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Accelerating Startup Partnership and Investment Readiness (ASPIRE) - Medtech Cohort

Opportunity for USA Startups to Participate in an Entrepreneurial
Training Program to Prepare for Investment Fundraising

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/23/21 11:59 PM ET


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Opportunity for USA startups to participate in an entrepreneurial training program to prepare for investment fundraising. During the seven-week program, medical technology startups will participate in a range of activities to prepare for company-building and fundraising necessary for launch and realized impact. The current cohort is aimed at startups focusing on engineering and science innovations that create positive impact on patient outcomes and lower the cost of quality healthcare through the innovation’s application or design. Companies should be preparing to raise seed or Series A rounds within the coming year.

ASPIRE is an intensive program that prepares startups for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their venture. Mentors-in-residence work one-on-one with startups to simulate due diligence conversations and integrate feedback into deal room materials in real-time.

  • Engaged Mentorship: Startups will work with high-caliber mentors throughout the program that have experience investing or partnering with startups.
  • Clear Milestones and Ask: Startups will leave with a clear articulation of their investment needs, including the investment ask and planned milestones for the round.
  • Due Diligence Deal Room: Spend time creating and refining deal room materials to use during the fundraising process. Invest time and energy into work product for a deal room, not a demo day pitch.
  • Stress Tests: VentureWell pushes boundaries with real-world stress tests – actual startup disaster scenarios
  • Network Building: Learn from peers and share experiences with a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs who are facing similar challenges.


  • Spend one-on-one time with investors: Learn from a group of investor-mentors who have funded startups during the virtualized program.
  • Vet fundraising strategies: Refine deal room materials and take part in a mock board meeting to prepare for fundraising and investor conversations.
  • Stress-test the startup: Work through real-world disaster scenarios with the team to discover how to best prepare for the unexpected.
  • Collaborate and network: Connect with fellow founders and leverage the VentureWell investor network after the program ends.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186392

Number of Grants:

VentureWell will select 10-15 medtech startups.

Term of Contract:

Program Dates: October 4 - November 19

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility Requirements:
- Team identified & startup formed: First-time founders with management team and key roles identified—no solo founders. Incorporated as a legal entity by the beginning of the program.
- Early market validation: Validated customer segments and initial evidence of product market fit. Articulation of economic value proposition and evidence of patient or clinician buy-in.
- Intellectual property: Provisional patent(s) filed and assigned to the company or a clear pathway to the license
- Technology validated: Initial prototype developed, pre-clinical trials or animal studies underway. Program is designed for devices and diagnostics, no software- only products.
- Actively fundraising: Company has raised at least $25K (grants or equity) and is preparing for an equity investment round within 12 months.
- Positive impact on patient outcomes: Clearly articulated assessment of how your technology will have a positive impact on patient outcomes and lower the cost of quality healthcare

Commitment: Management team, including CEO or founders, should commit to the full program. CEO must serve as the main point of contact and should attend all sessions. The program requires meeting participation on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays throughout the length of the program, for 1-2 hours each day. The startup must be your full-time focus.

ASPIRE is open to startups that have previously received funding from VentureWell (E-Teams) OR startups new to VentureWell that are led by at least one founder from a group underrepresented in science and technology. This includes founders who identify as women, persons with disabilities, and/or members from the following racial and ethnic groups—Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, and American Indian or Alaska Native.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join the office hours - August 11 at 6:00 pm ET.
Register now:

Pre-Application Information:

Key dates
- Application deadline: August 23
- Virtualized program: October 4-November 19

There is a $350 registration fee for each participant.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application Portal:

Questions? Please contact Tricia Compas-Markman at

100 Venture Way
Hadley, MA 01035
(413) 587-2172

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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