Explore entrepreneurship while joining an exceptional community of future founders.

Discover an idea. Meet a co-founder. Decide if founding a company is the right path for you.

  • 6 weeks
  • 2 - 5 hours per week
  • Free to join

Breakout is designed to fit with your busy schedule. 

We’re proud to include a diverse community of founders from all industries, spanning career stages from students to experienced executives. 

During 6 weeks you will:

  • Build a Founder Community (for life!)
  • Explore Ways to Meet a Co-Founder
  • Validate Your Idea – If You Have One
  • Discover How to Form a Company
  • Understand How to Raise Capital
  • Learn from Successful Founders


Breakout includes optional sessions designed to fit your schedule and your needs, based on your stage, including: 

  • Core Programming 
  • Advisory Groups 
  • Peer Groups
  • Co-Founder Match Chats 
  • Practice Pitch Sessions 
  • Founder Talks 
  • Community Events

Breakout is a Totally Virtual Program

Week 1

Kickoff — How do I navigate the VC and startup landscape right now?

Week 2

Session 1 — Is my idea any good and am I ready to build a startup?

Week 3

Session 2 — How do I meet a co-founder, form my company and protect my idea?

Week 4

Session 3 — How do the nuts & bolts of VC work?

Week 5

Session 4 — How do I develop an investor pitch?

Week 6

Office Hours — How should I use my next six months?


Apply now for our Fall 2020 session. Dates will be announced by Friday, August 7th.

Time Commitment

Breakout is intended to meet you where you are, providing sessions that can flex with your availability. You should generally plan to reserve 2 – 5 hours per week to attend events and collaborate with the community.

I’ve worked at multiple fast-growing tech companies, and the idea of starting a company has always been in the back of my mind. Breakout gave me a clear roadmap for how to get there, and a great network to back me up.

Coming out of the program, I have a co-founder, a working pitch deck, and a path for getting to our MVP.

Evelyn Hartz

Product Manager

Jamie Goldstein

partner, Pillar VC

Sarah Hodges

Partner, Pillar VC

Brian Baynes

Co-Founder, Petri

Russ Wilcox

Partner, Pillar VC

Tony Kulesa

Co-founder, petri
Jaye Profile

Jaye Goldstein

head of program, petri


Breakout is a joint venture hosted by Pillar VC and Petri. We back seed-stage founders, and have decades of experience building consumer and enterprise companies worth billions in SaaS, healthcare, robotics, logistics, fintech and bio.


All Speakers
General Track
Bio Track

Gail Goodman

CEO, Constant Contact
CPO, Pepperlane

Emily Leproust

CEO, Twist Bioscience

Tony Liu

CEO, JobGet

Alec Nielsen

CEO, Asimov

Dan Pregibon

Head of Platform Discovery and Technology, Repertoire Immune Medicines / Co-founder, CTO, Firefly Bioworks

Reshma Shetty

Co-Founder, Ginkgo Bioworks

Peter Smith

CEO, Edgewise Networks

Ellen Rubin

CEO Clearsky Data Aquired by Amazon

Corey Thomas

CEO, Rapid7

Apply for Fall 2020 (coming soon!)

Our application takes < 20 minutes to complete. 

Keep in mind: 

  • You do not need to have an idea.
  • You do not need to have a co-founder.
  • You do not need to quit your job.
  • You do not need to pay to join Breakout.
  • You do not need to give up any equity. 

You DO need to be interested in the idea of launching a startup at some point in the near future. 

Who should apply

Breakout is designed for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, including:

  • Students and faculty members
  • Leaders inside companies ready for a new challenge
  • Designers and developers inspired by a new idea

…and anyone considering the leap.


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