Pear Competition

We’re seeking dedicated entrepreneurs with big ambitions. Winning teams will receive between $25K-$100K via a SAFE note (uncapped, no discount) and other Pear offerings and resources.


No idea is too early.

Apply and receive actionable feedback alongside the opportunity to win up to $100K and work closely with the Pear team.

Winners will also receive a fast-track partner meeting for PearX.

About Pear







Past Competition winners have raised money from renowned VCs

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What do winners receive?

Winning teams will receive between $25K and $100K via an uncapped SAFE, no discount, plus, a fast-track partner meeting for PearX.

 10+ teams will win.

What if I don’t win this time?

We provide feedback on request to all applicants who are selected to interview.

Our team has subsequently partnered with many successful startups who were not a fit initially. We also partner with founders through PearX and lead seed rounds up to $5M.

Who can apply?

Student founders.

No idea is too early to be considered, and you do not need to be incorporated to apply. We’re seeking dedicated founders with big ambitions.

At least one member of your team must be a current student in the US or Canada.

What is the application process?

The application should take about 60 minutes. Those who are selected to move forward will receive a 15-minute interview to pitch a Pear investor, without slides. The final round is a 20-30 minute interview with a Pear partner.

There could be additional steps within the process that will be communicated in advance. More details on process and timeline will be shared closer to Spring.

All applications will receive a response and winners will be confirmed and notified shortly after completing the interview rounds. Interviews will primarily be held via Zoom and additional follow-up materials may be requested.

When are the application deadlines?

Stanford – Feb 2024
Harvard – Feb 2024
UPenn – Mar 2024
MIT, Columbia, Yale & Other Campuses – Mar 2-24
Berkeley – April 2024

Specific dates will be provided closer to Spring 2024.

Who will view my application?

Applications will be reviewed by the Pear team and existing Pear Fellows only.

Can I apply to both Competition and PearX at the same time?

If you are interested in both Pear Competition and PearX, then you can apply to both together through the Competition application (just check the relevant box in the application). You DO NOT need to win Competition to be accepted into PearX, and vice versa.

What is special about Pear’s university programs?

  1. We value student founders as much as experienced founders. The results speak for themselves. Some of our largest companies, including DoorDash, started on a university campus.  
  2. We recognize that student founders are fast learners. When exposed to the right information and matched with the appropriate set of people and resources, they can thrive. 
  3. Dorm is a strategic priority for Pear. You will find our team members active on campus. Half of our portfolio originates from our Dorm community.
  4. We empower our students to become great CEOs. We collaborate with our founders on product-market fit, customer discovery, fundraising, and hiring.
  5. We have a decade of experience working with university students. We are not new at this. We are as excited today to work with students as the day we started our firm.
  6. We are solely focused on pre-seed and seed. Unlike multi-stage funds, we give our full attention to founders on the journey from idea to Series A.
  7. Our Founding Managing Partner, Mar Hershenson, was a student entrepreneur herself. We’re building the program she wished she had as a student founder.

Interested in Pear Competition?

Ready to share your big idea?

Apply today