chrysalis noun. 1: a pupa of a butterfly; 2: a transitional state


Chrysalis isn’t an accelerator or incubator. It’s a program designed to provide a space and resources for talented individuals interested in founding startups.


Over the last several weeks, we’ve heard from recently-laid off friends and colleagues that they’re interested in building something of their own, but weren’t sure how to begin. We hope Chrysalis will help kickstart the next generation of great startups.

Chrysalis is designed as a fully remote six-week program. There are no required events, but every week we’ll offer multiple opportunities to connect with other participants, learn from talented investors & founders, and share your knowledge. Most of the program will take place in Slack and on video, from 1:1 “icebreaker” meetings to small group sessions to full-program presentations. 


The initial weeks will be geared towards helping you meet potential co-founders and stimulating idea generation, with the goal of getting teams formed around concepts by the end of week 3.


Then we’ll focus on company formation topics: building a business model, designing a pitch, structuring a cap table, planning for a fundraise. 


In the final week, we’ll have a group presentation day for teams to share their startups and show off their progress. 


At the end of the program, our goal is to have amazing new startups on their way to being able to raise a first round of capital. Startups emerging from Chrysalis will have access to free resources from partners like AWS, Silicon Valley Bank, and Clerky. We’ll also encourage the Chrysalis community to continue to collaborate via Slack. 


Chrysalis will begin May 11. Applications are accepted until midnight PDT on May 8, but will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We’re limiting the program to 100 participants, so we encourage you to apply early!

Apply Here




Who is Chrysalis for?


We believe anyone can start a company, but we think this program will be most useful for individuals with 5+ years of work experience and who have worked in a venture-backed startup in an engineering, design, product, or business role. That said, we encourage anyone driven to build a venture-backed startup to apply! 


Do I need to have an idea for a startup?


No – in fact we expect that most participants won’t already have a concept in mind. The first few weeks of the program will be geared towards helping participants generate, evaluate, and iterate on potential ideas.


Do I need to have a team?


No – if you already have others that you’d like to work with, we encourage you all to apply, but our goal is to help individuals meet and form teams with other like-minded people.


Do I need to be technical to participate?


We encourage people of all backgrounds, technical and non-technical, to apply. Our goal is for individuals with different skillsets to come together to form amazing teams. We also believe that great founding teams can be entirely non-technical!


How much time am I expected to commit?


We recognize everyone has a different personal situation, particularly during these times. We don’t require a specific number of hours, but do ask that you make Chrysalis a primary professional activity during the 6-week program. 

Do I need to be in the United States to participate?

Chrysalis is fully-remote, so participants can be located anywhere that they can use Slack & web conferencing. However events will generally be run on US time zones.


Is this program only for women?


This program is designed for potential founders of all backgrounds. All genders are welcome.


If I’m currently working full-time or enrolled in school, can I apply?


Because we ask participants to make Chrysalis a primary professional activity, we are not accepting currently-employed individuals or students.


Is there a cost?


None! We only ask that if you do decide to start a company, you give Cleo Capital an opportunity to invest.


Who is Cleo Capital?

Cleo Capital is a top pre-seed venture capital fund based in Bay Area. We invest across all sectors with a focus on marketplaces, B2B2C and highly regulated industries. Learn more about us in the Wall St. JournalBloomberg and Axios


© 2020 Cleo Capital

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