Founder Residency

About the Roux Institute Founder Residency

The Roux Institute Founder Residency is a year-long engagement designed to support founders at the earliest stages of their entrepreneurial journey. The Residency co-locates Founders at our Portland campus (or one of our regional partners across the state of Maine) and gives founders a living stipend and access to curated programming, mentorship, joint research opportunities, a network of expert advisors, and a peer community to accelerate their growth.

The program is intended to lower the barrier of entry for would-be entrepreneurs with a high-growth, technology-focused concept who might not have the financial means to support themselves while they develop their idea. We believe that surrounding these exceptional founders with the resources to succeed will lead to a more diverse startup ecosystem in Maine and this program is targeted at those founders.

Founders can take advantage of Northeastern’s global network and entrepreneurship expertise in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Computational Biology, and Data Visualization.

Learn more about our current cohort of residency companies, program benefits, and application details below.

Applications for the Roux Founder Residency 2022 Cohort are now closed. 

What You Get

  • Mentorship

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

  • Living Stipend

    Financial assistance for cost of living expenses such as rent, groceries, childcare, etc.

  • Peer Community

    Network with other early-stage founders navigating similar challenges

  • Programming

    Curated programming on everything from Product-Market Fit to Fundraising, specifically designed to help first-time founders succeed  

  • Space

    Work out of the Roux Institute’s cutting-edge, open-concept campus in downtown Portland, surrounded by some of the top researchers and experts in AI, Life Sciences, and Data Visualization

  • AI Experts

    Access to joint research opportunities with the leading researchers in the fields of AI and Computational Medicine

The Details

The Residency is divided into 3 main sections throughout the year. For all of the sections, Residency founders will be able to work out of the Roux institute’s Portland campus (or one of our regional partners across the state of Maine).

Connections (2 Weeks)

This is the whirlwind to start it all off with a flurry of activity. During the first two weeks of the Residency, founders will:

  • Be introduced to potential mentors through our unique mentor-matching process
  • Assemble a team of 3 Lead Mentors for their venture
  • Go through team-building exercises with other Residency founders
  • Get introduced to all of the resources Northeastern, The Roux Institute, and the Founder Residency have to offer
  • Get acquainted with your new office and maker-space facilities

The time commitment for the first two weeks is approximately 15-20 hours per week.  It’s intense but fast.

Intensive (3 Months)

During the first three months of the Residency, founders will spend time working with their mentors and attending workshops to continue iterating on their ventures.  Founders can expect to:

  • Meet with their mentor team for 1-hour per week
  • Attend 2-3 hours of workshops per week
  • Meet with subject-matter experts for 1-hour per week
  • Other team-building and program events

The time commitment for the 3-month intensive is approximately 6-8 hours per week.  It’s well-worth it, we promise.

Build and Scale (9 Months)

During the last nine months of the Residency, founders will be working full-time on their ventures. They will meet with their mentor team bi-weekly or monthly and will be connected with resources as needed by our Portfolio Concierge. During this time, we work with companies to raise the appropriate type of outside capital so they can continue to grow their ventures. Often this is a Seed equity round, but there are other options for financing as well.

The time commitment for the 9-month intensive is approximately 1-2 hours per week.

What We Are Looking For

• Early-stage founders with a technology-based, scalable concept that has had some level of market validation

• First-time founders and founders from underrepresented groups (focus on BIPOC/Female/Veteran/Rural founders)

• High-growth ideas that have the potential to fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and play

• Ideas that align with the Roux Institute’s target areas of Artificial Intelligence, Life Sciences, and Data Visualization

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 & COO


2022 Cohort – Application Details

  • Applications Open: September 7, 2021
  • Applications Due: October 15, 2021
  • Program Start Date: January 17, 2022
  • Program Duration: 12 Months

Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis starting mid-September until applications close. 

Founders will be notified of their acceptance in early November. 

Program Advisors

Why Maine?

There’s been a recent shift of entrepreneurs and tech talent away from traditional hubs like Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York, in favor of up-and-coming cities, like Portland, ME, that offer an unparalleled quality of life. No longer do startup founders need to choose between a great place to work or a great place to live. Entrepreneurs in Maine can have their cake and eat it too.

Maine offers startups and talent the best of both worlds—a thriving innovation economy, with the oceans, mountains, world-class restaurants, and arts, all in your backyard. You can go from an afternoon of business meetings in Portland on a Friday to a trip with the family to the beaches of downeast Maine on a Saturday, and a hike in the mountains of western Maine on a Sunday.

Why Roux? 

The Roux Institute is a hub of the Northeastern University global network located in Portland, Maine. It is home to pre-eminent experts in the fields of AI, Computational Medicine, Advanced Materials, and Data Visualization.

At the Institute, you’ll engage with these experts who are running cutting-edge research laboratories to shape the future of their respective fields. Additionally, over 500 graduate students are based at the Roux Institute and completing Master’s and PhD degrees in the fields of AI, Biotech, Data Science, and Analytics. Experiential learning that engages startups and corporate partners is a critical component of each program.

Through the Founder Residency program, you’ll have access to 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. The Roux Institute also enables engagement with experts from across Northeastern’s global network of over 1,500 faculty and the expansive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Maine.

Meet the 2021 Cohort

  • UNAR Labs

    Software company building innovative digital tools and tech with the mission of empowering people with visual impairments by enabling information access in digital media.

  • KinoTek

    A movement analysis company providing actionable data and insights to clinicians, resulting in improved quality of care, insurance reimbursement, and increased revenue.

  • Lief

    A new model of childcare that leverages technology to match-like minded families and place quality, vetted providers in the home.

  • New England Marine Monitoring

    A fisheries technology company providing camera-based, modernized fisheries-monitoring services to New England fishermen.

  • Forerunner

    Software that helps government agencies leverage per-property data to decrease community-wide flood risk and increase their capacity to adapt to climate change.

  • Hydronet

    Provides reliable, secure, and self-optimizing networks in contested environments enabling seamless integration of underwater assets without need for a pre-existing communication infrastructure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What stage of ventures do you work with?
We work with Founders who are at the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey. That can take many forms depending on the venture. In fact, we look for a little more traction than just an idea. The Founder Residency is for people with ideas or technology that have some level of market and/or technical validation. Our goal is to let you work full-time on your venture and give you the tools you need to accelerate your growth.
Do I need to live in Maine to apply? 
No. We source applicants from across the globe through a competitive process. However, the program is based in Maine and we expect founders in the program to be located in the Roux Institute’s Innovation Hub in Portland, ME (or at one of our partner locations across the state of Maine). We believe Maine is the best place in the world to start and run a business and we are happy to help out-of-state founders with housing and other arrangements.
What type of business ideas do you support? 

We support founders who have the desire and idea/technology to create a scalable technology-based business that will have a deep and meaningful impact on millions of people. We have a preference for ventures that utilize technology aligned with the Roux Institute’s core focus areas  – Artificial Intelligence, Life Sciences, Data Visualization, and Advanced Manufacturing. Brick and mortar stores are generally not a good fit for this program.  

Do I have to be a for-profit venture?   

No. We support for-profit ventures, non-profit ventures, and everything in between.  As long as you have a high-growth idea powered by technology that has the potential to fundamentally change the way we live, work, and play, we are here to support you.   

Can I apply with my co-founder? 

Yes.  We support early-stage founders, either as individuals or teams of up to three founders. 

Interested in the Roux Institute Residency Program? Please complete this form to receive program updates!