We’ve selected a group of the best frontier-tech founders, operators, and investors to mentor participants. Our mentors include Cibby Pulikkaseril (co-founder of Baraja), Elise Jenkins (co-founder of Opto Bio), Hon Weng Chong (founder of Cortical Labs), David Bell (co-founder of Remedy Robotics), and Nick Opie (co-founder of Synchron). Our speaker lineup’s even better---be ready for exclusive masterclasses with deep tech and science’s best.
Reality follows ambition. Foundry encourages you to identify the greatest impact you can have, and helps you chart a path to it. All you need is an idea. We're not fazed by long timelines and technical risk---we're as hungry as you are to solve the most important problems.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to changing the world. Foundry covers the basics of business-building, but focuses on developing the skills and character you need to start a frontier tech company. You can choose where to go deeper.
Foundry is where we live out Blackbird's unique beliefs about scientist starting companies. We've written those beliefs down in our Manifesto, which you can download below.
There are high-potential founders in our research institutions. They can create and scale world-changing solutions in startups. The potential is in the future of these rare people, not their IP. Those who have the courage to found and build startups should be rewarded. They deserve to be supported from the very beginning with the full force of the best frontier technology founders, operators, and capital in the world.
Foundry is aimed at researchers---scientists, engineers, inventors---who are curious about founding a startup and have the seed of a world-changing idea. That said, anyone can apply with a wild startup idea. One person on your team needs to be an Australian or Kiwi. You can be based anywhere in the world!
Our archetypical founding team is led by one to three PhD students or EMCRs, who are supported by their research supervisor/s, but we love being surprised!
We run a two-stage application:
1. By September 8, fill in the written application, detailed below. We review these on a rolling basis for the entirety of the application window, and inform weekly on shortlisting. We will provide feedback where relevant, and you can re-apply (read between the lines: it's a good idea to get an application in early).
2. Shortlisted applicants submit a short video interview (2-3 mins) answering a couple of questions for our application panel and mentors to review.
The written application questions are:
Yes, absolutely! We review applications weekly and provide feedback then, and you’re welcome to resubmit. If you have any questions, you’re always welcome to email Clare at email@example.com
The base time commitment for the Foundry program is:
1. 2 hours per week in seminar/Q&A;
2. 2 hours per fortnight for cohort dinner;
3. 1 hour per fortnight for mentor meetings.
4. 1-2 hours per week for side quests.
However, we subscribe to Nutrigrainism: you only get out what you put in. You are invited to dig in as deep as you would like.
We do not invest in Foundry companies automatically, but prior-cohort participants have raised venture rounds from international investors including Startmate, Possible Ventures, Investible, Outset Ventures, and---yes---Blackbird.
There’s no cost to participants or any organisations with which they’re affiliated.
We run a competition/pitch day at the end of the program. A panel of judges chooses the winning team, and the team wins a A$15k cash prize - no strings attached.
As a general rule, no - it’s not standard, and it shouldn’t be necessary. But if it’s a dealbreaker for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat.