Built with a strong bench of more than forty entrepreneur and business leader mentors, the Conquer Accelerator provides selected teams with ten weeks of intensive programming, focusing on completing tailored, goal-driven benchmarks. Teams work with instructors and mentors on topics like fundraising, technology, and longevity.

The Conquer Accelerator is a collaborative effort at Michigan State University and is made possible through generous partnerships with the Michigan State University FoundationSpartan Innovations, the MSU Innovation Center, and the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.

Any qualifying business may apply to the Conquer Accelerator. An existing affiliation with Michigan State University is not a prerequisite. For those startups from within the Michigan State University system, the Conquer Accelerator fills a crucial gap in the development cycle of new companies within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Selected teams receive a $20k investment and work through an intensive ten-week program. In addition to the monetary investment, Conquer Accelerator teams are provided with one-on-one mentorship and support, a creative working space, and resources to enable them to grow their companies.

Startup applicants should reflect the following attributes:

  • products or services that solve problems for specific target customers
  • capital-efficient business, operational at less than $1M in external funding
  • scalable distribution or proven ability to scale sales
  • simple revenue model: transactions, subscriptions, affiliates
  • functional prototype or prior product success
  • measurable traction, ex.: engaged users, revenue, attractive unit economics
  • three (or more) members in a cross-functional team
  • ability to be located in East Lansing, Michigan for the entire duration of the program
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Elements of the Conquer Accelerator:

  1. Investment of $20,000 in exchange for 5% equity or a convertible note
  2. Space to innovate and work collaboratively
  3. Mentorship from experts in legal, marketing, sales, development and more
  4. Resources including legal advice, MSU alumni network, market data, development assistance


  • Started in 2015
  • $400,000 invested in 20 separate companies
  • 15 companies operating today
  • 10 companies have raised outside dollars totaling $2.3M for 5.9x leverage
  • 25% of companies are tenants in UCRP incubator properties