STARTUP42 — from hackers to founders
Here's the answer to all
your questions
This program is best designed for teams starting a startup with a technological edge and having more trouble with the business side than the technical side. We do not want any beautiful tech innovation to die in the wild because they did not get sufficient help so we built a model that is fair and with as little barrier as possible.
What is STARTUP42?

STARTUP42 is a non-profit accelerator designed by EPITA to offer hacker teams with a good idea the skills and opportunities they need to become startup founders, create an impactful product and actually sell it.

The accelerator provides an intense and challenging program for B2B startups with a tech innovation. If you get to be selected, you will go through the first 2 months of the program. At the end of these two months, we will evaluate your involvement, your speed of execution and your progress. Depending on that evaluation, you'll get to stay two more months. This process can be repeated an unlimited number of times.

The teams who benefit this program are selected for their skills, their cohesion, their mindset, their vision of the market, their fit with the market and, eventually their startup idea. To be able to apply for Startup42, there needs to be be at least one founder in capable of coding the first version of the product and a strong B2B orientation.

What happens during the program?

During the program, you will be challenged, boosted and helped on your product design, your strategy and sales technique.

The acceleration is built around sequences of 4-weeks iterations divided in 2-weeks sprints of build and 2-weeks sprints of measuring the feedback and learning from them. This can sound impossible for the specific case of your exceptional startup, but in our experience, all startups can and should be ran like that. We will help you to do it. Here's how it goes in more details:
- The first two weeks are dedicated to building a Minimum Viable Product that conveys the value proposition you think your hypothetical customers will respond to.
- Then you'll have two weeks to get some feeback from your hypothetical customers. Once that's done, you'll measure and understand the answers given by actual customers and deduce a better value proposition that will feed the next loop.

What is STARTUP42's business model?

Because we want the best teams (you?!) to apply without any backthoughts, we do not take any equity or hosting fee.

Our goal during the program will be to make you sign deals with your first customer(s). If the deal was arranged by us, then we will take an introductory fee.

Also, we have amazing partners backing us and helping us in this journey of finding and accelerating the best tech startups.

Who is behind STARTUP42?

STARTUP42's main backer is EPITA, one of the leading Computer Science engineering schools in France. We’re located within the EPITA and Epitech campus, south of Paris, so our startups can benefit from the enormous possibilities of being located in an engineering campus.

We’re also backed by amazing corporate partners (Econocom, OpenDataSoft and FranceTelevisions) who use us as a bridge towards the wonderful world of tech startups.

Who can apply?

We’re only interested in projects led by at least one technical founder. By technical we mean developer, engineer or scientist, either in terms of background (degree) or experience. You don’t have to be an EPITA student or alumni to apply.

Which projects are you looking for?

Anything software! More specifically: web/mobile apps, SaaS, telecom/network solutions, Big Data, Cloud Computing, etc. We focus on B2B or B2B2C startups. We do not accept consulting companies in the program.

When and where is the program?

You can apply whenever you want, just fill in this simple form and you might receive an invitation to meet us. Don't hesitate to apply too early, we can see opportunities you might miss (especially when it comes to speed of execution!). The accelerator is located within the EPITA/Epitech engineering campus in Kremlin-Bicêtre (métro Porte d’Italie).

How does the application process work?

If you feel ready to get accelerated, apply here. You will be contacted for a meeting so be ready to get challenged. This meeting may also help you to ask yourself the right questions, you can take it as a free mentor session :) If you are selected and there is enough room for everyone to work properly, you will start right away.

What do you look for in evaluating applications?

The most important element is the team. In the team, we first look at the technical founder(s). The technical founder must be distinctive. While we don’t have any strict criteria, we find that the most distinctive technical founders exhibit these common traits: very strong technical skills, ability to explain complicated things clearly, good product sense and, of course, a great hacker’s spirit. Also the B2B aspect of your project must be clear. However, keep in mind that sometime you think you product is for individual, while your innovation may help companies in their business.

We prefer teams of 2 or 3. The ideal team has one or two technical co-founders, and one business-side co-founder.

Do you accept founders who are from outside France?

Yes. All founders are encouraged to apply! We are even partners with the French Tech Ticket.

Can you share any key metrics on the performance of STARTUP42?

Since our launch in January 2013, we have already accelerated 51 startups. These 51 companies collectively raised more than 12.2 M€ in private equity, created more than 200 jobs and generated 5 liquidity events.

Can you help me find my technical co-founder?

Unfortunately, not. We wrote a whole post about that on our blog.

How is Xavier Niel doing?

While we share a common passion for the number 42, we have nothing to do with the school he recently opened.

What if I have more questions I need answered before I apply?

Let us know what they are — they are welcomed. Please use the contact form!