Summer Fellowship

Lightspeed's 8-week Summer Fellowship gives highly motivated entrepreneurs, with at least one engineering or CS student on their team, the resources, guidance, and connections they need to grow their ventures.

Preview

The Program


The Post-Doc of Summer Startup Grants

To cover living and business expenses during the program, each selected team will receive $5,000, plus $15,000 per team member. Teams will have access to office space — complete with equipment, scenic views, common areas, a fully stocked kitchen, and even a shower—and will be matched with a Lightspeed investment professional for mentorship throughout the summer. Our other investment professionals will also be on hand to provide advice and guidance. Fellows are under no obligation to Lightspeed, nor will Lightspeed receive equity as part of the program.

Additional Resources

Throughout the program, we offer a number of added resources. The Venture Series course covers topics like hiring and compensation, venture capital economics, pitching investors, initial strategies, and career advice. We also bring in weekly speakers and angel investors, many of whom have become advisors to past teams, to share their insights and offer advice. And each Monday over lunch, all fellows are invited to join young founders and executives to learn about their startup experiences.

We also like to have fun throughout the summer. After all, we also want you to make new friends and get to know the other Fellows. In previous years we have attended Trevor Noah’s show at the Mountain Winery, watched the musical “Hamilton”, played paintball, and enjoyed a picnic in Half Moon Bay.

Applications

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible to maximize your potential of participating in our 2020 class! The deadline to submit your application is January 10th, 2020. If you miss that deadline, feel free to submit your application in Round 2 until March 13th, 2020.  We will notify you by Feb 7th, 2020 if you submit your application in Round 1 and by April 10th, 2020 if your submit your application in Round 2.

Program Overview
Details
  • $15,000 / individual + $5,000 / team (no equity, no obligation)
  • Mentorship by a Lightspeed investment partner
  • Office space
  • Free cloud services: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud & Microsoft Azure
  • Legal advice
  • Discounts at co-working spaces (after the program).
Eligibility
  • Teams of 2 to 4. We do not accept teams of one.
  • At least one team member who was a full-time student (graduate or undergraduate in Engineering or Computer Science) during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • All team members who receive the Fellowship funds must work in the office full-time for 8 weeks during the summer.
  • If ANY of your team members change after you submit your application, you will be required to apply again.
Important Dates
Application Deadline
We will notify you by

January 10, 2020

February 7, 2020

Round 1


March 13, 2020

April 10, 2020

Round 2


Testimonials

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Alumni Companies

Program Photos

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FAQ

  1. What does lightspeed get out of this?

    Lightspeed gets the opportunity to work closely with outstanding young entrepreneurs. Just as universities and government agencies fund top-notch research, we have the facilities and especially the desire to support entrepreneurship and innovation. The opportunity to mentor and collaborate with students is all the incentive we need. We receive no equity, and teams are under no obligation to Lightspeed.

  2. Must an engineer (CS or EE) be on the team? Does the engineer have to be a student?

    Yes and Yes. Eligible teams must have at least one engineer who was a full-time student in the 2019-2020 academic year. Teams submitting energy-related business ideas may substitute with someone who has the relevant science background.

  3. Define 'student'. Are non-students eligible to receive a fellowship?

    The student team member must have been a full-time student at some point in the 2019-2020 academic year. People who graduated at any time in the 2019-2020 academic year ARE eligible. Team members who do NOT have other full-time jobs/commitments are eligible to receive a fellowship, provided they work full-time out of the office space provided.

  4. What about international businesses?

    Yes. Lightspeed has offices in China, India and Israel. We are interested in businesses focusing on international markets. But just to be clear, those team members who win a fellowship must spend 8 weeks working out of the Menlo Park office between June 15th to August 7th, 2020.

  5. Do you accept teams from international schools? What about international students studying in the US?

    We only accept teams studying at universities in Canada and US. However, we do accept international students studying in Canada and US, with valid visas. In fact, each year a number of our teams have international students. Please consult with your school’s international student office re CPT/OPT requirements for eligibility. We do not provide legal/immigration counsel.

  6. What about non-technical businesses?

    Lightspeed as a firm focuses exclusively on Information Technology businesses in the Consumer and Enterprise sectors. If your business is not in these areas, we will not be able to help you to the degree we would like during the summer. We recommend you consider alternative programs.

  7. Are there any particular areas of interest that you are looking for?

    We are excited about all great technology related business ideas, but there are always special areas that we are working on in any given year. This year we are focused on the following general themes: Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobile Applications, Social Applications, Sharing Economy, The Internet of Things, Marketplaces, and E-Commerce.

  8. Do all team members have to work full-time? Are the start and end dates flexible?

    All fellows must work 8 weeks full-time from June 15th to August 7th, 2020; additional team members not receiving fellowships have no such requirement. We are looking for dedicated entrepreneurs who want to devote the summer to working on their idea; we do not want fellows who want to participate in the program AND another internship. The same goes for anyone who wants to participate in an alternative startup program. We encourage young entrepreneurs to try multiple programs, just not at the same time. We do not allow simultaneous participation in the Lightspeed program and other startup programs such as YC or TechStars.

  9. Can I submit more than one (1) application? How many team members per application?

    No because we are evaluating the application and the team as a whole. Ideally teams made up of 2 to 4 people may submit an application.

  10. If my team goes on to raise a round of funding, will Lightspeed participate?

    The LAST thing Lightspeed wants to do is create friction for any entrepreneurs who want to continue to pursue their company after the program. Lightspeed will invest a minimum of $50k in any Summer Fellowship team that continues on with a company and is able to pull together a round of at least $500k from other investors. It’s very important to understand that the Lightspeed investment is completely at the entrepreneur’s option. If you don’t want it, don’t take it. But this way, if any investor ever asks, “Is Lightspeed investing?” the answer is “Yes, if we want them to.”

ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS? PLEASE CONTACT SAQIB E. AWAN.