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 an 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.

Congratulations to Cohort 1!

Participant interest in the first Embark cohort exceeded NextCorps’ expectations, drawing more than 60 qualified applicants from a diverse mix of backgrounds. Forty-eight individuals — half of them women — were selected for the program in the fall of 2021. Ten finalists were down-selected mid-way through the program to receive an additional six months of support.

The ten Embark finalists are now building product prototypes and preparing for beta testing with potential customers.

As a non-profit, NextCorps is now working to find funding to continue the program and identify more partners who want to mentor a second cohort. We’re also finetuning the program in response to growing demand for no-code developers, adding an additional goal of focusing on developing no-code skill sets.

Interested in Embark?

  • If you’re interested in applying to a future Embark cohort, complete the form here. We’ll let you know when the application period opens!
  • If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or supporting the Embark program, please contact us.

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Our Network of Partners

The pilot of NextCorps Embark was:

  • 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
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Discover, Validate, and Build

Participants in Embark complete activities essential to starting a high-growth software startup.

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

The application period for Embark is currently closed. Subscribe to NextCorps’ eNewsletter to receive alerts on open application periods for Embark and other NextCorps programs.


No, there is no cost to participate.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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).

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.

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

Connect with Us

Matt Foley
Matt Foley

Managing Director, Incubation Services & Embark

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