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Program Overview

The START Innovators program is a 12-month post designed to leverage the resources of Princeton University and the Princeton entrepreneurial ecosystem to help aspiring entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs, explore the translation of academic innovations into highly impactful new ventures.

We first and foremost seek innovations and startup ideas that will be highly scalable and impactful and that are in the spirit of Princeton’s unofficial motto “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity”. Strong candidates will exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit and can demonstrate a desire to bring their innovation from a research environment to the broader world. Applications are open to aspiring entrepreneurs from all disciplines.

Successful candidates will be selected based on their proposed startup, their entrepreneurial spirit, their potential contribution to the Princeton entrepreneurial ecosystem, the alignment with Princeton University faculty and resources and an overall commitment to supporting inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Princeton University’s areas of study.

The START program strongly encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to the University’s diversity, broadly defined, including members of groups that have been historically, and are presently, underrepresented in academic entrepreneurship, such as racial and ethnic minorities. Consistent with applicable laws and Princeton policy, in selecting START Innovators and administering the START program, Princeton will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

We are not currently accepting new applications. Please check back for updates about our next application round.


To apply, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Earned a bachelor’s degree from any college or university – PhD strongly preferred.
  • Have a compelling reason to work on your startup at Princeton University – including the ability to leverage specific faculty expertise and intellectual property.
  • Demonstrate a passion for and commitment to entrepreneurship, broadly defined as the initiation of transformations through risk-taking actions and value-creating organizations. 
  • Applicants must be committed to working full-time on startup research and exploration activities. This program does not allow for other, concurrent, work activities.
  • The position is open to non-U.S. citizens and prior work authorization in the U.S. is not required.

For questions contact Lauren Bender ([email protected]).


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