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Kauffman Helping Stanford Student Accelerator Go National

Formula one race cars (Bob Bob/Flickr)The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City is providing an $800,000 grant to StartX, an accelerator for student start-up businesses on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California. The grant will help StartX scale up its operations to expand across the U.S.

StartX is a not-for-profit organization for entrepreneurs affiliated with Stanford University. The group connects new business founders with peers and mentors in a structured program that helps the new entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground. StartX also provides basic infrastructure services, such as office space, legal services, and banking.

The organization, founded in 2010, has grown quickly and now supports some 240 entrepreneurs starting up 90 companies. StartX says more than 300 mentors and advisors work with the new company owners throughout the year. The new companies, mentors, and extended faculty/alumni network are mainly in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay region of California. The Kauffman Foundation grant is expected help StartX scale its current services and build a model for replication.

“Our grant will help StartX further develop its curriculum and program and identify a model for replication,” says Wendy Torrance, Kauffman Foundation’s director of entrepreneurship, “while bolstering its capacity to gather and analyze data on its work and crucial outcomes.”

Companies that began at StartX cover enterprises in clean technology, biotechnology, consumer and mobile Internet, information technology hardware, health care technology, and social enterprise. StartX graduates with scientific pedigrees include Black Swan Solar, Stem Cell Theranostics, diagnostics developer Morpheus, Bell Biosystems, and computer vision developer diffbot.

Some 85 percent of StartX companies attract outside funding withing three months of joining the program, but StartX takes no equity position in its member companies. StartX says that since it began, member and alumni companies have raised $70 million in capital.

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Photo: Bob Bob/Flickr

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