When do applications close?

October 25th, 2019 at 11:59pm

How do I apply?

You can apply online at

Can I start my application, save it, and finish it later?

Yes, click “Finish Later” at the bottom of the form. Next time you log into Gust, on your “Home” page you can scroll down and view the “Accelerator Applications” section. Just click on the “Apply by October 25th” link under “Application Status” for the VILLAGEx 2020 program to pick up where you left off.

When will I hear back about my application? What’s the timeline from application to selection to program start?

Applications will open in September, with final selection made by the end of November. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and as such decisions may take time to communicate. Due to the high volume of applicants to VILLAGEx, The Idea Village team will communicate only positive decisions. As this is an industry-leading accelerator, applicants should expect an extensive and competitive application process. Space is extremely limited in the program, and interested ventures are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. If you have any questions please contact We look forward to hearing about your venture!

Who reviews my application?

Applications are reviewed by members of The Idea Village team and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR).

Do you sign NDAs?

We, like most other organizations of our kind, do not sign NDAs. We believe our reputation speaks for itself — we’re not in the business of stealing ideas, and the thousands of companies we’ve helped without any NDAs is proof of that. We can’t force you to disclose every detail of how your business works, but the more we know, the more we can help you.


What kind of companies are you looking for?

We are looking for ventures with highly scalable, technology-enabled business models. The program is designed to help your company scaleup quickly and drive positive economic impact in the New Orleans region.

Ideal companies are:

+ Based on a new or unproven business model with the potential to revolutionize how business is conducted in your industry

+ Leveraging new technology to improve a business process or bring a new product to market, or

+ Serving a new or niche market in an innovative way

If you have questions about whether or not your business is eligible, you can contact

Do I have to be working on my startup full-time?

We prefer it if you are. The purpose of the program is to accelerate the growth to your company. If you are still working another job, part-time or full-time, it can make this acceleration slower. For founders who are not working on their startup full-time but may otherwise qualify for the accelerator, we will have a follow-up conversation to understand your specific situation and ensure you can commit the necessary time as most of the programming will take place during normal working hours. We leverage our networks and our expertise to provide founders with the right resources they need to be successful, and we believe that you must be present to take advantage of these opportunities and succeed.

What stage of company do you work with?

Our program is ideal for businesses that have already raised some ‘seed’ stage capital and are looking to leverage that traction into hitting operational milestones and setting up a larger ‘series A’ level raise. Additionally, Our accelerator program is focused on catalyzing rapid growth. Upon entering the program, we are looking for companies that have previously achieved a minimum of one of the following:

+ Built an innovative and functional product

+ Developed a strong and fully committed team with demonstrated domain knowledge and well-rounded skills and experiences

+ Demonstrated market traction through sales, users, or capital raised

We believe these criteria to be the foundation of successful, innovative, growth-oriented companies.

What do you look for in a team?

We look for a few key things:

+ Passion and dedication to building an exceptional future for New Orleans

+ Demonstrated leadership and domain knowledge

+ Relevant skills and experience to allow the business to grow

+ A willingness to accept criticism and learn from your peers

+ A drive to never stop improving

What if my company isn’t the right fit or at the appropriate stage, do you have other programs?

Yes! We have several programs to choose from that will help you further refine your idea and prepare your business so that it has the best resources possible for success. We offer the IDEAinstitute twice a year in the fall and spring. This 7-week, online course introduces innovative startups and potential startup founders to the tools they need to take an idea and turn it into a viable, scalable business.

Additionally we offer IDEAsessions, which are 1-hour strategy sessions with a mentor that address a specific challenge your business is facing.

We also produce Community Content on a monthly basis. Stay in the loop on event dates as well as who the guest speakers are by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social media!


What are the start and end dates for the VILLAGEx Program?

The VILLAGEx program will run from January 6th - April 27th, 2020

What is the cost associated with the program?

We do not currently charge program fees or take equity as a condition of participation. The Idea Village supports companies that can create meaningful economic development outcomes for our region and instills a culture of paying it forward that encourages entrepreneurs to become civic leaders. We hope that you will join us in this mission.

Do you invest in participating companies?

We do ask participating companies to sign an accelerator participation agreement that outlines the responsibilities and expectations of participating in the accelerator and includes an ongoing information right (to measure outcomes) and the right to participate in future investment rounds.

I don’t live in New Orleans, can I still participate?

Yes, you can still participate in the program; however, we do require that you are able to be physically present for the duration of the 16-Week Accelerator program.