NEXT Up FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Next Up.

What is the NEXT Up program?

  • NEXT Studios (A Venture Studio), in partnership with the NEXT Community Impact Fund (NCIF) have developed a program to support what we see as Inequitable Equity. In essence we are targeting those founders who have had a hard time obtaining support from traditional means. 
  • In 3 parts, the NEXT Up Program is designed to take ideas to products and products to companies.
  • Step 1 is Discovery Week. This is where we take founders with a passion for big problems and work through the process of Ideation.
  • Step 2 is Productization Sprints. Founders that graduate from Discovery Week, have the opportunity to pitch the NEXT Community Impact Fund for an investment of $150,000 to take the idea through the NEXT Up – Productization Sprints process. This is an intense and intensive 6 months combining the Founders Passion & NEXT Studios Co-Founder Services with the objective to demonstrate real traction. (Ideally, be in the market with an MVP and some revenue).
  • Step 3. Once the productization sprint process is complete. The founders have the opportunity to pitch the NEXT Community Impact Fund for an additional $!00,000 of investment as part of their Seed Round.

Could you be NEXT Up and should you apply?

Whether a first time founder or an experienced entrepreneur, if you can show us that you have passion to solve a big problem and are willing to work with an experienced team to develop a soluition, you are welcome to apply.

Is there a deadline to apply to NEXT Up?

  • We offer multiple cohorts per year and publish the dates in advance. So feel free to apply any time and we will work with you to find the ideal cohort. 
  • When you apply for a Discovery week, you should plan on being able to attend, COVID-19 restrictions willing, in person.

How does a Discovery Week work, what will we be working on?

  • The Discovery week is intended to pressure test you, your problem space and your idea. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we have based our Discovery Week around the concepts of the Lean Startup. We will work with you to develop and rapidly iterate on the data needed to complete a Lean Canvas. 
  • A large cause for failure in Startups is the failure of the team. Consequently, we will also work on personality profiles for you and your co-founders. If you understand each other better, you will work better together.

I have some revenue and a product already, am I a fit for the NEXT Up program?

  • NEXT Up – Discovery week is really targeting pre-product, pre-revenue ideas, if you have a product in market already, have received external investment, or have revenue you are unlikely to be accepted into a cohort.
  • If your company has revenue, a product in market and are looking for funding, the NEXT Community Impact Fund looks at later stage companies – click here to register your interest.

Do I need to live / relocate to Central Indiana to participate in the NEXT Up program?

To participate in Discovery week, you do not need to relocate to Indiana, however to be considered for Investment by the NEXT Community Impact Fund, you need to be located in Indiana.

Are there any qualifications for founders to participate in NEXT Up?

As long as you are legally able to work in the US, you can apply to be in a cohort. Please note, each phase of NEXT Up is a competitive process, and we cannot guarantee that everyone that applies will be accepted.

Is there a cost to the founder to participate in the NEXT Up – Discovery Week?

Assuming that your application is successful, there is no cost to the Founder to participate in Discovery Week