FAQ

What is EvoNexus?
EvoNexus is a community-supported, fully pro-bono technology incubator. We provide full services – furnished office space, programming, domain experts and mentors, networking events, and the opportunity to leverage our wide network of business and VC contacts – to start-up companies striving to achieve sustainability. And unlike many other incubators, we provide these services entirely free of charge. Our incubator companies are under no financial or IP-related obligation to EvoNexus when they graduate. EvoNexus is located in two cities, San Diego and Irvine.

What is the EvoNexus Mission?
The EvoNexus mission is to build a sustainable community supported, technology business incubator to launch companies, raise capital and create outcomes.

Our vision is supported by a 5-year effort in San Diego made possible by community outreach, corporate sponsorship and results.

What is CommNexus? What is the difference between EvoNexus and CommNexus?
CommNexus is the umbrella organization with EvoNexus as one of its programs. CommNexus is a non-profit technology industry association that works to accelerate the formation, growth, and success of the technology industry in the region. CommNexus delivers value to the technology industry through content-driven programs that provide access to capital, talent and business development.  EvoNexus is the business incubator of CommNexus. See program portfolio here.

What does EvoNexus provide?
EvoNexus offers companies full service office space – furnished, network connected and ready to operate. We also provide access to a broad range of domain experts and mentors, and the opportunity to leverage a wide network of business and investor contacts.  EvoNexus hosts speaker events, networking events, workshops and resources as part of the EvoStart framework. These services are provided entirely free of charge. Companies operating within the incubator are under no financial or IP-related obligation to EvoNexus when they graduate.

How does CommNexus/EvoNexus provide all of this for free?
CommNexus is an entirely sponsor supported organization.  We have a huge network of corporate sponsors that provide both monetary and in-kind sponsorships. In fact, the Irvine Company generously provides both office spaces for free. See our sponsors here.

Does EvoNexus provide computers for companies?
EvoNexus does not provide computers for companies entering the incubator. Everything in the workspace itself is provided by the companies.  

Does EvoNexus provide parking for companies?
EvoNexus does not provide parking, but we do have a reduced parking rate for EvoNexus companies at nearby parking garages. Visitors are able to utilize a 4 hour parking validation machine. 

What is EvoStart?
EvoStart is the 4 month program designed to help software startups validate product-market-fit.  In San Diego, all EvoNexus and EvoStart programs and events are held in the downtown office and most companies admitted will start downtown in an EvoStart cohort. This ensures all companies are given maximum opportunity to meet and benefit from quality mentors, investors, customers, etc.

EvoStart Framework:
Month 1: Find a Mentor and Customer Validation
Month 2: Prototype/ MVP and more Customer Validation
Month 3: Customer Feedback and Business Model Validation
Month 4: Go to Market and preparation for EvoNexus Demo Day & Graduation

Expectations for the EvoStart program:
Be Present: use the space, it’s free! And attend programs and events during the 4-month program.
Be Coachable: be open and prepared for feedback.
Be Transparent: we all want the same thing – for you to be successful. Help us help you!

How do you complete the EvoStart program?
You will complete EvoStart by actively participating in the monthly programs and earning the opportunity to present at the EvoNexus Demo Day at the end of the 4 month program. At this time the EvoNexus committee will evaluate your participation and progress in the program to determine completion and potentially extending your stay for an additional 8 months.

Am I the right fit for the EvoNexus Incubator program?
EvoNexus admits a wide variety of startup companies. A few general guidelines are that the startup must be high tech focused, the company must be incorporated prior or when admitted, and the business headquarters must be located in the city that you are applying to, San Diego or Irvine.

What is the difference between the San Diego and Irvine EvoNexus locations?
The EvoNexus framework used will be the same between both San Diego and Irvine locations. Companies located in both cities will be able to utilize the EvoNexus networks of mentors and domain experts. Companies located in Irvine are also encouraged to take advantage of the programs offered by CommNexus here.

How do I select which location I am applying for?
On the application there will be an opportunity to select which location you are applying to. Your application will be reviewed by the EvoNexus committee located in the city you select.

Can I apply to both Irvine and San Diego locations?
Yes, in the application you can select to be reviewed for both cities. The EvoNexus Committees will separately review your applications and determine which location you will be considered for. Keep in mind, you will need to have your company’s headquarters in the same city that you are accepted to. This may require relocation of your team.

If admitted to the EvoNexus Irvine location will I still participate in either the EvoStart or EvoReview Programs?
Yes, you will participate in programming assigned upon entrance from the EvoNexus Irvine Committee.

What is the difference between the Downtown location versus the UTC location in San Diego? Do we get to select which office we work from?
The UTC office space is traditional suite style office space, designed for hardware and digital health startups. Each company has a private suite with open cubicle space and closed door offices. UTC is home to the EvoReview program.  The downtown office space is an open floor plan with shared work space promoting a collaborative environment designed for software startups. The downtown space is home to the 4 month EvoStart program. Your location will be assigned based on company needs and EvoNexus Committee criteria upon admittance to the program.

What is the difference between EvoNexus and Qualcomm@EvoNexus?
Qualcomm@EvoNexus is a program within the EvoNexus incubator that is supported by Qualcomm and CommNexus. Companies will go through the standard EvoNexus selection and due diligence process for admission to the incubator. EvoNexus will determine who to admit and will extend an offer of acceptance under their standard terms and conditions. In parallel, Qualcomm will engage in discussions with selected companies with the goal of providing seed funding. Find more information on what Qualcomm is looking for here.

If I am admitted into Qualcomm@EvoNexus do I have to participate in the EvoNexus programming?
Yes, all companies who apply to be apart of EvoNexus will be going through the assigned EvoNexus programming.

What is the difference between EvoNexus and CiscoEIR@EvoNexus?
CiscoEIR@EvoNexus is a program within the EvoNexus incubator that is supported by Cisco Entrepreneur in Residence and CommNexus. Companies will go through the standard EvoNexus selection and due diligence process for admission to the incubator. EvoNexus will determine who to admit and will extend an offer of acceptance under their standard terms and conditions. In parallel, Cisco will engage in discussions with selected companies with the goal of providing initial funding. Find more about what Cisco is looking for here.

If I am admitted into CiscoEIR@EvoNexus do I have to participate in the EvoNexus programming?
Yes, all companies who apply to be apart of EvoNexus will be going through the assigned EvoNexus programming.

If I am admitted into the EvoNexus Irvine location, am I eligible to receive CiscoEIR@EvoNexus funding?
Yes, all companies apply to all EvoNexus locations will be considered by CiscoEIR@EvoNexus to receiving funding.

How do I apply?
You can apply by submitting a filled out application and executive overview on our website: www.evonexus.org/applicants

What is included in the application process?
Please click here to see more information on the application process.

How long is the application process? When will I know if I am admitted into the program?
Once applications close, the review process takes about 2 months. It takes two weeks for the EvoNexus committee to review and score applications.  After that, the committee will request face to face presentations from applicants who are moving forward.   The last step prior to selection companies for admittance is the due diligence process lasting 2 weeks.

What are your selection criteria?
EvoNexus considers a range of things when admitting companies, including the scale and scope of the problem or opportunity you are proposing to address, your ability to differentiate from would-be competitors, your go-to-market approach and your founding team. In terms of suggestions for strengthening your application, you might consider the following:

  • Make sure you have the right mix of skills for the business you are proposing to address.
  • Show us your idea in action. Build a prototype, prove it can work!
  • Demonstrate that you’ve done the leg work to validate your idea. Explore your market channels, talk to would be customers, validate requirements and test for willingness to pay.
  • Show that you will be able to support your venture during the first 4 months of the EvoStart program without requiring additional funding.

Is my company “too far along” to apply?
If you are thinking about using the services of an incubator and are still raising seed or Series A funding then this program is probably right for you. It doesn’t matter if you have already taken funding from other investors; the focus is on whether the EvoStart milestones and/or Qualcomm and/or Cisco EIR can help you achieve success given the current stage of your company.

Do we need to submit multiple applications if we want to be considered for both EvoNexus and the Qualcomm@EvoNexus and/or CiscoEIR@EvoNexus opportunities?
No, EvoNexus will consider your company for application to the Incubator independent of  Qualcomm or Cisco’s consideration to provide funding under the Qualcomm@EvoNexus or CiscoEIR@EvoNexus programs. However, your application serves both purposes.

I’m concerned that I am exposing my Intellectual Property by applying. Will you sign an NDA?

While we will be respectful in the handling of information in your application, we do not enter into NDAs for this process and do not wish to receive confidential information. Please do not disclose any proprietary business or technological information. EvoNexus expects to see many applications which are likely to contain similar ideas or which contain ideas that companies who sit on its Selection Committee currently are developing. Please see the Information Sharing Agreement for terms.

What if we are students, can we still apply?
While students are not excluded from applying, admission into the incubator requires that you be a legally incorporated company with a leadership team able to dedicate time and energy into the business on a full-time basis.

Is there a restriction on the amount of members of the group?

No. That said, the expectation is that companies working out of the Downtown location will have no more than 8 employees. Companies operating out of University Town Center may be a little larger.

I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted?
Although applications from single founders won’t be explicitly screened out, you do need to be a legally incorporated company with a team able to dedicate the necessary skills, resources and energy into making your business a success. Given the nature of technology businesses, it is important to have the right combination of technical and business skills in the founding team.

Will you help me secure venture funding?
While this is not guaranteed, EvoNexus, Qualcomm, and Cisco EIR will work together to equip you with the tools and introductions that will help you seek further venture funding.

Will I have to move?
Yes, EvoNexus is only operating in San Diego and Irvine at this time. If accepted to the San Diego Incubator, the expectation is that you will be located full time in San Diego. If accepted to the Irvine Incubator, the expectation is that you will be located full time in Irvine.

Will you help with relocation and housing?

No, while EvoNexus can give you pointers on local resources, relocating and finding new housing will be up to you.

Can I apply if our company or founders are not from the USA? Will you help with Visas and immigration?
While EvoNexus will accept anyone from anywhere, you do need to be based in San Diego during your time in the incubator lab and be in the USA legally. EvoNexus, Qualcomm, and Cisco EIR will not be able to assist you in securing visas.

How does EvoNexus differ from other Incubators?
EvoNexus is a no-strings-attached technology incubator and there is no cost to entrepreneurs for use of their facilities or programs. EvoNexus is also taking a longer term view than many other incubators. Companies are admitted to EvoNexus between 6-18 months.  EvoNexus aims to provide meaningful, hands-on support for meaningful technology innovation.

Can I stop by the offices to say hello?
San Diego Offices: We offer tours of the San Diego EvoNexus office the last Wednesday and Friday of every month. To schedule a tour with a staff member click here. You can also visit our Meetup page where open events are listed.
Irvine Offices: The Irvine location is not yet open to visitors.

For more FAQ regarding Qualcomm@EvoNexus only, click here.

For more FAQ regarding CiscoEIR@EvoNexus only, click here.

For more FAQ regarding Mitchell@EvoNexus only, click here.

Who do I contact for information not listed here?
CommNexus/EvoNexus: Michele Yoshioka (Director of Programs) at myoshioka@commnexus.org and 858-768-5059
EvoNexus San Diego (DT/UTC): Kristen Long (Sr. Program Manager) klong@commnexus.org and 858-692-5654
EvoNexus Irvine: Carolyn Liikala (Program Manager) cliikala@commnexus.org and 619-889-4883