Menlo Labs Entrepreneur in Residence

Apply here

Solve a problem. Build a household name.

The Menlo Labs Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program is designed for select, high-potential founders who are ready to start building a company and want to partner with our team of expert operators and investors as they begin their startup journey.

Menlo EIRs receive working capital and salary and work hand-in-hand with our dedicated Menlo Labs team to explore new opportunities, with the goal of starting a venture-scale business within six months.

Menlo Labs seeks to be the most supportive environment for uniquely capable entrepreneurs to collaboratively iterate to an opportunity worthy of their talent and time, while helping you build a founding team capable of delivering on your mission.

Your Role as an EIR

As an EIR, you will drive day-to-day operations, manage critical stakeholder relationships and communications, and define the vision and direction of your company.

Importantly, your role involves truth-seeking to identify and validate customer demand, aiming for the biggest opportunities. Embracing this mindset means continually evolving your thinking, being willing to pivot strategies as new insights emerge, and staying customer- and problem-driven. It’s about stretching the boundaries of what’s possible, challenging the status quo, and aiming for transformative impact.

Our Commitment to You

We are experts in researching, building, financing, and scaling startups. Menlo EIRs receive tangible value on top of capital—we provide dedicated and bespoke support aimed at helping you identify big, venture-backable opportunities alongside our investment team. Then, we execute right alongside you, helping you assemble your founding team, recruit early employees, stand up your back office functions, and prepare for early growth.

Upfront Capital

We provide funding on day one in the form of a SAFE convertible note (~$250K) and work to build conviction, meriting a full pre-seed capital (averaging $2.25M) at the end of the six-month program. EIRs draw a salary throughout that time.

In-the-Trenches Support

We offer up to 20 hours per week of dedicated, shoulder-to-shoulder support focused on all aspects of company creation. The primary outcome is a minimum viable product (MVP) with an initial set of pilot customers and a roadmap for expanding your business. We’ll also help you find your co-founders and early team. 

Network and Resources

We grant EIRs access to our portfolio perks, expert advisors, and a network of preferred providers and partners. We help you quickly put startup operations in place, such as banking, accounting, HR and payroll, and connect you with design, marketing, legal, and sales resources.

About Menlo Labs

Menlo Labs is a startup studio within Menlo Ventures that works directly with high-potential founders to incubate startups and position them to be scalable, profitable businesses.

Our team of experienced operators and investors partner with entrepreneurs to de-risk the opportunity and maximize their chances of success. At the earliest stage, we validate the idea—assessing the customer need and competition, ensuring the solution is technically feasible and financially viable—to prove that it can become a profitable business that VCs will back. Then we start building.

We operate in the trenches with our founders from day one, engaging in key decisions and strategic plans. We offer coaching and guidance through the good times and the bad. We do the legwork to give founders a leg up, so they can move faster with more focus, more confidence, and support from every angle.

Menlo Labs process


  1. What is the difference between the Menlo EIR program and an accelerator or incubator?

    The Menlo EIR program focuses on individual entrepreneurs, providing them with upfront capital and personalized support to develop ideas into venture-backable businesses and build their founding team over a six-month period. In contrast, accelerators and incubators typically support a large cohort of existing companies to offer guidance to advance their strategy.

  2. What is the difference between the Menlo Fellowship program and the Menlo Labs EIR program?

    Each program caters to different stages and needs for entrepreneurs. The Menlo Labs EIR program is geared towards individuals who are ready to start building a new business, offering more direct and intensive support, including capital, to develop their ideas into scalable businesses. The Menlo Fellowship is a more exploratory and networking-oriented program, designed for individuals who are contemplating starting or joining a new company but are not yet ready to commit fully. If you’re interested in learning more about the Menlo Fellowship, you can find information here:

  3. Are there any specific industry focuses for the EIR program?

    Missions typically align with our Menlo areas of expertise include AI, Bio & Healthcare, Consumer, Cloud Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Fintech, SaaS, and Supply Chain & Automation. We are also open to emerging areas where the core value is still software.

  4. Do EIRs need to have an idea to apply?

    EIRs are expected to have problem(s) or idea(s) they’re excited to explore, but it’s understood that the initial idea might evolve over the six-month engagement.

  5. What is the selection process?

    The selection process involves an upfront application, a series of interviews with Menlo team members, and reference checks over a two- to four-week timeframe.

  6. Can I be a solo founder?


  7. Can international founders apply?

    The program focuses on individuals who are based in the United States.

  8. What happens if an EIR’s startup idea does not progress as expected?

    We engage EIRs aiming to be true category leaders who reinvent life and work. Some ideas naturally don’t advance, but our EIRs value our support and critical lens, understanding that is an important part of building an impactful, resilient company.

  9. Does Menlo provide office space?

    While we do not provide an assigned workspace, we offer access to our Menlo Park and SF offices a few days per week for EIRs who are based in the Bay Area (pending availability).

Are you ready?

Solve a problem. Build a household name.

Apply now