The Synchrotron is going virtual with the launch of Synchrotron Astra. Learn the tactical side of setting up your company thru the Viterbi Startup Garage’s successful accelerator program – now online! Wherever you are in your customer discovery journey, take the next step to launching your startup!

Applications are now open for the inaugural cohort. Because of the virtual nature, participation from teams across the region are expected. Group sizes will be capped to 5 teams max to promote focused discussion. Teams must successfully complete Session A to be advanced to Session B.

The program will be led by seasoned venture capitalists and will include participation from LA-based angels, VCs, and other service providers. All node teams are eligible to apply! The classes include topics such as capitalization tables, incorporation, Boards of Directors, and other nuts and bolts, as well as emphasizing customer discovery. Furthermore, upon successful completion teams will receive strong consideration for full-time residency at the Viterbi Startup Garage.


What is it?

8-week program split into two sessions

  • Session A: March 7, 14, 21, 28; 3:30-5:30 PM PST/PDT
  • Session B: April 23 & 30, May 7 & 14, 3:30-5:30 PM PDT

Note: You must successfully complete Session A to advance to Session B.

Why participate?

Selected teams are automatically considered for:

Am I eligible?

  • Early stage technology teams (up to 3 team members may participate)
  • USC Affiliation or I-Corps affiliation preferred


Session A

  • Strategy: Learn how to use customer discovery, the lean startup method and strategic partnerships to find your optimal path to your beachhead market.
  • Legal: Get advice from the experts on managing corporate and intellectual property issues. Discover ways to avoid expensive (and potentially devastating) problems down the road.
  • People: Your long-term success relies on your ability to build the right team and culture. Learn how to hire and compensate employees, tap into the expertise of advisors/mentors, and keep key stakeholders in the loop.
  • Operations: As a fiscally responsible steward of your business, you’ll need to know what key metrics to track, how to manage cash flow, and what it takes to demonstrate “traction” and so much more.

Session B

  • Fundraising: When it comes to securing money to finance your venture, knowledge is power. Understand your options for raising capital, how much to raise and when, the mechanics of cap tables and term sheets, and the overall LA venture landscape.
  • Storytelling: The entrepreneur CEO is the Chief Storyteller, constantly needing to persuade others to follow his/her vision. Learn about story structure, the most important elements of a compelling story, and proven tips from the pros.
  • Pitch Prep: Roll up your sleeves and polish your pitch at this hands-on workshop. Get real-time feedback from other entrepreneurs, friendly VCs and other experienced presenters.
  • Final Pitches: Present your startup to a panel of early stage investors, field their questions, and get constructive feedback. The session will conclude with an panel discussion about how to excel in the fundraising process.

Customer Discovery

If you have not done so previously, you must conduct 20 customer interviews during this program.

New to customer discovery? Sign up for customer discovery education programs with Innovation Node – Los Angeles.


Kerry Rupp is a General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in women-led businesses in the sustainable consumer and consumer health sectors. She is also a nationally-certified instructor for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, helping university-based teams to commercialize their science and technology research. She is an active startup coach who is asked to judge at startup competitions nationwide and is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, innovation and early-stage investing. She serves as a mentor at Capital Factory, on the board of the Austin Healthcare Council, on the Advisory Panel of the Texas Health Catalyst program at Dell Medical School, and on the Steering Committee for Women@Austin, an organization focused on making Austin the best place to be a woman entrepreneur. She is also a board director for BrainCheck and a board observer for Ocean Approved, two of True Wealth Ventures’ portfolio companies.

Key Dates

0February 2019
Application Deadline
0February 2019
0March 2019
Session A
0April 2019
Session B
0May 2019
Virtual Demo Day


Contact Us

Are you interested in joining the Synchotron program as a mentor? Email us at!