Frequently Asked Questions

Summer Accelerator

To receive any kind of feedback, you’ll need to apply early.

Applications submitted after March 7th are unlikely to receive any feedback or notice of status until after selections are complete, or your startup is chosen for further rounds of evaluation.

If your startup team successfully completes the program, yes. Access to capital is an important part of the startup process.

While the $25K awards are limited to two teams and based strictly on a peer-selection process conducted by the accelerator cohort, Venture Hall will also host a Demo Day event in which graduating teams will have the opportunity both to pitch to investors and to hold one-on-one meetings.

Of course, Demo Day is just one step in building investor relationships. Venture Hall will prepare teams to develop proactive and effective investor relations over time, not just a single day of show-and-tell.

We will select teams using a series of evaluations:

1. Village Capital’s rubric for assessing a startup’s potential to make a significant impact in it’s market and to provide a high return on investment according to these nine factors:

  • Team
  • Vision
  • Value Proposition
  • Market Validation
  • Business Model
  • Product
  • Product-Market Fit
  • Scale
  • Growth and Exit

(Note: These factors are used to determine a startup’s potential, not to evaluate company maturity. In other words, a less mature company may have more potential to achieve large scale impact, than a company that has nevertheless reached more milestones to date.)

2. How well the proposed solution supports this year’s problem statement and aligns both with the resources of our partners and complements the rest of the accelerator cohort.

(Note: We do not limit applications to healthcare-focused companies. Often, solutions developed in one sector for one problem have strong potential to provide value in other areas.)

3. Timeliness, responsiveness and professionalism demonstrated in the application process.

4. A phone, video or in-person interview.

5. The team’s ability to have at least one member resident in Portland for the summer, and to attend required dates throughout the program, including the first week, starting June 12th, several key workshops in June, July and August and Demo Day, September 8th.

Applications are now open via and will close March 21st, though we encourage interested teams to apply early.

We will begin forming the cohort on a rolling basis, meaning early applications will have a greater chance of acceptance. Applications submitted close to the deadline will be vying for fewer available spots, and fewer opportunities for phone interviews with the selection committee.

Teams will be notified of selection on or about April 14th.

We’re a nonprofit, not a fund. Your goals are our goals. While assisting startups in raising capital is an important part of our job, Venture Hall is not built as an investment vehicle. It’s built to help solve big problems that matter.

Yes. In addition to all teams having certain travel and living expenses covered, two teams in the cohort will win up to $25,000 of zero-equity investment, awarded by peer-review (a ground-breaking and powerful method developed by Village Capital).

At the conclusion of the program, Venture Hall will also host a Demo Day for graduating teams to pitch their startups to investors.

Yes, what we do we have to do in person. The content, access to our partners, mentors and peer support is all based here. Our program requires at least one team member to be in residency for the duration of the summer. Venture Hall will cover many travel and living expenses for the duration of the program.

Of course, we’ve been there, so we understand that the life of startup founders can be complicated. Aside from certain required dates, we’ve built flexibility into the program.

This isn’t a three-months-to-demo-day-and-done manufactured pressure cooker. This is reality. Our job is to improve every startups’ chances of success, not merely make a great pitch. That takes a commitment to supporting each team on their journey.

In addition to small class size for personalized attention, we provide a killer curriculum developed in partnership with Village Capital, close corporate partnerships to get startups out of the bubble and improving their products faster, world-class mentors working side-by-side to challenge and advocate for startups, and a peer-ranking process that has been proven to crush the old-boy-network funding model.

Of course, our location in Portland, Maine is pretty unique, too: a small city with zero hassle, amazing restaurants, natural beauty, and incredible summer weather, all just 90 minutes from Boston.

Venture Hall’s 2017 summer accelerator is open to early stage startups from across the US who are building innovative, scalable solutions to big problems, with preference given to those helping to address issues identified in the problem statement found on our Accelerator page.

Companies should have a working prototype, validated proof of concept, or have recently launched their product to a limited market.

While there is no specific funding requirement, we are seeking companies in seed or pre-seed investing stages, who have raised under $1M.

Not sure if your company is a fit? Feel free to use our contact form to discuss with a team member.