Application deadline Oct 30

A two-year fellowship to turn your technology concept into a product.


Fellows receive a yearly living stipend of $80,000 to $110,000 plus a health insurance stipend and travel allowance. This enables them to focus on their project full-time. Each project also receives $100,000 of research support at the host laboratory.


Bringing technology to the market can be a long and lonely road. Our fellows take this journey together as part of a dynamic community of scientists, engineers, and technologists who share what they know and celebrate each other’s victories.


We facilitate connections between fellows and our broad network of industry executives, investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other experts from academia, industry, government, and finance—any of whom can serve as advisors or partners.


Fellows are able to access world-class research tools, equipment, facilities, and expertise through collaboration with the host laboratory. Fellows fully own or jointly own all intellectual property developed during their two-year fellowship term.


Our experienced team meets with fellows one-on-one on a regular basis to help develop priorities, provide guidance, and make connections to our broader network of advisors, industry experts, and investors.


Tailored for scientists and engineers and delivered on a weekly basis, our startup curriculum includes sessions on core business and product development concepts, VIP speakers, skill development workshops, and shared learning from other fellows and alumni.

Industrial Sectors

Fellows work across nine industry sectors, aligned with our broader mission to redefine the way science serves society and sustains the planet. In each of these sectors, Activate is assembling a coalition of funders, commercial partners, industry advisers, and technical experts that can help guide your project, whatever path it takes. Not sure if your project fits one of our industry sectors? Read the FAQ to learn more.


What’s Required

Define Project
Fellows spend two years working to advance new technology, product, or business aligned with one or more of our industry sectors.

Determine Applicant(s)
Applicants can be either an individual or up to two technical leaders of an existing team or company. If a project has two leaders that meet the eligibility criteria, both individuals should apply in a single application.

Confirm Eligibility
To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants

  1. Must have a bachelor’s degree and 4+ years post-baccalaureate scientific research, engineering, or technology development experience.
  2. Must be proposing a project based on an innovation in the physical or biological sciences, or related engineering disciplines.
  3. Must not have raised more than $2,000,000 in debt or equity funding from non-governmental sources for the proposed project.
  4. Initial and continued support is subject to performance, availability of funds, ability to work in the US, and access to a partner laboratory. Please read the FAQ for more information about potential access limitations.

What We Look For

Entrepreneurial Potential
Does the applicant have the ability to mobilize the physical, financial, and intellectual resources needed to advance the proposed project; the ability to identify and prioritize project milestones to create value and reduce risk; and the ability to operate in situations with a high degree of ambiguity and incomplete information?

Does the applicant have the ability to lead toward productive and responsible outcomes, e.g. to engage with diverse technical and non-technical stakeholders, and to persuade and inspire others through written and spoken communication; to identify professional strengths and weaknesses, productively respond to constructive criticism, and grow professionally; to manage conflict, conduct themselves with integrity, and demonstrate a willingness to take responsibility for their actions?

Technical Excellence
Does the applicant have comprehensive knowledge in the field of the proposed project; the ability to quickly learn new concepts, develop new skills, and adapt to new technical information; and the ability to independently and safely lead the technical work involved in the proposed project?

Does the applicant have a history of being a positive contributor to teams, supporting others, and participating in professional communities? How willing is the applicant to relocate to, or spend substantial time at, the partner laboratory?

Is the proposed project rooted in sound scientific principles and feasible within the proposed time frame? Does it have a clear and organized plan with well-reasoned technical milestones and a risk mitigation plan? Does it present a credible path to scale, including viable entry markets or the potential to pivot?

Impact Potential and Sponsor Alignment
Does the proposed project have the potential for impact in one or more Activate Areas? Is it reasonably differentiated from existing solutions and commercial efforts? Is the project aligned with the mission of one of the fellowship sponsors?

Highest and Best Use of Fellowship
Will the fellowship and access to partner laboratories meaningfully alter the trajectory of the project? Will participation improve the timeline or probability of success?

Click here to apply