The Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club is excited to announce the Semi-Finalist for the 2021-2022 SMU Business Accelerator Program. We look forward to seeing the work each team and founders will bring to this program. Congratulations!

Only one team member or founder will need to apply to the SMU Business Accelerator Program. Applications are due by the extended deadline date of Sunday, September 19, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST.


Who can Apply?
  • In line with the mission of the Cox Graduate Entrepreneurship Club, every “Team” (1 – 5 members) must be student-led, student-driven, and/or student-created. Both graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurs from any SMU department may apply.SMU Student alumni can apply must have graduated 13 months from the application date . Exceptions require approval.
  • Teams must be comprised of at least 1 current SMU student. SMU students must make up at least 50% of the Team. Only SMU team members may present in both the Elevator Pitch Competition and the SMU Startup Launch Competition
  • The Team and/or business must not have raised more than $250,000 in equity capital before the start of the current academic year (e.g., Aug 1, 2021, for the 2022 competition)
  • The Team and/or business must not have produced more than $100,000 in total revenue before the start of the current academic year (e.g., Aug 1, 2021, for the 2022 competition)
  • The Team and/or business must be seeking funding and be a potentially viable investment opportunity
  • A recent copy of an Executive Summary and Pitch Deck is required; Please refer to the resource page for specific details) 
Team Size
  • Teams must be comprised of at least 1 enrolled student founder(graduate or undergraduate) or recently graduated SMU alumni and may not exceed 5 members
  • Teams must designate 1 person to be the team lead. The team lead will be the main point of contact
  • For teams competing, a maximum of 5 students may present at the SMU Cox Startup Launch Competition
  • A formation of a team will not be required for individual founders. 
Nature of Ventures
  • This competition is for student startup ventures that include a significant innovation. In all judging rubrics, innovation will be a weighted category
  • This will be for early-stage student start-ups who are at the stage of needing investment capital
  • Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, private equity syndications, energy syndications, real estate or other limited partnership syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, and spin-outs from existing corporations
Other Rules/Forms
  • Each team member will be required to submit an individual Form W-9 or W-8 ECI at registration. If the venture has been incorporated and has received an EIN, one form may be filled out. No prizes will be awarded without a completed W-8 ECI or W-9 on file with the Cox office. (The Graduate Entrepreneurship Club will provide a copy of this)
  • A completed Business Accelerator Program Application Form will also be required for participation.
  • Participants in both the Elevator Pitch and/or Startup Launch Competition will be required to sign a consent form to be videotaped and included in event promotional photos
Acceptance of Rules

By submitting an entry into the SMU Business Accelerator Program, participants agree to these rules and that the decision of the competition judges is final. SMU also has the right, at its sole discretion, to not accept any application it feels is not in keeping with the spirit and/or intent of SMU and the competition.

Any further questions or inquiries, please contact