Apply to Life Changing Labs

Application process

Our application process involves an online application as well as an interview (for those invited).

Apply here for LCL Accelerator Class of 2021

Round 1 (R1) Applications are Due

R1 applicants will receive more consideration, as we prefer to build our class from the R1 pool. Those enrolling from R1 will also be eligible to receive (if requested) additional mentorship/coaching to better prepare them for the accelerator.

Although we prefer that you apply during R1, the R2 pool will also be given strong consideration.

Don’t procrastinate, apply now!


Round 1 - Begins October 1

Application due on November 15 at 11:59 PM ET

Interviews - December 1-7

Decisions - December 15

Round 2 - Begins February 1

Application due on March 15 at 11:59 PM ET

Interviews - April 1-7

Decisions - April 15

Application Criteria

Our startup accelerator class draws from the top 7% of university entrepreneurs nationally and internationally.

If you are serious about your venture and actively working on its development, we are interested in you.

We consider companies at various stages, but what we are looking for is a combination of entrepreneurial spark and emotional intelligence. Ideally, you have at least one (or more) co-founders that have been with you since the beginning.

We are open to any kind of idea, from software to social entrepreneurship.

What’s most important is your potential to disrupt the status quo and make a significant difference.

Frequently asked questions


How do I know if my idea is ready for LCL?

There is only one way to find out. ;)

What do you look for in an applicant?

We place high emphasis on individuals who have focus, demonstrate grit, and value relationships.

The ideal LCL candidate is serious about pursuing their startup, and already generating revenue or has won an entrepreneurship competition at their school.

In addition, we look for individuals who have spark and excitement for the greater entrepreneurship community.

If my venture isn’t generating revenue, or has not won a competition, should I still apply?

We recognize that revenue or awards are not the perfect indicators of entrepreneurial potential. If you believe you are a good fit for LCL we encourage you to apply to be considered for our accelerator!

Can LCL help me with my application?

Once you submit your online application, LCL is happy to connect with you to help guide you through the rest of the process.

If you have any questions before submitting, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Why are there two rounds of applications?

We plan to select most of our class from our Round 1 pool. We know that startups can make a lot of progress in a short amount of time, which is why we have a Round 2. If you apply in Round 1, you will have an additional opportunity again to apply again in Round 2 after receiving feedback.

Do we need to incorporate before applying?

No. But it’s an important step you’ll eventually need to take, and our legal resources can help.

Whom can I contact if I have any questions?

Please email

The LCL Accelerator

What are the dates of the accelerator program?

June 7 to July 30, 2021

What is the time commitment?

The LCL Accelerator is an 8 week program that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 PM to 6 PM ET. Full attendance to all of our sessions is required.

Founders are expected to meet weekly with their mentor.

Our Demo Day is on July 30th at 1 PM ET.

Can I see the tentative schedule?


4:00 PM: Pre-Talk Community Session

4:30 PM: Talk and Q&A with Guest Speaker

5:30 PM: Optional Networking Session


4:00 PM: Pitch Practice

5:00 PM: Feedback with Guest Judges

What can I expect to get from the LCL Accelerator?

Featured Speakers:

Weekly Y Combinator style virtual dinners with world class entrepreneurs. This summer will include Scott Belsky (Investor, CEO of Behance, acquired Adobe), John Alexander (Investor, CBord, acquired $350M+), and Danielle Strachman + Michael Gibson (Co-founders + General Partner 1517 fund)

Mentorship & Coaching:

Weekly 1-1 mentorship + coaching for founders. Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs who have experience launching and guiding successful startups. We also have specialized mentors available by appointment or office hours in the fields of: Marketing, Legal Services, and Business Development.

Pitch Practice:

Weekly pitch practices, including sessions with guest pitch coaches who professionally mentor/advise startups or are experienced founders themselves.

Final Pitch Competition:

Each summer culminates with a Demo Day, where the startups present their companies to a select panel of judges--venture capitalists and prominent entrepreneurs.

Community & Global LCL Network

The LCL Accelerator Class is a community and a network of ambitious and like-minded entrepreneurs across 10-15 startup companies.

Accelerator graduates get an automatic invite to join Life Changing Network, LCL’s powerful alumni network of young entrepreneurs and business leaders around the world.

Is the accelerator virtual?

Yes. We want to reach and connect the top university entrepreneurs from all corners of the world.

Because of our emphasis on community, our participants will have the opportunity to build relationships and camaraderie as if we were meeting in person.

Read this testimonial about the strength of our virtual community:

“I just wanted to take a second to thank all of you for running such a great accelerator program this summer! I know that COVID-19 made it difficult for really any summer program to go on, so it meant a lot to me that LCL "hung in there" and held its accelerator program anyway. Your persistence is really admirable, and it was amazing that you all managed to foster such a warm, caring environment, even though we were communicating through screens. I definitely learned a lot, but what really stuck with me the whole time is how welcoming everyone was. I was worried initially that I'd stick out too much and be isolated or left behind, but everyone was so kind and friendly that I truly felt at home. I wish you all the best, and I hope you stay happy and healthy in these trying times.” - Mei Johnson, LCL ‘20

Can my (non-founder) team members participate in the accelerator?

We encourage all of your team members (founder or not) to be active participants in our accelerator community.

Any team member wishing to formally participate in the accelerator must attend all Tuesday sessions.

Our Thursday sessions are optional to non-founders, however we strongly encourage all members of your team to fully participate!

What is Pitch Practice and why is it important?

The impact of your idea is only as strong as your ability to communicate it. Pitch Practice is a weekly session for rehearsing your pitch to other founders and (schedule-permitting) our Guest Judges.

Furthermore, rehearsing your pitch can be one of the best ways to clarify and refine your ideas.

Our most successful LCL alums have been those who have taken pitch practice seriously.

“There are many interesting & smart ideas, but if you cannot pitch them, they will never happen.” - Vini Tripathii, LCL Class of 2019 & Recipient of Cornell Tech Startup Award

How much does the program cost? Will I receive any financing?

The program costs $500 per team to participate. Schools often sponsor your team and cover the program fee. Please contact your school’s entrepreneurship coordinator/director.

We do offer scholarships for those who are unable to cover the program costs. First apply and we can discuss options with you if you are accepted.

What happens after the accelerator program ends?

You will have the skills, resources, and tools to take your vision and your team to the next level in your entrepreneurial journey.

As a graduate of the LCL Accelerator, you will have strong relationships with other leaders such as yourself.

You will also be invited to join our exclusive Life Changing Network, a vetted community of top university entrepreneurs and business leaders who will change the world.

Hear from our founders

Alex McKenzieLCL '19

You can find all the startup information you want online, but LCL's real value-add comes from being able to tap experienced people for their knowledge-base in order to apply those broad principles to your specific scenario. Even though the entrepreneurial scene is largely self-directed, there is so much to be gained from having someone show you the ropes, and the specific skills LCL promotes are immediately applicable in your day-to-day (e.g. pitching, presenting, customer discovery). My venture has developed from what I thought was a fully fleshed out idea to an actually marketable product, my interns have been extremely helpful, and the LCL community is filled with sources of inspiration to pull from - 11/10 would recommend.

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Every student with a big idea deserves a platform as bold as their vision.

Apply to the Summer ‘21 session of Life Changing Labs’ accelerator today.

Not ready yet? Read answers to some frequently asked questions
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Life Changing Labs


409 College Ave, 2nd Floor
(eHub location)
Ithaca NY, 14850


Not in university yet? Start your entrepreneurial journey with Life Changing School.