About Z Fellows
We pay you to skip your job or class for a week.
We’ll give you $10,000 to go all in on your project or idea. Join a cohort of early technical builders and learn from some of Silicon Valley’s smartest mentors.
Currently accepting applications.
When in doubt, apply. We are all just winging it :)
Who are Z Fellows?
We’ve worked with high school dropouts, college students, and people with full-time jobs across a variety of industries, including consumer, social, enterprise, defense, healthcare, edtech, fintech, cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, crypto, AI, ML, climate, biotech, and more.
Example Daily Schedule
All sessions are roughly 1 hour and we will have no more than two sessions per day. The remaining time is for you to work and meet other Z Fellows.
Z Fellows Alumni
I was in my bedroom at home building Nucleus for more than a year. I dropped out of school. My parents looked at me like I was crazy. My friends looked at me like I was crazy. Society looked at me like I was crazy. I was losing my mind. I was a one man show in my bedroom. I texted Cory and several days later was accepted into Z Fellows and that changed everything. Today we’ve raised over $15M from the greatest investors on the planet - Founders Fund, 776, CEO of Allergan, etc. etc. I can not overstate the power of Z Fellows. It changes lives!
Z Fellows is an awesome opportunity to meet the first round of people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. Ended up fundraising from amazing investors, highly recommend!
When we first got into Z Fellows, we didn't know exactly what to expect. Before we knew it, we were on the phone with the founder of Tinder talking about our company! Cory has helped us immensely at every stage of the startup process and if you are starting a company, you would be foolish not to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
There’s never been a better time to start a company than today and Z Fellows is the perfect place to start. It’s what got me started on my journey and has enabled me to get to where we are today building a product that has the potential to help millions of people with their mental health. Z Fellows plugged us in to an incredible network of young entrepreneurs and investors and ultimately connected us to General Catalyst who led our $3M seed round. I can’t say enough good things, and you should definitely apply!
My co-founder and I were just two college students, working harder on our idea than our schoolwork, looking for the slightest signal that we were supposed to drop out. Z Fellows was that signal. Just 2 months after joining Z Fellows, we dropped out and have never looked back. Between the information gathered during the sessions, introductions to fellow builders and investors, and the feeling of camaraderie between all of the founders we’ve built alongside for the past 2 years, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to jumpstart our company!
If there’s one thing I’m most grateful for, it’s my past self taking a chance and applying to Z Fellows - Z Fellows changed my life! Here’s the thing, if you’ve been working on a side project or have even been thinking about working on something that you think has the potential to go to the next level, you should apply to Z Fellows. I did, and raised millions of dollars of funding from some fantastic angels and VCs - all thanks to the network, mentorship supplied by Z Fellows and Cory himself.
Z Fellows was such a cool opportunity for me to meet other young founders that are super ambitious and kind and compassionate to each other. In the community, people are so supportive with everything from intros to engineering work - I could not recommend Z Fellows more!
Cory and Z Fellows make any other startup accelerator, incubator look like a joke. While the others are "playing" startup and have 100+ companies each cohort, Z Fellows is adding tremendous value to you and your project. Minutes after speaking with Cory for the first time, he put us on the phone with the founder of Tinder and we talked to them about our company. Fast forward a year later, we talk to Cory almost everyday when it comes to team, product, and or fundraising advice.
Just a couple months ago, I was right here on this website applying to Z Fellows. I was based out of India with zero connections in the valley and no experience fundraising. Z Fellows became our first investor. Got a bunch of advice, intros, and connections. We just wrapped up an incredible $2M pre-seed round with the best investors globally. If you are working on something cool… doesn't matter what your age is…doesn't matter where you are based out of… go apply to Z Fellows! Take a bet on yourself!
Z Fellows catapults you into an incredible network of founders. Within the first two days of the on-site we attended, my network of potential mentors, investors, and like-minded friends had expanded drastically. For someone with few connections to the startup world before, this helped immensely with my mindset and confidence as a founder. My co-founder and I have many close relationships fostered from Z Fellows that have proven invaluable.
I joined Z Fellows right after I started my company Vesto and it enabled me to raise my first round. Cory introduced me to countless investors. Enabled me to build a network of other awesome young founders. The mentors in the Z Fellows program are amazing. I'd recommend every founder to apply if you are looking to start a company or have started a company. Z Fellows is amazing!
Z Fellows hand holds you through the startup world, while you can lock in and focus on what you want to build. Cory has connected us with hundreds of people and jumps to help at any situation. We were able to go from not having any venture funding prior to Z Fellows, to going through the program and raising our Series A in under 6 months.
In one of the most difficult fundraising environments, we just closed our $2.3M pre-seed round. And all of the coaching, the networking, the introductions can all be directly traced back to Z Fellows, to Cory, and to the Z Fellows alumni.
I’m Nik. I’m 19. I did Z Fellows just a few months ago and have since met my co-founder, raised a $4.2M pre-seed. If you are young and ambitious and really serious about what you are doing highly recommend you to apply to Z Fellows!
Z Fellows Alumni Are Backed With Millions By
Who can apply?
There have been Z Fellow high school dropouts, college students, and people with full-time jobs .... there's no age restriction to apply!
What’s the timeline?
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and there is no deadline to submit an application. We run multiple cohorts every year. Apply and you'll be considered for the next one.
If you've been rejected before, you can re-apply now. We encourage it :).
Do I need to drop out or quit my job?
Do I need a team to apply?
No. You can apply solo or with a team.
Do you take equity in my company?
It's up to you. You can participate without money or we can give you a $10,000 investment at a $1B valuation cap.
You can tell your friends your company is worth $1B ;).
This $10,000 investment will convert into stock at your next priced round.
Do I need to have a company?
No. We can help you set up one.
Where do I have to be based?
Anywhere. This program is virtual.
Should each team member fill out an application?
You can fill out just one application for your team. If you have a co-founder, make sure to note this somewhere in your application.
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org