The X15 Program

Preparing for your next mission.

Experience Matters

Flight Plan

At Refinery Ventures, we believe human capital is the most important part of successful companies. But, the Midwest has been held back. And while there are major university assets across the region, the gap is in entrepreneurial leadership.

That’s why we created the X15 Program - to build the most admired network of Hypergrowth entrepreneurial leadership in the world.

X15 is a distinctly unique exploration program that works to find future founders and executives for the world's next billion-dollar companies.

We want to partner with you to start a company to pursue your vision, or connect you with an existing startup that would benefit from your experience.

Growth Leadership is the Essential Ingredient

We've Done It Before

Successful venture-backed companies require explosive growth. We believe that leaders with prior hypergrowth experience know what's required to light the fuse, and they know what growth looks like. This is an everyday philosophy at Refinery Ventures, ringing true for our operating partners to our company founders.

What You'll Get

How It Works

X15 was created to support your journey through community and network development with other hypergrowth leaders, and through platform support from Refinery Ventures.

The Desire to Help

Uplift Your Community

You are often inspired to help the communities that shape your success - you learned a lot, have a lot to offer, and want to make an impact. Through X15 you’ll discover early stage technologies from leading researchers and innovators, while helping shape your community’s innovation landscape through mentorship, advising, and relationship building across a variety of activities and events.

Guided by Curiosity

Explore What’s Out There

Universities have talent, intellectual property, and a desire to commercialize. Our program offers you access to relationships and research to serve your curiosity. If you're inquisitive about the future - and the opportunity to have a place in the next technological supercycle - then X15 is where you belong.

All In

Ready for Launch

When you meet that special team or confront the ‘Aha’ moment, you see the possibilities and can’t stop thinking about it. From research to early stage funding, we will be there to support you.

Our Program Framework

Two-track Engagement Opportunities

We designed X15 to allow us to work together before we actually work together, while developing relationships with like minded leaders, technologists, and community boomerangs. Through exclusive, invite-only events or regular touchpoints with Refinery Ventures, our platform helps you find what excites you:

Track 1 - Attend exclusive, invite-only events focused on matchmaking, leadership development, and local boomerang relationship building.

Track 2 - Stay connected on a regular basis by collaborating with Refinery Ventures’ investment activities. Learn about early stage companies, showcase your people, market, and company leadership capabilities, and get to know Refinery Ventures at a meaningful level.

Upcoming Events

Help Your Community

We will be hosting a series of events throughout the year that introduce you to new people and new ideas worth pursuing.



Launch Pad Event

Technology from University of Cincinnati Lab2Market Fellows

Cincinnati, OH

Register Now

Learn More

To learn more about X15, please contact:

Patrick Kent

Head of Network at Refinery Ventures


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Why X15?

To the Moon

Before Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon, he was a pilot for the North American X-15, an experimental hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft that took great risks to break speed barriers and reach the edge of outer space during NASA’s infancy.

Armstrong reached hypersonic speed three times in the X-15 and achieved a max altitude of 207,000 feet, shattering the perception for what was thought possible. X-15 is widely regarded as one of the most successful research programs in aviation history and directly contributed to space exploration.

The X-15 was a Hypergrowth moment for the future of aviation and space exploration. Our program is a springboard to reach new heights and unlock our greatest potential.