Frequently asked questions from applicants and participants
The goals of GSP are to:
The GSP is for startups aligned with global grand challenges (GGCs) that want to 10X their current startup and scale it globally. We’re looking for startups that have experience with exponential technology, some level of demonstrated market traction, and an eagerness to radically level-up their business. Cohorts include founders from different countries, backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, and cultures, and you’ll find gender diversity in cohorts representing more than 40 countries.
Specifically, here are the attributes of an ideal startup for GSP:
As the name implies, the Global Startup Program is designed specifically for startups! 😉 In the GSP, participants will be founders of startups at any stage. We have intentionally designed the curriculum and activities to expose founders to—and deepen their knowledge of—exponential technologies, abundance-based mindsets and skill sets, convergence, global grand challenges, and how to scale their company to have a global impact at the billion scale.
This program is for startups at ANY stage, as long as they are incorporated as an entity (you do not need to be incorporated in the U.S.A, however). The curriculum is stage-agnostic and centers around helping founders deepen their understanding of exponential technology, abundance, convergence, future forecasting, and learning how to build a global business at the billion scale.
You will get a like-minded tribe of startup founders. You will get a chance to engage in cutting-edge learning experiences designed and delivered by globally-recognized speakers. You will get a hybrid in-person and digital program with year-long access to expert mentors and thought leaders on exponential technology, impact, and the future. Ultimately, you will learn how to build a global business at the billion scale and be equipped with the network and know-how to go forth and actually succeed.
Yes! SU co-founders Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil will remain as involved and supportive as ever! Peter will catalyze and inspire founders to understand their Massive Transformative Purpose and will be accessible during various parts of the program. Participants will also have the ability to envision the future and forecast where their startups’ technology and industry are headed with Ray Kurzweil. Ray and Peter may even join forces for a Fireside chat, sharing their perspectives on exponential technology, convergence, and how the future truly can be better than we think!
This is a great time to conduct your field research and customer validation, and deeply explore new ideas and concepts with your team back at home. Digital courses will be available throughout the Connect phase, during which founders can access content on market and user research and methods, design thinking, prototyping, and more.
The Connect phase of the GSP encapsulates digital courses and resources, as well as access to mentors and virtual and in-person meetups for the cohort for a 12-month period that commences when the GSP begins.
The Activate phase of the program is an immersive, four-week, in-person experience which focuses on demonstrating how exponential technologies are shifting the future and enabling impact at scale. Activate includes hands-on workshops designed for founders to apply their learnings to their startup.
Accelerate is the final in-person phase of the program. During this phase, you will better understand your vision for the future of your startup, innovate on your go-to-market strategy, refine your business models and fundraising plan, and pitch your billion-scale idea at our Demo Faire!
Global grand challenges are the most intractable and pressing problems facing humanity. The GGCs complement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. At Singularity University, we believe that leveraging the convergence of exponential technologies will set us on the path to solve global grand challenges and shift the world from an era of scarcity to one of abundance. There are 12 global grand challenges (GGCs): energy, environment, food, water, shelter, space, learning, disaster resilience, health, governance, prosperity, and security.
In addressing each GGC, we seek to solve for the following three perspectives:
Exponential technologies are those which are rapidly accelerating and shaping major industries and all aspects of our lives. Exponential technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), data science, digital biology and biotech, medicine, nanotech and digital fabrication, networks and computing systems, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. We believe that the solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges lie at the intersection of these exponential technologies. That is, when two or more of these technologies are used in combination to attack a persistent challenge, the possibility of developing a sustainable solution becomes much more likely.
Denmark, one of SU’s first country partners, is excited to be the first international host for the Activate phase of GSP. As one of the world’s best locations for startups, technology, and innovation, Denmark is home to people and organizations driving world-class innovations in technology. It’s also ranked as one of the best non-native English-speaking countries in the world, making it easy to do business there on a global scale. There are many opportunities for startup funding from public and private investors, accelerators, and international organizations. The financial structure allows startups in the area to accelerate their time to growth and profitability. In addition, Denmark supports new and greener ways of living, such as greener transportation, town planning, industry, and more, including great windmill production and Copenhagen’s famous biking culture, making it the perfect environment for future-thinking impact entrepreneurs. Denmark is the perfect place for GSP, and we can’t wait to partner with SingularityU Nordic!
It’s all GSP! But, yes, the Global Solutions Program is now called the Global Startup Program
GSP is best suited for entrepreneurs with existing startups. If you have an idea that you want to turn into a startup, consider attending our Incubator.
GSP 2019 will have two GSP cohorts:
Cohort 1 begins with the Connect phase of the program (digital “Ignite” courses) in March 2019.
The Activate phase for cohort 1 begins with in-person programming in Copenhagen for four weeks in April 2019.
In May, cohort 1 participants will continue their progressive journey with “Engage” digital content and field research at home or the location of their choice. The Accelerate phase reconvenes cohort 1 in Silicon Valley at SU headquarters in Mountain View, California for four weeks in June 2019.
After Accelerate, cohort 1 will have access to additional digital content, mentoring, and virtual and in-person meetups via Connect until the following March (making it a year-long experience, though in-person programming for Activate and Accelerate—four weeks each—lasts a total of eight weeks).
Cohort 2 will follow the same format with Connect kicking off in July, Activate in August, fieldwork in September, and the Accelerate phase at SU HQ in October.
GSP is composed of three components: Activate (in-person), Accelerate (in-person) and Connect (virtual).
In order to get the most possible value out of the GSP (and believe us, there is SO much value to be had!) you should ensure you can participate in the four-week, in-person Activate and Accelerate programs. If you cannot, we recommend you wait to participate in a future cohort when you can be present for Activate and Accelerate.
Connect: Begins March 2019 with access through March 2020
Activate: April 2019 in Denmark (four weeks)
Accelerate: June 2019 at SU in Silicon Valley (four weeks)
Connect: Begins July 2019 with access through July 2020
Activate: August 2019 at a global location TBD (four weeks)
Accelerate: October 2019 at SU in Silicon Valley (four weeks)
GSP Activate will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark with SingularityU Nordic for an immersive four weeks. GSP Accelerate will be held on SU’s campus in Mountain View, CA for an immersive four weeks. GSP Connect is a virtual connection and support program that lasts for one year from the time that your cohort begins.
GSP program fees are $30,000 USD per person ($60,000 USD for a team of two co-founders). This tuition includes accommodations and meals during the Activate and Accelerate programs, select digital courses, and a 12-month SU membership that includes mentoring and virtual and in-person meetups. Sponsorships are available for teams that apply and are eligible.
The program fees do not include transportation to locations, visas, or personal expenses.
No. SU will not take equity for ventures participating in the GSP.
Only one application is needed per team. Applicants will provide information about the co-founding team during the application phase.
We accept applicants on a rolling basis and within two months of receiving applications. We may place you on a waitlist, and will notify you of our decision no later than January 15, 2019.
In 2019, there will be approximately 100 participants accepted to the GSP 2019, broken into two cohorts. Approximately 50 people will take part in a spring cohort, and approximately 50 people will take part in a fall cohort.
No. We welcome startups addressing any global grand challenge or working with any exponential technology.
Along with your acceptance email, you will receive a link to our formal participant agreement including an e-signature form. You will have one week to accept the offer to attend the program before the seat will be offered to someone else
Have no fear. Diversity of thinking, culture, technology, and industry are extremely important to us. We have a sponsorship program available for companies that are eligible.
Simply apply on our website, and select the sponsorship option when it comes up, and then provide all of the requested information.
A limited number of partial-tuition sponsorships are available. If you require sponsorship, please indicate as such on the application. Sponsorships are awarded on an individual basis according to applicant need and the nature of the startup.
Depending on the cohort, tuition sponsorship may be available for specific GGC areas or geographical regions.
You may also be eligible to participate in a Global Impact Challenge and win a seat at GSP.
Sign up to be notified about sponsorships, GICs, and more GSP details by completing the form at the bottom of the page at su.org/gsp.