Supporting hard-tech startups with MIT.nano tools and facilities

In recognition that hard-tech companies face significant hurdles to success, especially in their early stages, MIT.nano is piloting a new addition to the campus-wide innovation ecosystem: START.nano, a program for hard-tech ventures offering access to MIT.nano’s cleanrooms, characterization tools, and other toolsets.

The benefit to startups

Participating startups will have access to tools and other advantages that can help them create more well-developed prototypes, obtain validated data, set them on the path to success, and position them for the next stage of growth. Benefits to the startups include:

  • Access to state-of-the-art MIT.nano facilities and other open MIT toolsets to advance their ideas, reducing the need to invest in or construct facilities on their own.
  • Use of MIT.nano tools and facilities for research, at a discounted rate, and use of other open toolsets at MIT at standard rates and terms
  • Standard user support from MIT.nano staff and technicians in utilizing equipment and planning processes.
  • Presence in the MIT community of scholars, researchers, and innovators that could provide visibility into recruiting talent for their companies.
  • Exposure to MIT.nano consortium member companies.
  • Exposure to a network of further support in the MIT startup/innovation ecosystem.

The selection process to join START.nano is led by MIT.nano.  In its selection, MIT.nano may seek advice from its industry consortium members, MIT.nano advisors, MIT faculty, and MIT organizations.

Participants are accepted to the program for one year. If a startup requires continued access to MIT.nano’s facilities, they may apply for up to two more years of access at the discounted rate.

The benefit to MIT.nano

MIT.nano’s role as a central MIT resource is enhanced through START.nano by:

  • Advancing our mission to “build a better world” by speeding the transition of innovation to the marketplace.
  • Exposing our academic users to the presence of start-ups in the MIT.nano facilities.
  • Enhancing MIT campus-wide partnerships to support entrepreneurship.

Interested in applying to START.nano?

The first round of applications was completed in January 2021 and participants for the first cohort selected in February. Depending on the success of this launch, we will strive to expand the program later in the year. 

The application review process was led by MIT.nano and considered the following:

  • Your company’s technology and why it is innovative;
  • Your innovation’s potential for impact if you are able to bring it successfully to market;
  • Where you are in the development of your technology and company;
  • How access to MIT.nano could advance your progress in the next 12 months.

If you have any questions, please contact