Editors note: Mozilla WebFWD startup accelerator programme seems to be now closed, take a look at our business accelerator list for more options.
I’m thrilled to share about WebFWD, Mozilla’s startup accelerator. But before I go into the details of what we are and how we help, it’s important to understand why we are doing what we are doing.
A little Mozilla WebFWD history
Mozilla’s DNA is all about making the web better. The developers who founded Mozilla in 1998 were determined to offer choice and openness to a web tottering dangerously close to a closed monopoly. Over the past 15 years, we’ve offered a variety of products, services, tools, resources and programs to do just that. And we’re not proud enough to think these great things can come only from Mozilla. So we’ve helped out other people doing great things for the web through ad hoc coaching and (in some cases) outright hiring.
By creating an accelerator program, we realised we could scale our expertise and help many more entrepreneurs build and do great things for the web, combining the best of open source and entrepreneurship. So we launched WebFWD in the summer of 2011. Since then, we’ve built a robust suite of resources including a hands-on curriculum, mentor network and services to support open web entrepreneurs. We’ve had three classes and are actively recruiting our next one for this summer.
How do we do it?
We start our program with an in-person orientation where our teams get to meet Mozillians, community members, mentors and of course, bond with one another and learn about one another’s startups in depth. We then send the teams back to their respective countries (we’re a global program) and meet twice each week via web conference to review our weekly homework assignments focusing on topics including marketing, strategy, legal and design. As a team in our program, you get custom coaching from our mentors, who also help our teams practice their pitches every week too.
We then assemble our teams back in Silicon Valley for graduation, where they incorporate all they’ve learned into a final pitch for the tech and entrepreneurship community.
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Who are we looking for?
WebFWD is for technical innovators who are building products to make the Web better and more open. We seek entrepreneurs who are building mobile and/or web technologies, and actively exploring its business models, where the product is open source (at a minimum, a component) and at a prototype stage or beyond.
How can you help?
If you are a team of developers that fit this criterion, we encourage you to apply today.
If you are a lover of innovation and the web, scope out new teams for us by becoming one of our Scouts.
If you are a subject matter expert in entrepreneurship, design, marketing or other startup areas, we’d love to see how you may help our teams as a mentor.