Technical Founder Track

Program and community for future CMU technical founders

About the program

This track is an exclusive program for CMU engineers featuring a series of talks, AMAs, and group discussions.

  • 6-week program from Oct 14 - Nov 18, every Wednesday (5-7pm PST)
  • First half of each session will be discussion led by CMU founding CTOs, second half will focus on peer-to-peer knowledge sharing
  • Fully virtual via Zoom
  • Cohort size of 15-20
  • Strong focus on building community
  • Connect with folks from Founding CEO Track and Founding Designer Track
  • Continued support and resources after the program as you continue your journey
Apply now!

Why we built this

We have so many incredible engineers within our CMU community, but it’s a big leap from sharpening your technical skills to becoming a Founder and CTO.

As the technical founder, you bring the skillset of technology into the startup. Being effective at your job requires a strong handle on how to build a testable and scalable system. It requires being able to answer “What to build?” but more importantly “What not to?” On top of all this, you must cultivate a strong engineering culture that can recruit, develop, and retain top talent. If these challenges excite you, we want to help you get there.

We’re launching Technical Founder Track to bring support and structure to engineers who aspire to start something new. This program will introduce you to CMU alumni who have been down this road as well as other peers who are just as excited as you to embark on this journey. In other words, we want to get you from “I’ll start a company someday” to “I’ve got a game plan.”

By the end of this track, you should be able to...
Navigate with confidence
Build the confidence and essential toolkits to navigate a startup as the technical founder
Access a network of mentors
Learn from and build meaningful relationships with senior CMU alumni
Build community with like-minded engineers
Be part of community of entrepreneurial engineers who will continue to support each other

Types of events

Sample Topics

Team: Hiring & Recruiting
Role: What are responsibilities as the founding CTO
Getting started: How to know you're ready and where to start
Learning: Common mistakes founding CTOs make
Skills: What skills are most critical as a technical founder?
Co-Founder: What to look for in your co-founder
Building your MVP: How to approach prototyping and when to pivot
Scaling: How to design and build your engineering org

Frequently asked questions

Who should apply?

Any CMU engineer considering starting his/her own company as the technical founder sometime in the future.

Do I need to be looking to found a startup immediately to apply?

No at all! Maybe you’re starting to explore ideas that you're interested in today or you're considering starting a company sometime in the future.

Am I eligible if I'm already working on my startup full-time?

Unfortunately if you are working on your own startup full-time you are not eligible for this program. This program is intended for future founders who have yet to start their own company.

We are working on new initiatives to support current CMU founders. Please fill out this interest form to be involved in those:

What is the format and commitment?

The program will run over 6 evening sessions every Wednesday from 5-7pm PT. First half of each session will be discussion led by CMU founding CTOs, second half will focus on peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.

Commitment is attending each of these 6 weekly sessions.
The dates are: Oct 14, Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18.

Can I join the program if I’m not based in the Bay Area?

Yes! The program is fully virtual, so you can participate from anywhere as long as the timing works for you (5-7pm PT every Wednesday).

How much does the program cost?

The program is completely free (no cost or equity component). We are proud to be able to support the CMU community.

What is the application deadline?

Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:59pm PT

Get involved

  • Share your experiences and learnings as a founder with the group.
  • We can work with you to find format you are most comfortable with (presentation, fireside chat, AMA, facilitating discussion, etc)
  • Commitment: 1hr Zoom on Thursday evening
  • If you’re open to being a resource for CMU alumni participating in the program
  • We can work with you to find structure that is most effective such as setting up Office Hours, answering questions in a Slack channel, or connect to you with individuals you are well-positioned to help
  • Commitment: as your schedule permits
  • If you’re open to providing feedback as we develop curriculum and structure of the program
  • Commitment: as your schedule permits
Apply to the Technical Founder Track today!
Apply now!