Seneca VC


An all-remote master class

for the next generation of founders

Deadline extended! ONLY 6 TEAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Applications due October 14, 2019 at 12pm PT.


“Seneca Advance was restorative, inspirational, and super practical. The knowledge we built through Advance set us on an expedited path to success.”—Bethany Iverson, The Coven


Some of the thought leaders and esteemed speakers supporting the Seneca community



What You’ll Get at Seneca Advance

  • Learn product development from the top Lean Startup experts in the world

  • The Seneca VC partners personally provide hands-on support as your faculty

  • Selected topics to make sure you’re ready to raise your first funding

  • 30 minute mentoring session from Eric Ries

  • Opportunity to pitch at the Founders + Funders’ Startup Showcase on November 8 in New York.

  • Guest speakers every week to give you more insight and inspiration


Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.

Founder Lessons

We aim to identify founders who have traveled great distances (figuratively speaking) and equip them with the resources they need to take their dreams even further. Building on our many years practicing and teaching the Lean Startup methodology, Seneca Advance teaches you how to:

  • Evaluate the addressable market

  • Sell your vision

  • Build enduring products

  • Walk with confidence into any meeting

Our curriculum includes:

  • Lean Startup Basics: Assumptions & Experiments

  • The Psychology of Confidence

  • Influence Mapping

  • Persuasive Communication

  • Market Sizing

  • Momentum & Traction

Each weekly session is held via Zoom on Thursdays 10:00 AM -12:00 PM Pacific Time, starting October 17th. You will be assigned homework due the following week, and we’ll provide supplementary video materials and other resources.

Community & Network

Being part of a supportive community and building a network is invaluable to early stage founders. Over the 8 weeks, we will host in-person and online events for founders and investors to meet and build relationships.

Teams will get access to a private Slack channel where they can share resources and advice with other founders in real-time.

As an added benefit, participants will get the opportunity to attend and pitch at our Startup Showcase session at Founders + Funders conference, presented by Seneca VC, Women 2.0, and SheWorx, in New York on November 8, 2019.

Seneca Advance is designed for inclusion and equity. We’re committed to at least 50% women and under-represented founders in our cohort and guest speakers.

The pilot cohort of Seneca Advance gathered at  Founders + Funders SF 2019 .

The pilot cohort of Seneca Advance gathered at Founders + Funders SF 2019.


Mentorship is one of the most requested kinds of support that founders ask for. Each startup team will get paired with one Seneca VC partner and a product mentor specific to their challenges.

EXTENDED! New deadline to apply is October 14, 2019 at 12pm PT.

“The amount of individualized time we got with the Seneca Advance team on slack and video calls far exceeded our expectations.”
—Alumni Feedback



1) Do you need to have a cofounder to participate?

We do require that two people participate fully from day one. If that’s not a cofounder, it should be a team-member you trust to shape your startup and be “all-in” with you. Starting a company is hard. A cofounder helps to shoulder the burden and provides a balance of strengths, skills and temperament.

2) What’s the cost to participate?

Recognizing that people come from varying means, we accept teams on a sliding scale. The standard fee to participate in Seneca Advance is $995 per team, but we don’t want that to prevent otherwise-qualified teams from participating.

3) Are the sessions really all virtual? Do I need to attend each one?

Yes, the classes will be held every Thursday 10-12:00 pm PT via Zoom, starting on October 17, 2019 and running through December 19, 2019. We require that each startup attends a minimum of 8 sessions over the course of the program. The teams that get the most from this program involve both participants in every session from the start.

4) What is the application deadline? 

The deadline to apply is Monday, Oct 14 at 12:00 pm PT. We will approve and prioritize applications as they come in, so we urge you to apply sooner rather than later.

5) How many hours do I need to commit per week?

We estimate that each person will spend 5 hours/week in total. The weekly video sessions are 2 hours long, and the homework assignments and pre-work take about 2 hours. Participation in guest speaker sessions, which are an additional hour, is strongly encouraged. Like most things in life, the more effort you put into it, the better results you will get. 

6) How will you choose teams?

Applying teams must have two participants, preferably both co-founders. At least one founder (if there are two) must belong to a historically marginalized community (woman, person of color, lgbtqi, disabled, veteran — you get the idea). From there, we look for a strong idea with growth potential, evidence of an acute problem, and founder strength.. 

7) Is there a Pitch event? 

Yes! All of the Seneca Advance cohort teams will pitch at the Founders + Funders conference midway through the program, on November 8 in NYC. To get the most out of the program, participation in this event is very strongly encouraged.