IDEA is a student-led venture accelerator that supports entrepreneurs in the Northeastern community to reach their full potential. True to our Northeastern roots, IDEA provides a valuable experiential educational opportunity to everyone involved from the ventures and coaches to the management team and full-time staff.
We accelerate the development of ventures using our business planning stage-gate process. IDEA provides the relevant educational and business resources to ventures as they advance through the stages
A Few Things to Know
We never take any equity, ever.
As a University program we are lucky enough not to rely on our founders for funding.
Not only for students
We support all Northeastern founders, including undergraduates, Master's students, PhD students, alumni, and professors.
We’re industry agnostic
IDEA founders tackle big problems in every industry, from software to food and beverage, consumer products to high tech. We support it all.
It’s not about the $$$
Our stage-gate process offers plenty of valuable resources to ventures, including funding, but it’s not the most important. Ask any of our
Stage Gate Process
IDEA accelerates the development of Northeastern entrepreneurs through our business planning stage-gate process. We provide the relevant educational and business resources to ventures as they advance through the stages.
Stage Gate Process
The first stage in our process focuses on understanding the scope of the problem, validating it with customers, designing a solution and initial competitive analysis.
- Coaching Office Hours
- Templates and guides
- IDEA workshops and events
Solution Design Pitch
A 30-minute pitch to present the work done in the Ready stage including the value proposition, product validation, competitive analysis, and market research.
In this stage ventures work to develop their business model. This includes establishing their initial product or service, considering revenue models and creating a go-to-market strategy.
Business Model Pitch
A 30-minute pitch to present the work done in the Set stage including the venture’s business model and go-to-market strategy that includes resources and development needs and costs.
The IDEA Gap Fund is a non-equity educational grant available to ventures in the Go stage of IDEA's process. Up to 25 grants of $10,000 are available for applicants on a bi-monthly basis every year. Each business plan is reviewed by IDEA’s student Investment Committee before being selected to pitch in front of members of IDEA's Advisory Board.
The Prototype Fund is a resource to support builders and tinkerers to bring their ideas to life. This fund enables teams to quickly build, test and share their concepts by providing them prototyping support and up to $1,000 in funding. The fund is available to anyone at Northeastern, not just IDEA ventures.
Click here to apply.
Entrepreneur in Residence
To support our ventures in their business model and go-to-market IDEA relies on Bob Lentz our Entrepreneur in Residence. Bob has extensive executive management and entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry having been involved in the growth and eventual sale of a number of successful technology ventures.
With the help of our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, IDEA has a network of investors to advise and finance ventures. Whether ventures are looking for an angel investor for a first round of outside capital or a venture capital firm to raise a Series A round, IDEA connects ventures who have made it all the way through the stage-gate process to investors that are a good fit.