Frequently asked questions

Is there any cost to applying?

No, there is no cost. Just the time it takes you to fill a simple application form.

Do we need to write a business plan?

No, we don’t require it. We will make the selection based in the application form and personal interviews. We will want to see your product in action, though!

Can I pitch an idea for a business or a product that I haven’t yet started?

Nope. We require that applicants have an already working product, most likely with some use cases. ie ROCKETS gives startups the possibility to pilot and customize their product in an academic institution, in real programs, with real students. Given the short duration of the residency, we can’t be so helpful to startups that are still getting started or need to work from scratch.

Will I be required to give away equity in my business?

It depends. If you don’t need any funds from IE to execute the pilot, you will not have to give up any equity. Most startups, however, welcome the option to have IE fully fund the pilot in exchange for a convertible note. Then again – even if you don’t need the funding for the pilot – you may still choose to have IE as an investor and a partner who can help taking your product from a pilot to an industry standard in very little time.

I already have funding. Can I still apply to IE ROCKETS?

Of course. We intend the funding to cover those expenses which the startup cannot afford, be it travel or living expenses during the residency period, additional engineer’s salaries, or hardware needed to showcase / enable the proof of concept. Whether you choose to use this funding or take care of the expenses yourself, we still want you onboard.

What’s the maximum funding IE can provide?

There is none. We recognize that every startup is different and no two pilots will be the same. We will discuss the funding needs in detail with the finalists in the process of selecting the winners. We’ve seen extremely successful pilots which cost a few thousand Euro in living expenses support and others which required 10 or even 100 times that amount to make the necessary changes and build the right infrastructure. Naturally, we’ll need a very good justification for any funding requested.

My product does not operate in any of the fields that are specified in the IE ROCKETS description. Can I still participate?

Yes, you can. Those are the fields in which we are particularly interested but we are open to any other great submissions!

How will the personal interviews be done? Will I need to physically come to Madrid?

Not every applicant will be required to attend an interview – we will invite a select group of the applicants to join us for a conversation. In most cases, the interviews will be done online, although for some startups we may choose to invite you for a face to face meeting with one of our Selection Committee members (in your location) or to travel to Madrid (in which case we’d cover your travelling expenses).

Our startup would like to pilot two different products. Can we submit both?

Sure! But please submit a separate application form for each.

Does my pitch have to be in English?

Yes. No formal certificates are needed but the team coming for a residency needs to have good working English skills.

Is my application confidential?

Yes. We will share it only with the Selection Committee members and relevant hand-picked IE staff members who’d be likely pilot partners for the specific applicant. And we will naturally announce the winners! (without details of your application)

Does the whole startup team have to move to Madrid?

We believe that at least one founder and one engineer have to be physically present in Madrid working with the Learning Innovation department during the residency period.

What does part time residency mean?

Depending on the specific project and circumstances, we can agree to have the startup team work remotely for some time. We believe it’s critical, however, that your team spends in the very least 50% of their working time physically at IE, as we see a great value in the startup’s exposure to the inner works of an academia and in the support which the Learning Innovation department can offer.

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