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.
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

Twice a year, 7 new startups are accelerated by SU42 during a 4-month program. These startups 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 at least one founder in charge of coding the first version of the product.

For that, we built a model that is fair and with as little barrier as possible.

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 very much like B2B and B2B2C but it’s not an obligation. We do not accept consulting companies in the program.

When and where is the program?

The program runs twice a year: once in May and once in November. The next program begins in mid-October and you will be able to apply starting September. The accelerator is located within the EPITA/Epitech engineering campus in Kremlin-Bicêtre (métro Porte d’Italie).

How does the application process work?

We usually open applications the day of our Prototype Fiesta, which is 2 months before the start of the next program. Applicants will have 1 month to fill out a form (in English) on F6S (https://www.f6s.com/startup42acceleratorv1.2/apply/) about their team and their idea.

We usually receive 70 to 90 applications per program, out of which 14 startups will be invited to pitch in front of an entry jury. Our corporate sponsors, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors form this jury. Out of the 14 startups, we select 7 teams per batch. Why 7? Because 42!

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.

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 43 startups. These 43 companies collectively raised more than 12 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 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. Email us at team @ startup42.org !