Founders can now apply to Pioneer by submitting a simple application:

We launched Pioneer in 2018 to be the best place in the world for the earliest founders to start building their companies. To that end, we’ve had two major pieces to what we do: the Tournament and the accelerator program.

The Tournament was an online community built for founders everywhere to get accountability and feedback. Separately, the Pioneer accelerator program has been designed to support the very best founders, featuring a 12-week remote program, a 1-month trip to San Francisco, a cash investment, and much more. The Tournament served as a funnel into the accelerator program; we periodically interviewed the top founders from the Tournament leaderboard to become Pioneers.

But over the past year, as we’ve gotten far more interest in the accelerator program, it’s become apparent that the Tournament had a major problem: a lot of great founders didn’t enjoy it, and found the process complicated. We experimented with application processes that coexisted alongside the Tournament, but externally, founders remain confused about how exactly to become a Pioneer.

While we’d love to keep the Tournament going in perpetuity, we’re listening to the advice that we give Pioneers by focusing on the one thing that matters: helping our founders become as successful as possible.

It’s no longer possible for new users to sign up for the Tournament. Founders can now apply to Pioneer via this application: The Tournament will last for 3 more weeks, and the final round of voting will be on Tuesday, April 25th.

We know a lot of you are past & present beloved Tournament users. We’re sad to be sunsetting it as well. Here are a few fun facts to celebrate it:

  • Over 60,000 progress updates were submitted since we began the current version of the Tournament in June 2019.
  • Founders collectively wrote over 600,000 pieces of feedback for each other during weekly voting.
  • The record for leaderboard dominance goes to Roboflow, who spent 77 weeks at #1 on the global leaderboard, including an unrivaled streak of 36 consecutive weeks at #1, and 105 consecutive weeks in the top 5—nearly their entire time participating in the Tournament.
  • The longest all-time streak of consecutive weekly updates goes to TensorCell with 197. Incredibly, they haven’t missed a single weekly update since June 2019! In a close second place is Werbot with 191.
  • And finally—for one that’s a particular soft spot for us internally—2 members of our Pioneer team are former founders that won the Tournament.

If you’re currently in the Pioneer Tournament, we’ve sent you an email with more details on what this means for you. You can also read more by logging in and heading to the Tournament homepage.

Any questions? Just send us an email at