It was founded by Cameron Teitelman in 2011. it began as a spin-off of Stanford Student Enterprises, the non-profit financial arm of the Associated Students of Stanford University, which sponsored earlier events called SSE Labs in 2009 and then SSE Ventures. The StartX incubator differentiates itself from other incubators in Silicon Valley, such as Y Combinator, in that it is an educational non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that takes no equity in the companies it helps start.
At least one member of each company must have some Stanford connection, but undergraduates, graduates, faculty and staff are involved in the seminars and advise program. One of its first ventures, Alphonso Labs, developed the Pulse App. WifiSlam was acquired by Apple Inc for about $20 million.
StartX's staff is primarily composed of student volunteers from Stanford. StartX received a $800,000 grant from the Kauffman Foundation in August 2012 (which allowed Teitelman to earn a salary), and $400,000 from Silicon Valley companies in February 2012.
In September 2013, Stanford announced a grant of $1.2 million every year for three years to StartX. Along with Stanford Hospital and Clinics, it created a new Stanford-StartX fund (of uncapped amount) to invest in current and alumni StartX companies. To receive the investment from Stanford, StartX companies must raise at least $500,000 on their own from professional angel investors or venture capitalists. Stanford-StartX approved 6 companies by 2013.
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- Tomio Geron (June 1, 2012). "NA To Dollhouses: Stanford's StartX Accelerator Launches New Batch Of Startup". Forbes. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- Liz Gannes (September 4, 2013). "Stanford Grants $3.6M to StartX Accelerator". All Things D. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
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- Anthony Ha (August 23, 2012). "StartX, The Accelerator For Stanford Students, Wins $800K Grant From The Kauffman Foundation". Tech Crunch. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
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- Billy Gallagher (September 4, 2013). "Stanford University Is Going To Invest In Student Startups Like A VC Firm". Tech Crunch. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
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