The Garage’s Pre-Accelerator program, Jumpstart, aims to develop students as both leaders and founders by introducing new ways of thinking and problem solving.

The Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator program  at The Garage seeks to accelerate early-stage student teams by giving them additional resources and coaching over a period of 10 weeks –  June 17 through August 21, 2024. We aim to help them to reach problem solution fit, and prepare them for the next phase of their ventures whether it’s customer acquisition, growth, fundraising, or applying to accelerators. Jumpstart culminates with Demo Day, where students will present their proposal and gain feedback from established judges. This is a program designed to help early-stage ventures learn, grow, and overcome obstacles preventing the launch of their ventures.

Like all programs at The Garage, Jumpstart welcomes all ideas: for-profit, nonprofit, arts-based, technology, or anything that students wish to see come to life through innovation and hard work.

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Jumpstart is comprised of three vital pillars: development of the entrepreneurial toolkit, learning to sell yourself and your idea via pitch practice, and gaining an entrepreneurial mindset. Through thoughtful content workshops, team building activities, and one-on-one guidance, students learn the ABC’s of entrepreneurship, master the art of storytelling, and develop important soft skills like resiliency and the ability to have difficult conversations. Student teams are also offered a stipend to sustain their ventures through the summer.

After Jumpstart wraps, student teams pitch their ventures at Demo Day, where a prize pool of $10,000 is up for grabs.

Student Team Highlights

Consigliere: The first platform where video content creators can receive real data-driven, content-aware feedback on how to write, edit, and prepare their videos for Youtube and Tiktok to maximize viewer retention.

Team led by program participants Richard Wu, Weinberg '25; Ron Vincent Macam, DePaul '26.

DissertationDoc: A first of its kind virtual writing advisor helping people craft their best original work.

Team led by program participants Valentin de la Pena, McCormick '25; Jiho Kwak, McCormick & TGS '24; Carl Wilson, McCormick & Weinberg '27; Aiden Lee, McCormick '27; Aryan Avadhanam, McCormick & Bienen '27; Claudia Chang, Weinberg '26;
Zachary Troller, MIT '27.

gina: A consumer products company that makes a moisturizing mist for menopausal vaginal dryness that provides quick and on-the-go relief in a mess-free and user-friendly form factor.

Team led by program participants Neha Mehta, Kellogg '25; Catherine Malloy, Kellogg '25; Katie Pimentel, McCormick & Kellogg '24;
Greta Cunningham, Medill & Weinberg '27; Meredith Bacine, McCormick '27.

HaptE: Building a haptic glove for training and automation.

Team led by program participants Victoria Israel, McCormick '26; Trevor Abbott, McCormick '26.

Inner Work: An interactive journaling app that allows students to check up on their mental wellbeing and connect to the right campus resources.

Team led by program participants Hao Dang, McCormick & TGS '25; lan Song, Weinberg '27; Zehao Peng, McCormick & TGS '24.

InstaEnglish: Bringing voice to non-native English speakers and helping them regain confidence to explore the world.

Team led by program participants Yutaro Nishiyama, Kellogg & McCormick '25; Evan Lai, Kellogg & McCormick '25; Yutaka Kawabata, Kellogg & McCormick '25, Hiko Hirano, UChicago '25; Henry Park, Weinberg '27.

KosiSonic: Hearing made easier.

Team led by program participants Abhijit Roy, SoC & TGS '25; Sebnem Dundar, SoC & TGS '25; Emre Ersahin, McCormick & Weinberg '27.

Locago [Low-CAH-go]: A marketplace for shopping local, independently owned stores and boutiques. After a single integration with a retail Point-of-Sale, we hope to showcase to consumers inventory from local stores near them, solving the digital discovery gap with shopping small.

Team led by program participants Rachel Vadhan, Kellogg '25; Liam Powers, Weinberg & Bienen '26; Michelle Hwang, Weinberg '26.

Nesian News: The hub for Pacific Islander stories & businesses.

Team led by program participants Dean Uata, Weinberg '26; Sam Biggs, Medill '25; Lula Blas Fox, Weinberg '26; Fauzan Aryaputra, Weinberg '26.

Sanooke: A toy company that thinks outside of the box (literally) to design building blocks of unique shape that can be used to build sculptures, aid development of spatial skills, and even as fidget toys to relieve stress in a satisfying way.

Team led by program participants Tyler Hummer, TGS '27; Darya Daneshmand, McCormick '25; Katelyn Suh, McCormick '27;
Noah Klinkner, Central Westosha '28; Prasanna Bansode, TGS '24.

Swarm: Innovative solutions to insect repellent.

Team led by program participants
Ali Lee, Weinberg '25; Gio Cacciato, Weinberg '27; Dalia Diab, McCormick '26; Jonathan Lee, Weinberg '27.

WizLab: An interactive lecture platform that empowers educators with live feedback and students with real-time engagement for better learning outcomes.

Team led by program participants Katia Shek, Weinberg '26; Adrian Ngan, University of Michigan '26.

Frequently asked Questions

When do I receive my award?

Do I need a co-founder?

How much time do I need to spend at The Garage?

What stage should my startup be in to apply for Jumpstart?

Can I also work part-time/take on an internship while participating in Jumpstart?

What is the programming and schedule like?

Do you have to be a Resident of The Garage to apply?

How can I use my award?