NextCorps Embark

You don’t need to know how to code to launch a software startup. 

You don’t even need to have an idea or quit your day job!


NextCorps Embark helps non-technical founders go from idea to revenue. Discover a business idea that addresses a real-world problem, validate its market potential, and build a software solution to sell, without a full-time commitment or knowing how to code.

Hands-On Support

Get resources to discover and validate your idea and market opportunity 

Instructional Sessions

Learn how to use “no-code” tools to develop your initial prototype

Expert Advisors

Work with engaged mentors to form and launch your business

Incubation Support

Work within an ecosystem dedicated to your startup’s success


A strong applicant for NextCorps Embark:

  • Is interested in launching a software company
  • Has at least three years of experience in an industry 
  • Knows of industry problems that need to be solved
  • Is able to commit at least 5 hours per week towards program requirements
  • Must reside in the Finger Lakes Region of New York 
    • Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates Counties

9-county region

Key Dates

NextCorps Embark will be accepting up to thirty founders for the 6- to 12-month program.

  • July-August 2021: Applications accepted
  • Late August 2021: Inaugural cohort selected
  • September 2021: Program start
  • March 2022: Formal programmatic content concludes
  • April-September 2022: Ongoing incubation support for identified, viable concepts

Tap into a Network of Partners

NextCorps Embark is:

  • Administered by NextCorps
  • Supported by key partners including the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Excell Partners, and many more regional public and private organizations
  • Funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Scaling Pandemic Resilience through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge program


University of Rochester

Discover, Validate, and Build 

Participants in the 6- to 12-month program will complete activities essential to starting a high-growth software startup.

September-November 2021

Define your business idea and perform customer discovery to identify true market opportunities.

December-March 2021

Learn to use “no-code” tools to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and gain feedback from target customers.

April-August 2022

Seek and secure initial customer revenues and traction with a goal of $10k per month by program completion.


Think You’re a Fit for NextCorps Embark?

Applications are currently closed. Subscribe to NextCorps’ eNewsletter to receive alerts on open application periods for Embark and other NextCorps programs.


Is there a cost to participate in this program?

No, there is no cost to participate.

Do I receive money for my involvement in this program?

Due to restrictions from our program funding source, we are unable to distribute any money directly to program participants.

I have an existing startup. Do I qualify for this program?

The ideal participant for this program either does not have an idea or is evaluating multiple ideas. However, we will consider applicants that are already working on an idea provided the idea is not in the later stages of development.

Why is NextCorps offering this program?

Our goal is to create brand new software startups in the Finger Lakes Region to improve the resilience of our regional economy.

How much time will be required of me to participate?

Program participants should be able to commit 5-10 hours per week which includes 2 hours of programmatic content and 5 hours for program deliverables.

Can I participate while working full-time?

Yes. This program is designed to work for individuals who are working full-time. The day and time for delivery of live programmatic content will be finalized based on what works best for the selected cohort of participants.

Do I have to have an idea?

No. The first two months of the program will include idea discovery. The ideal candidate for this program does not have an idea or is evaluating multiple ideas.

Will this program take place in person?

Yes. Our intent is to deliver program content in person at NextCorps offices on E. Main Street in Rochester, although there will be hybrid virtual/in-person instruction available.

Do I need to have software coding/technical experience?

No. This program will utilize “no-code” tools and while comfort with technology is important, experience with coding/software development is NOT required.

I have an idea for a software company (social app, dating app, etc.) for consumers (B2C). Would that be a fit?

Applications from people seeking to build software for business customers (B2B software) will be prioritized. However, we may consider consumer-oriented ideas if they have a clear path to revenue by program completion (i.e., within 1 year).

What can I expect to achieve at the completion of this program?

If selected as a viable concept, our goal is to help you achieve revenues of $10k/per month, on a path to scale the business and flexibility to leave your day job.

Do I need to have a team and/or co-founder to apply for this program?

 No. We will consider both individual applicants and teams for this program.


Have a question not answered here?

Contact one of our team members:

Matt Foley
Director, Startup Incubation
Melanie DellaPietra
Program Coordinator