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

Hard-tech companies face significant hurdles to success, especially in their early stages. For example, these startups typically spend their first few years and first few million dollars just to create the facilities they need to develop their technology.

The premise of START.nano is that early access to MIT.nano’s state-of-the-art laboratories can minimize the cost of launching a nascent idea, helping increase the survival rate of promising companies and potentially shortening the time it takes for their innovations to reach the market.

For 2021, the primary benefit for the START.nano participants will be discounted access to MIT.nano’s cleanrooms, characterization tools, and other laboratories. MIT.nano’s staff will use this pilot year to explore with the companies what programmatic support START.nano can incorporate to boost the success of hard-tech ventures.

Meet the 2021 START.nano companies.

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?

MIT.nano is developing plans for the 2022 START.nano program and will post details on how to apply to this page in the fall.

Questions? Contact