thoughtbot Incubator

If you've got a business idea that involves a web or mobile app, we encourage you to apply for our 8-week program. We’ll help you get the proof points you need in order to move forward with confidence.

Applications are now closed.

Check out our new workshop series: Taking Your Startup Idea from Vision to Value

Take me to the workshop series

An aerial view of a desk with various open laptops and people typing at them; overlaid is the thoughtbot logo and decorative squiggles.

thoughtbot will be your co-founding team for eight weeks, helping you connect your market opportunity to:

  • Continuous customer discovery practice
  • A near and long-term product strategy
  • One or more proof-of-concept experiments that will prove the value of your idea

What will we do together?

Market Validation

We’ll help develop your go-to market strategy through market segmentation exercises, research, and ongoing customer discovery.

Product Validation

We’ll help you get the continuous innovation engine running through a series of product design sprints.

Product Strategy & Vision

We’ll help connect your market and product opportunity to a near-term and long-term product strategy and vision.

Team Building

We’ll help you plan for, find, hire, and work with your product and technology team moving forward.

Confidence & Momentum

We’ll help you communicate the story of your market opportunity and product vision through assets like a pitch deck.

Stay tuned for updates via our newsletter!

Why thoughtbot?

thoughtbot is your expert strategy, design, product management, and development partner. We bring digital products from idea to success and teach you how because we care.

In working with countless startups over the last two decades, we’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be for non-technical founders to communicate their product and technology vision, find a technical co-founder, make their first product and technology hires, and work effectively with their technical team.

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What our past participants say

Examples of early-stage success we achieved with start-up teams.

The Health Match 360 logo on a purple background

HealthMatch360 — We validated HealthMatch 360's product assumptions and confirmed the most impactful user journey which helped them win a grant to fund development.

Read the case study
The Healthify logo on a purple background

Healthify — Using Healthify, social workers can search for the right social services for their patients, share data with other social services more effectively, and track patient outcomes.

Read the case study
The OneYum logo on a purple background

oneyum — After the design workshop, thoughtbot created a polished clickable prototype based on the final storyboard. Using InVision and Slack, everyone was able to communicate and iterate quickly as a remote team in a short amount of time.

Read the case study
The TrueVisa logo on a purple background

TrueVisa — We spent time properly challenging technology assumptions and vetting third-party options to handle features where possible. Utilizing some third parties, allowed the thoughtbot developers to focus their time on critical features that needed to be unique to our experience.

Read the case study

We fundraised earlier and bigger

thoughtbot helped us quickly build the groundwork for our product, which enabled us to fundraise earlier, and for a larger round. If we hadn't worked with them, we could be a year behind where we are today.

A headshot of Krishna Kulkarni

Krishna Kulkarni
Engineering Manager, Healthify


Logistics & Investment

What are the terms?

Founders can pay for our incubator in cash, equity, or a combination of both. The value of the program is $150,000 USD.

We want to set founders up for success after the program. If that means having thoughtbot on your cap table, great! But if at some point our stake in your company becomes a liability, we want to be bought out. Our equity agreement with founders therefore explicitly includes a buy-out provision.

Any additional tools and services used during the incubator – e.g. Google Ads, Webflow, AWS – should be owned and paid for by the founders.

What is required of participating founders?

We expect each member of the founding team to participate in incubator activities for at least 20 hours a week during the eight weeks of the program.

We also expect our participating founders to “work in public” with us. We want you to benefit from thoughtbot’s platform and audience, and we want to be able to talk about our work together on our blog and on social media.

Who can apply?

You have a business idea that involves building a web or mobile app.

You will be working within GMT-10:00 to GMT+4:00 during the program.

You have an incorporated business entity.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Incubator program are currently closed.

Check out our new workshop series

Check out our blog for more Incubator content

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