When speaking to potential applicants for Betatron, one of the most common questions I get asked is, "Can you give me some tips to get my application accepted?".
Here are eight tips, suggested by successful startup accelerators around the world. If you remember to follow them, you'll have a much higher chance of getting your application accepted.
#1. Focus on a single value proposition
When talking about their products, startups are often tempted to present it as a swiss knife made to solve multiple problems.
For early-stage startups it is a very bad idea to take this approach for several reasons:
#2. Get straight to the point
Each accelerator reviews hundreds of applications within a few short weeks. Don’t make us wade through tons of excess information to get to the crux of the matter. In addition to earning our undying gratitude, being concise shows us that YOU know what’s truly important about your startup… a skill that translates well into effective sales.
#3 . Apply early
Startup Accelerators generally review applications as soon as they come in, so please don’t wait until the last minute to apply to our program. Applying early gives us time to follow up with you and clarify issues with your application. Plus — and trust me on this one — you do not want to be the 900th application our tired and exhausted partners have to get through!
#4 . Show traction
Nothing shows that you have it all together better than paying customers. You don’t get revenue without an MVP, without at least some measure of product market fit. Because each industry has such unique sales cycles, we also look at other leading indicators of traction: free trials, users, strategic partners, letters of intent (LOI), even a strong advisory board helps. But not all traction is created equal. We also like to know how quickly you’ve managed to get from point A to point B.
#5 . Team, team, team
Venture capital is about investing in people. There is far too much work for any one person so we look for founding teams with complementary skills sets who have a history of working together. Your chances of entry into the program are exponentially higher with the right team.
#6 . Show us your data
We hate hand-waiving. If the problem is big, show us exactly how big. If the data source is not well known or is much different than one might have guessed, cite your source. We are going to Google it anyway and if we cannot find it, it will undermine your application.
#7 . Don’t get sloppy
Typos, incomplete applications, rambling responses, etc. all count against you. If your attention to detail is so poor that you can't be bothered to spell-check your application, what does that say about your overall productivity?
#8. Have a plan to turn your business idea into a proper business
As Chris Sacca, an investor in Twitter and Uber, put it: “Ideas are cheap, execution is everything”.
There are a lot of talented people out there with great ideas, but demonstrating that you know how to turn an idea into a sustainable, profitable and highly scalable business model is the difference between a cool idea and a game-changing start-up. This is also what will convince an accelerator that you’re worth their time.
There are some key strands that you should focus on planning to be able to demonstrate that your business will work. Know your market, your sales channels, and, of course, the team you’ll need to build to make it all a reality.
Are you thinking about applying to Betatron's startup accelerator? When submitting your application, keep these tips in mind you'll have a much higher chance of getting accepted.
Applications close in 5 days on Friday 25th November. So remember tip #3 - Apply early!
Click here to apply
Sources: inc-asean.com, startups.co.uk, dreamit.com