Launching the Fourth Cohort of the Primary NYC Founders Fellowship: Open Source

For the first time ever, we’re focusing our six-month, part-time, no-equity program on open-source entrepreneurs.

Launching the Fourth Cohort of the Primary NYC Founders Fellowship: Open SourceLaunching the Fourth Cohort of the Primary NYC Founders Fellowship: Open Source

Today we’re opening applications for the fourth cohort of the Primary NYC Founders Fellowship, a six-month, part-time immersion in business creation for aspiring entrepreneurs to supercharge the next wave of local startups. This time, however, we’re making a big change.

We’re focusing the whole program on open-source software. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur working on an early-stage open-source project, please read on!

We are focusing on open source because we fundamentally believe that open source is eating software faster than software is eating the world. We have had some Fellows already building in this area, and they have specific questions in regards to company creation, technology decisions, community building, business models, etc. So we’ll be adding guidance on that to our overall programming covering the complex set of choices and decisions that come with starting a company from scratch.

As a leading seed-stage VC firm in NYC, we’ve guided founders along this journey many times over, identifying key skills that founders need to develop along the way:

  • Establishing an early team. Who you start the journey with (and it could be just yourself) will inform every aspect of your startup experience.
  • Developing a go-to-market strategy and business model. This strategy must be informed by research, expert advice specific to your category, and early tests.
  • Raising money. If you have done the first two steps correctly, this part becomes easier. But it still takes work: developing a phenomenal pitch deck, building a support network, and completing a seed round.
  • Mastering the inner game. Starting a company is a demanding, complex, and psychologically challenging endeavor. Peer support, honest feedback, and coaching are all needed.

The NYC Founders Fellowship is designed to coach you on all of these skills to become an exceptional founder, making room for lots of analysis, experimentation, and peer support. If this is of interest to you, you have come to the right place. This program is completely tailored to match the interests of aspiring founders:

  • Part-time. We think it’s important to enable aspiring founders to explore their business ideas without the risk of quitting a full-time job. Aspiring founders deserve the chance to mitigate risk and explore new opportunities in a collaborative setting with no strings attached.
  • No equity. Primary takes no equity for being a part of this program. This is a platform for participants to learn, explore, and potentially start a business on their terms.
  • Peer-based. This program centers around cohorts. Fellows will learn from each other and exchange consistent feedback from other aspiring founders. If nothing else, participants will come away with an incredible network.

Who should apply?

If you’re an aspiring founder working on an early-stage open-source project, we’d love to talk. We are interested in people who meet the following criteria:

  • Sector: You are building, or want to build, a venture-scale open source business.
  • Stage: You haven’t yet raised institutional capital, but you are actively working on a specific project or have an idea in mind.
  • Experience: You have “earned insights” and a competitive advantage in a market or domain from prior work experience.

What are the nuts and bolts of the program?

The program will last six months, with peer groups of four or five fellows each. The program consists of weekly peer group meetings, pitch sessions, and office hours with the Primary team. We are also thrilled to partner with some amazing thought leaders in the open source community, including builders, investors, and entrepreneurs who will attend fireside chats and office hours with fellows.

  • Eliot Horowitz, Cofounder and CTO, MongoDB; Founder and CEO, Viam
  • Ed Sim, Founder and Managing Partner at Boldstart Ventures
  • David Aronchick, Director of Research Development at Protocol Labs and Co-Creator of Kubeflow
  • Liam Randall, Vice President of Software Innovation at Capital One
  • And more…

All of this programming will be overlaid with our Startup 101 curriculum, a series of readings and content covering the most important basics of starting a company, including product-market fit, knowing your customer, business model, and fundraising. We are also thrilled to partner with SVB, Gunderson Dettmer, IVP, and others, who work closely with you on starting your business and provide hands-on support and feedback.

We started this program because we want to reduce the frictions that prevent talented New Yorkers from building impactful businesses. We hope this opportunity enables some of you to make the leap into entrepreneurship.

To apply, please fill out the application HERE by Sunday, January 16. The OS cohort will begin on February 7.

Questions? Reach out to We look forward to meeting you soon!

Tags: First Look