thoughtbot Incubator

We are very excited to announce thoughtbot’s first startup incubator!

If you are a non-technical founding team with a business idea that involves a web or mobile app, we encourage you to apply for our 8-week program. We’ll help you get the proof points you need in order to move forward with confidence.

Applications Open
February 1st, 2023.
Applications close
February 28th, 2023 @ 11:59pm.
Program Begins
March 15th, 2023.

Why thoughtbot?

thoughtbot is your expert strategy, design, product management, and development partner. We bring digital products from idea to success and teach you how because we care.

Learn more

In working with countless startups over the last two decades, we’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be for non-technical founders to communicate their product and technology vision, find a technical co-founder, make their first product and technology hires, and work effectively with their technical team.

thoughtbot will be your technical co-founder for eight weeks, helping you connect your market opportunity to:

Continuous customer discovery practice
A near and long-term product strategy
One or more proof-of-concept experiments that will prove the value of your idea

What will we do together?

Market Validation

We’ll help develop your go-to market strategy through market segmentation exercises, research, and ongoing customer discovery.

Product Validation

We’ll help you get the continuous innovation engine running through a series of product design sprints.

Product Strategy & Vision

We’ll help connect your market and product opportunity to a near-term and long-term product strategy and vision.

Team Building

We’ll help you plan for, find, hire, and work with your product and technology team moving forward.

Confidence & Momentum

We’ll help you communicate the story of your market opportunity and product vision through assets like a pitch deck.

What won't we do together?

Launch an MVP

A proof-of-concept should work just well enough to validate that the idea is worth investing more of your time and resources in. One outcome of our time together may well be a plan for when and how to build an MVP.

Business operations

We do not help with incorporation, legal, or financial setup. We can, however, suggest folks to work with on these aspects of starting up.

Work within a cohort of startups

This is not a cohort-based incubator. Your company will be the sole focus of a thoughtbot product pod (product strategist, designer, and developer) for 8 weeks. We want to focus on you, your business, and teeing you up for that next major milestone.

Not ready yet? The summer session starts July1st. Sign up here to be notified when applications open.

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Examples of early-stage success we achieved with start-up teams.

We fundraised earlier and bigger

thoughtbot helped us quickly build the groundwork for our product, which enabled us to fundraise earlier, and for a larger round. If we hadn’t worked with them, we could be a year behind where we are today.

Logistics & Investment

How much does it cost?

We expect the team to be focused full-time on the incubator for the duration of the eight weeks. The value of our program is $125,000 USD, which founders can pay for with equity (typically ~5% of the company), a mixture of cash and equity, or just cash.

When does it start?

We plan to start the first program on March 15th, 2023.

Two more programs will run in 2023, starting roughly July 1st and October 15th.

Who can apply?

Non-technical founding teams

Working within GMT-10:00 to GMT+0:00 during the program

With an incorporated business entity

How do I apply?

You can apply using the form right here on this page (above).