Acceleration and Launch (SEAL)
Student entrepreneurs. Experienced mentors. Collaborative workspace.
Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) is UT Austin’s selective summer accelerator that picks the most promising emerging startups across campus and helps them confront their next market-driven milestone. Learn more and apply to SEAL at the Launchpad.
SEAL started in 2009 with the goal of empowering student entrepreneurs to vet their ideas, test the waters, learn the tips and tricks of entrepreneurship, and try their hands at obtaining funding.
Our nine-week summer program helps undergrad, grad, and faculty teams explore a core company hypothesis with the goal of making the decision to accelerate, pivot, or rightfully shut down their venture.
Workshop Sessions: Veteran entrepreneurs and subject matter experts lead workshop sessions and provide unfiltered insider knowledge on building a scalable business. Sessions cover both technical topics and human dynamics such as go-to-market strategies and the multifaceted reality of being a founder.
Community: SEAL handpicks two to three experts specific to your venture to mentor your team throughout the entire program. At the same time, we facilitate intentional relationship building with entrepreneurs and investors from the Austin startup community. We do this by teaching you networking tactics from a startup lens, making high-value introductions, and hosting a “community reverse pitch” for incubators and accelerators to “pitch” teams on why they should choose them as their next “home”–such as Y Combinator, Austin Technology Incubator, Capital Factory, Techstars, MassChallenge, and other leading programs.
D-Day: Instead of a traditional “demo day,” SEAL culminates in a Decision Day where, based on individual research and expert feedback, teams determine whether their venture can survive the real world and make a go or no-go decision. SEAL started in 2009 at the Austin Technology Incubator. A third of the companies have gone on to raise funding while another third of them have shut down at the end of the program. (The No-Go decisions are equally celebrated as it takes a certain level of self-awareness to recognize the market-driven obstacles to an opportunity and courage to shut down the venture.)
The track record
To date, SEAL alumni companies have raised $100M and generated over $400M in valuation.
Notable alumni include Favor (acquired by HEB), M87 (acquired by XCOM), Lynx Laboratories (acquired by Occipital), Accordion Health (acquired by Evolent Health), Flo Recruit, Elite Sweets, Mutual Mobile, Ordoro, and EQO, to name a few.
SEAL was founded in 2009 at the Austin Technology Incubator. Since 2019, SEAL is run by the LaunchPad in continued partnership with ATI.