2014 promises to be the year of more Acceleration Programs than ever before. Multiple models define the programs and opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs (for example, at Orion Startups we are using Techstars model). The application calls are there, but the competence is harder than ever.
If you are planning to apply to an acceleration program this can be helpful:
What are they looking for?
- – A BIG team
- – Ability to execute (fast & furious)
- – A great project (related with accelerator interest area)
Once you’ve applied, the selection team will make a research to know about your startup and your team, so be prepared. Most of the teams change their idea, but execution is everything!
For example we use to do the next things for the first selection:
1. We click on the Project’s website link. If it leads to nothing, then it’s bad, really bad. The website is the minimum any person expects from you; it’s like your presentation card.
2. We look into the founders’ social profiles and search for previous activities. Anything we find can define or give us an idea about the person: a portfolio can give an idea about tech skills, being the basketball team captain can show leadership, etc.
3. Video. Remember that the selection team doesn’t know the Project; they never have been in touch with the product. A video is the best shot to describe what it is and what it does.
4. We rank them. The first rank is based on our first impression: we see if the Project a) Must be in the program, b) Could be in the program, c) I am not sure, I need help to evaluate d) Probably won’t be in the program, e) Definitely won’t be in the program.
If your Projecy is ranked a-d, then we’ll do a research to know: your execution capacity (How long have you been working on this project?), experience or passion about the project (How did you get that idea?) and finally, team strength (How well do you know your co-founder?).
- – Answer ASAP the email from the accelerator team.
- – Never react in a defensive way.
- – Write emails with explicit subjects.
- – Be honest and answer shortly.
- – Be careful with every answer.
Definitely, this is the year!!