You can also contact us at team@pioneer.app.

What is Pioneer?
Pioneer is a startup accelerator for founders in the earliest days of building their companies. Pioneer founders get...
  • A 3-month remote startup accelerator program.
  • Access to a network of 300+ founders in 50+ countries.
  • An invitation to a 1-month Summit in San Francisco with other Pioneers.
  • Free company formation via Stripe Atlas.
  • An optional $20,000 investment at a $2M valuation (or higher).
  • And much more.
What happens during the 3-month accelerator program?
You'll meet regularly with the Pioneer team, external advisors, and fellow Pioneer founders. We've designed the program to be as useful as possible in solving problems across all areas commonly faced by companies from idea to seed: customer development, product, growth, fundraising, and everything in between. Sessions will be held in both groups & 1:1 formats.
How does the 1-month Summit in San Francisco work?
In the first 3 days of the Summit, we coordinate a relatively full schedule, featuring sessions with successful founders and a variety of other events, followed by a very lightly scheduled month with weekly dinners and occasional office hours. You'll spend the month in a coworking space working side-by-side with other Pioneer founders. Our $20k investment is designed, in small part, to help Pioneers fund the trip. If you choose our alternative cashless terms, we'll book the round-trip flight for you. Pioneer doesn't otherwise pay for flights, lodging, etc.
How many teams are in each cohort?
There are exactly 5 teams per cohort of the accelerator program. We've experimented with smaller and larger cohorts and have found that precise number yields the best experience for founders. The Summit in San Francisco combines founders across different cohorts, and typically has 20 to 25 founders.
What types of companies are you looking for?

We invest in companies extremely early on—often before they've even incorporated or raised a dollar of funding. That said, companies also go through Pioneer having already raised an angel or pre-seed round. If you've raised $5M or more in a seed round or beyond, you'll be farther along than most companies when they join Pioneer.

When in doubt, apply. Because applications are always open, you can always reapply. We'll often encourage you to reapply after making a bit more progress in the following months—or even weeks!

How does the application process work?
Once you submit your application, we'll get back to you within 1-2 weeks with an invite to interview, or a rejection with a recommendation on when to re-apply. After the interview, we'll usually get back to you with a final decision in 1-2 days.
How often can I reapply?
We don't have any strict rules on reapplying. We typically recommend waiting at least 3 months to reapply, but what really matters is showing impressive progress. If we reject your application, we may give you a specific suggestion on when to re-apply.
Are there any any rules or restrictions around who can apply?
Our goal is to be as international as possible. We may be technically unable to support residents of certain countries (like North Korea). Besides legal restrictions, there is no minimum or maximum age for Pioneer.
How are the 1% offer & investment option structured?

Because we've designed Pioneer to be as valuable as possible independent of any cash investment, the 1% offer is structured as a post-money SAFE that converts to common stock, instead of the typical preferred stock that an investor would take.

The investment option is a standard $20k post-money SAFE at a $2M valuation, or higher if you've already raised at a larger valuation.

Both the standard offer & the investment option include pro rata rights.

The investment option is for $20k at my last valuation or $2M, whichever is higher. What qualifies as my last valuation?
Broadly speaking, if you've already raised a significant amount of money from reputable investors at a valuation of higher than $2M, we'll invest $20k at that valuation. For example, if you've raised $250k from a variety of angel investors at a $5M post-money valuation, we'll likely also invest at a $5M post-money valuation. On the other hand, if you've only raised $10k in a small friends and family round, that may not apply. We'll discuss these terms when we extend the Pioneer offer.
Do I need to be full-time on my company to become a Pioneer?
Typically yes. You must be full-time to take the $20k investment option, or plan to become full-time soon. If you accept the cashless offer, we sometimes make exceptions and allow part-time founders. Note that if we do make an exception and you are part-time, you are still expected to focus on your company full-time during the Summit in San Francisco, as you'll spend most of the trip working alongside other Pioneers.
Is there a deadline to apply?
No. We accept applications on a rolling basis, and start new cohorts of the accelerator program as often as monthly.
I’m in school or have a job. Can I apply?
Yes. We do typically require founders to be full-time for us to invest, but we sometimes make exceptions. You should also make sure you don’t have any legal conflicts (for example, an IP contract you’ve signed with your employer).
Can I apply with multiple companies?
Not at the same time. We think that a singular focus will be key to your success. You can always reapply with a different company later on.
If I'm selected as a Pioneer, will I be offered the investment option?
Yes, all Pioneer offers include the investment option. You are not obligated to accept either offer if you're selected.
I've already incorporated. Can I become a Pioneer?
All Pioneers are required to be incorporated as a United States C Corporation. If you're incorporated as one already, you're all set. If not, upon selection, we'll help you figure out the best process for creating a US company (or US parent company) in which we can invest.
Are there any other fees for Pioneer?
No. If you accept the Pioneer Offer, all benefits are in exchange for 1% equity in your company per the above terms, or up to 2% (depending on the valuation) if you also accept the investment option.
What was the Pioneer Tournament?

The Pioneer Tournament launched in August 2018 and ended in April 2023. You can read more on our blog.

How will you choose Tournament winners?

We review founders in the Top 50 on the Global Leaderboard and choose new Pioneers about every 1-2 weeks. Note that Pioneers are not counted when we review the Top 50. For example, if there are 20 Pioneers in the Top 50, we'll review all projects in the Top 70.

We take into account participants’ leaderboard positions, project descriptions, and progress when making selections. We're experimenting with the cadence and number of winners per week, so cohorts will vary in size.

We will stop selecting new Tournament winners after the Tournament ends on April 25th, 2023. After April 25th, there will be no more progress updates or voting, and the leaderboard will be taken down. Your account & data will still be accessible after that date.