Founder Residency

Accelerate your startup’s growth by taking part in the Roux’s Founder Residency.

Bring your tech-based, big-impact idea to life in Portland, Maine. The Roux Institute Founder Residency is a year-long accelerator program designed to support high-growth technology companies. As part of our mission to create a diverse and equitable start-up ecosystem in Maine, this residency has a focus on supporting founders who are women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and other historically marginalized people. The Roux Institute aligns with the definition of women and female that explicitly includes trans women and femme/feminine-identifying genderqueer and non-binary individuals.


Program Details

You have a great idea — one you’re sure will significantly change the way people work and live. But what about the time, funding, and guidance to bring it to life? That’s what the Roux Institute at Northeastern University’s Venture Creation & Acceleration platform is all about. The one-year program supports high-growth technology ventures and founders who are out to solve the world’s most pressing challenges related to software, hardware, advanced supply chain, advanced manufacturing, biotech, and computational medicine.

Be one of 10 early-stage startups to join the Roux Institute and surround yourself with the talent, mentorship, and access to capital you need to drive growth.

Our program combines a $25,000 grant in non-dilutive funding for each company, with curated programming, mentorship, joint research opportunities, a network of expert advisors, and a peer community.

Founders have access to Northeastern’s global network of mentors and investors along with researchers, academics, and students in the fields of artificial intelligence, computer and data sciences, digital engineering, advanced life sciences, and medicine.

Imagine where comprehensive support from the Roux Institute could take your venture in a year!

Working with The Roux Institute has provided us with the invaluable opportunity to meet and network with other founders, as well as stakeholders in the broader Portland tech community.

SUSANNA PHO

Co-Founder, Forerunner


Life at its best

Why choose between a great place to work and a beautiful place to live? Maine offers the best of both worlds. Take advantage of this thriving innovation economy, with the ocean, mountains, world-class restaurants, and arts in your backyard.

Plug in and thrive

Located in Portland, Maine, the Roux Institute is a hub of Northeastern University’s global network. We’re home to pre-eminent experts in the fields of artificial intelligence, computer and data sciences, digital engineering, advanced life sciences, and medicine.

Through the Founder Residency, startups enjoy having access to investors, joint research opportunities, and mentorship from our experts and researchers, as well as the ability to recruit from our vast talent network of students and graduates.


Our year-long residency includes three phases. Founders have access to the Roux Institute’s Portland campus throughout the program.

Phase 1: Connections (2 Weeks)

Expect to spend 15 to 20 hours per week on campus during this short but intense period.

  • Meet potential mentors through our unique matching process.
  • Assemble a team of three lead mentors for your venture.
  • Take part in team-building exercises with other founders in your cohort.
  • Learn about the many resources offered by Northeastern, the Roux Institute, and the founder residency.
Phase 2: Intensive (10 Weeks)

During the first three months, you’ll work with your mentors and attend workshops designed to advance your venture. Expect to commit six to eight hours a week.

  • Meet with your mentor team for one hour per week.
  • Attend two to three hours of workshops per week.
  • Meet with subject-matter experts for one hour per week.
  • Participate in team-building and program events.
Phase 3: Build and Scale (9 months)

Expect to work full-time during the final phase of your residency, with about an hour or two each week devoted to program meetings. To help you stay on track, you’ll meet with your mentor team bi-weekly or monthly. Your program team will connect you with additional resources as needed. This is also the time we work with companies to raise appropriate outside capital to help you continue to grow your venture. This is typically a seed equity round, but there are other financing options as well.

  • Mentorship

    Tap Northeastern University’s global network of startup advisors, founders, and subject matter experts to turbo-charge growth.

  • Living Stipend

    Use $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding to focus on building your venture full-time.

  • Peer Community

    Join the Roux Institute’s network of 70+ portfolio companies for guidance that helps you solve routine issues fast.

  • Programming

    Get up to speed on product-market fit, fundraising, design thinking, legal advice, and more, with leading subject matter experts and programs designed to help you succeed.

  • Workspace

    Get inspired  by the Roux Institute’s cutting-edge, open-concept campus in downtown Portland, surrounded by top researchers and experts in AI, life sciences, and data visualization.

  • Extra Benefits

    Enjoy access to over $300,000 in credits and discounts from our partners at AWS, Google, Mixpanel and more.


Current Portfolio Companies

The following companies are currently participating in our Founder Residency cohort:

  • Chargely

    Chargely is a mobile-first application solving electric vehicle charging anxiety by offering routing and EV charging recommendations powered by community-driven data.”

  • EzOut

    Due to the labor shortage caused by COVID, many stores experienced understaffing, increased workloads, and poor customer service. EzOut offers an AI-powered, low-cost smart shopping cart that increases grocers’ profit margins and personalizes the shopping experience at brick-and-mortar stores.

  • P3RD

    P3RD is a material science R&D company commercializing microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) tree-plastic packaging. Using a newly patented molding system of 100% MFC, this oceancompostable, fish friendly (OCFF) packaging is currently formed into drink lids and straws. 

  • ReachMyTeach

    ReachMyTeach makes it easy for families, students, and teachers to connect in ways and languages that work for them. ReachMyTeach translates messages and PDFs into over 130 languages, and supports on-demand video interpreters, scheduled conferences, attendance management, and districtwide alerts for large communications like snow days.

  • Small Wins Dashboard

    The Small Wins Dashboard is a web-based app for educators that converts individual team members’ small win reflections into team-wide evidence of progress. The data helps schools answer, collectively and in real time, “Which of our practices are working for our students?” 

  • Sotira

    Sotira helps D2C brands and stores optimize the highest returns on excess inventory, unsold inventory, and overstock. Sotira aggregates, recommends, and implements solutions for inventory overstock based on profitability and time constraints and alleviates the time and labor involved in making these decisions.

  • Thola

    Thola offers compliance automation for the agricultural supply-chain. This includes the acceleration of auditing and global export compliance certification for farmers and their produce, as well as climate sustainability and quality standards. This is done through Thola’s digital compliance app, which links farmers to a team of licensed Thola agricultural auditors.

  • Trameter

    Trameter is a travel platform that plans a user’s entire vacation in 90 seconds or less. Using a deeply intelligent algorithm that automatically finds and combines the best hotels, flights, and experiences into a single travel package, all based on the traveler’s budget and preferences, travelers can book an entire trip in one click 

  • Videsk

    Videsk revolutionizes B2C communications in e-commerce by delivering a scalable, plug & play video contact center. Videsk leverages BI to humanize customer interactions, enhance service quality, and enable personalized experiences for sales guidance and customer support. 

  • zal.ai

    Zal.ai uses the latest technology in unified API providers, LLMs, and skill ontologies to help organizations of any size implement effective and equitable professional development for their workforce. Uses include helping to cultivate and retain employees, guiding teams through professional development and performance reviews, and providing employees with personalized career advisors.  

Watch our current cohort pitch their startups at the recent Venture Showcase below!


Lead Sponsor

 


Founder Residency Case Studies

Read how some of our Founder Residency participants benefited from the programming, resources, and mentorship provided to them by the program.

  • DeepCharge

    The Founder Residency Program connected DeepCharge with key players and mentors that helped propel the startup to success.
    Read More➝ 

  • hey freya

    hey freya benefited from Northeastern University’s expansive network of students and experts to get guidance on research, software, & marketing.
    Read More➝ 

  • Tanbark

    Through the Roux Institute’s partnership team, Tanbark CEO Melissa LaCasse met future board members and clients.
    Read More➝ 

  • CIVA

    CIVA tapped into Northeastern’s network of experts and students for help in design, data architecture, and more.
    Read More➝ 


FAQs

Do I need to have an idea to apply?

Yes. The Founder Residency is for founders with ideas or technology that have at least a basic level of market and/or technical validation. The ideal candidate has a an early product out to market. Our goal is to support you as you work full-time on your venture and give you the tools you need to accelerate growth.

Do I need to live in Maine to apply?

No. We source applicants from across the globe through a competitive process. However, the Residency is located in Maine, and we expect founders in the program to be stationed at the Roux Institute’s Innovation Hub in Portland, ME for the duration of the program. We believe Maine is the best place in the world to start and run a business.

What types of business ideas do you support?

We support founders with the desire and idea or technology to create a scalable technology-based business that could have a meaningful impact for millions. We prefer ventures that utilize technology aligned with the Roux Institute’s core focus areas — artificial intelligence, computer and data sciences, digital engineering, advanced life sciences, and medicine.

Do you support non-profit ventures?

Yes. We support for-profit ventures, non-profit ventures, and every venture in between. As long as your idea uses technology and has potential to drive significant change as outlined above, we’ll consider it.

Can I apply with my co-founder?

Yes. The application considers your startup as a whole and we hope to have all your founders participate in the program.

Do I need to be a Northeastern student to apply?

No! You do not need to be a student or have any affiliation with Northeastern to be eligible.

Are applications for the Founder Residency open?

Applications for the next cohort have closed. We will open applications for the 2025 cohort in the spring of 2025. Be sure to sign up for our Entrepreneurship newsletter to stay up to date with our programs.


Get in Touch

Interested in the Roux Institute Founder Residency? Please complete this form and our team will contact you with more information.