The Desai Accelerator is open to tech-enabled startups for two 13-week cohorts a year. A joint venture of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, Desai provides entrepreneurs with:
- Investment of up to $50k in founder-friend funding
- Expert mentors from across the country and a thriving local entrepreneurial ecosystem
- A collaborative work environment in downtown Ann Arbor
- Intern staff of undergraduate and graduate students from the Ross School of Business, College of Engineering, Stamps School of Art & Design, School of Information, U-M Law School, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
- Resources including legal advices and cloud credits worth $500k+
You do not need to be affiliated with the University of Michigan to be accepted into a cohort, but upon entering Desai you have access to the many resources of the university and its 575,000 living alumni around the world.
Desai is a professional business accelerator open to early-stage, tech-enabled startups. We offer unparalleled reach from the heart of the Midwest. Our programming unites entrepreneurs who want to tap into vast networks and resources, including those in the Ann Arbor and Detroit entrepreneurial communities, and the world-class University of Michigan ecosystem that extends coast-to-coast and around the globe.
While participating in our 16-week program, startups receive funding, tailored mentorship opportunities, national visibility, and many key resources that help them achieve rapid growth. The program culminates in Demo Day, where each company pitches to a theater of investors.
Desai completed its first cohort in 2015, and has since served 20 startups across four cohorts. Notable portfolio company accomplishments include:
Companion - peer-to-peer safety app - selected for mentorship by Gary Vaynerchuk and earned $1 million investment on Apple's "Planet of the Apps"
Ash & Erie - "clothing for shorter guys" - earned $150,000 investment from Mark Cuban during their "Shark Tank" appearance
MySwimPro - personalized swim workouts app - named 2016 Apple Watch App of the Year
SAHI Cosmetics - cosmetics for medium skin tones - Rise of the Rest winner, receiving investment from AOL co-founder Steve Case
Gwydion - 3-D visualization in virtual reality - closed a $500,000 seed round three months after Demo Day
The summer 2018 cohort will run from June 11-September 28, 2018.