea behind StartX Med is to propel medical startups who otherwise do not have industry-needs properly addressed by any typical startup accelerator. Currently led by an awesome team from Stanford family, this accelerator takes no equity and does not charge any fees for the mentorship they offer to startups. It has always been a student-run initiative encouraging young minds to come out of their shells to make this world a better place with their entrepreneurship. Stanford President John Hennessy quoted on Stanford News portal “Our grant program and investment in early stage companies is in keeping with Stanford”s mission of sharing knowledge and fostering innovation, and is another way we can play a role in accelerating the future development of Stanford students, alumni and scholars”.


For the first time the university and SHC is making a direct investment for the entrepreneurs from Stanford University. The deal is spanned for three years, each year annual investment being $1.2 million. Stanford-StartX has already moved ahead with six companies, the first two being Knotch– a network where people get mobile casino connected based on shared interest, and the other is Cytobank– dealing with big data and analytics for single cell technology.

Already crossed the 100 mark

Along with this investment news, StartX has already acquired $1.65 million in the last two years. From the time StartX has evolved, almost 10 StartX startups have got acquired. The number of companies that have graduated from here have already crossed 100. StartX has always kept their doors opened for startups from every field- be it biotechnology, mobile, education, medicine, e-commerce, hardware- any potential startup has a place here. To be a part of this accelerator the founder team must have one of them being a student from Stanford, and must own stake of that company!

From statistics mentioned in the Stanford news portal, companies graduating from this accelerator program have acquired an amount more than $1.8 million. Based in Silicon Valley, StartX has been providing mentorship, office space, access to a huge network of talented industry people. Now, StartX has Stanford University and SHC to foster innovation and help the passionate entrepreneurs build their dream.

Though the university has confirmed to have “education” as their primary focus, there has been a lot of criticism sweeping in. The reason why people are raising their eyebrows can be justified seeing the number of students are dropping off their college to start up in the recent times. It is still not clear why Stanford University and SHC decided on this deal, but it has definitely come as a boon for Stanford budding entrepreneurs!

“We aren”t doing this to make money. We are doing this because it enriches our educational environment and supports what Stanford stands for” ~ Randy Livingston, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer at Stanford University said.

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