Blackbox Connect

Blackbox Connect, our flagship two-week program, is open to global startup founders seeking to hone their craft of entrepreneurship, amplify their drive, and fortify their company’s foundation.

Together with a hand-picked cohort of fellow founders from across the globe, Blackboxers are immersed in an intensive, residential experience in the heart of San Francisco. 

We’re not currently accepting applications. The next application cycle will begin mid-November 2018 for participation in Blackbox Connect #25. If you’re an eligible founder and interested in applying, sign up to be notified when the application window is open.

Who should apply?

Founders who have launched a product in the market, have seen promising traction, and are now facing a key inflection point in their startup journey. Because our program places a focus on the founder and the critical role they play in shaping, leading, and growing their company, strong candidates should welcome self-reflection and be eager to explore their most vexing personal and professional challenges. Our curriculum is optimized for CEOs and we give preference to those applications, but it is not a requirement.


  • Must be the original founder/cofounder of your startup
  • Must commit to full participation in the two week residential program
  • Must have product launched in market
  • Must be proficient in English
  • Must not have extensive prior exposure to the SV ecosystem 

What are some of the
topics I can expect?

Week 1

  • How Silicon Valley works
  • De-risking your startup
  • Crafting a powerful and authentic narrative
  • Building relationships in the Valley
  • Confronting hard truths about entrepreneurship
  • Aligning culture, team, and strategy
  • Going global and identifying growth channels

Week 2

  • Clarifying your entrepreneurial vision
  • Fundraising strategies and landmines
  • 1:1 mentorship with industry experts
  • Managing change and pivoting
  • Scaling your leadership alongside your startup
  • Showcase your startup to Silicon Valley
  • Implementing action and building your legacy

What is the Blackbox
Connect Experience?

From the moment you step through our door, we take you out of the day-to-day grind and immerse you in the world of Silicon Valley. Throughout week one, the Blackbox experience gives you the space, freedom, and agency to step back and reevaluate your startup—and your role as its founder.

Together with our top-tier network of advisors, mentors, and speakers, we build a foundation of trust that allows you to tackle key challenges in your vision, team, product, market, business, and culture. Your peers in the program—global entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and sectors—will provide fresh perspectives that open new possibilities for growth, both personally and professionally.

In week two, we connect your drive as an entrepreneur to a legacy worth creating. You will learn from and be inspired by role models, mentors, and each other. Once you’ve renewed your sense of purpose and direction, we give you the opportunity to showcase who you are, what you’re building, and why it matters to Silicon Valley investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts who can help your startup grow. As the program comes to a close, we take time to solidify the relationships formed and discoveries made over the past two weeks, ensuring that the impact of your Blackbox experience continues to reveal itself for years to come.

What happens after the program? What are the results?

Our commitment to you and your startup doesn’t end after the program. You’ll become part of an active global network that offers lifelong support and opportunities for collaboration. We facilitate a range of valuable follow-on offerings to Blackboxers, from e-mentor matchmaking, founder forums, leadership opportunities, alumni networking events, advisory services, exclusive perks, and much more.

Our network of 400+ Blackboxers spans more than 60 countries and six continents and continues to grow—one relationship at a time. Here are some of the results so far:

  • 4800 startups applied
  • 91% of startups founded by Blackboxers continue to grow and thrive
  • 65% raise funding within 6-9 months of participation
  • 38% female founders
  • 10 exits
  • $1bn in combined market value