The Accelerator FAQ

About The Accelerator

What is The Accelerator and how does it work?

The Accelerator is a seed acceleration program based in Greece and working on a European and international level. More information about what is offered and who it is for, you may find on the main page of the program. In brief, it includes:

  • growth training and one-on-one execution coaching
  • mentorship and guidance through our global network of Experts
  • targeted networking across Europe and internationally
  • the opportunity to travel to San Francisco and Silicon Valley
  • pre-seed investment through our Investors
  • numerous perks in free services

The first step in joining is to prepare and submit your application. Then once selected – it is game on. The game plan is rigorous and seeded with opportunities!

How do I apply?

Visit our application page and create your account. You may dive in the application asap, saving when necessary and generating a remarkable blueprint of your startup.

Don’t miss out on our tips for applying successfully, which we created as a guide of do’s and dont’s. Our early round on March 30, 23:59 GMT is our suggestion, yet you may submit until our final deadline on April 27, 2016, 23:59 GMT.

When does The Accelerator begin? What goes on in the program?

The Accelerator launches once a year and the 2016 cycle begins officially on June 6th. It has four stages:

  1. Stage I – Boosting: Pitch and training workshops, one-on-one coaching, mentoring and networking, implementation  (2.5 months: June- August)
  2. Stage II – Expanding: Our momentous US mission to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley  (1 month: September)
  3. Stage III – Securing: Pitching and refining work  (2 weeks: October)
  4. Stage IV – Transcending: Our international and energizing Demo Day!  (1 day: in November)

For more details about the schedule look into our game plan.

Are there going to be any onsite meetings or workshops? If yes, are they open for everyone?

There will certainly be workshops and onsite meetings – these are among our core weekly activities during the first stage of the program. In fact, as reported by previous participants, these are among the most valuable elements of our program. The teams that will be selected to participate in The Accelerator will be able to attend these, yet they will not be open to everybody. In case you are selected and your permanent residence is outside Athens, you will have to be able to come to Athens in order to attend the workshops and onsite meetings, as well as any other activities organized and suggested.

Can I apply if I am not based in Greece?

Absolutely! The Accelerator is aimed at startups and founders from across Europe – and beyond. You will be required to stay in Athens, at least a couple members of your team, so that you attend and take advantage of the activities and opportunities organized during the program. You need not move permanently to Athens and your company shall not be based in Greece.

I am still at the idea stage, developing, or have no market traction. Can I still apply?

The Accelerator is aimed at startup teams that already have a functional product or service, even a prototype or beta, and already have some initial traction.

The 2 core reasons for this are that: a. market traction is a primary indication of your proof of concept, which is necessary even for the very early funding stages, and b. only at this stage can teams advance at the pace required to reach the target market- and investment-ready level within just a few months.

If you are still developing, you could take this opportunity to push your product to the market and receive your first results by our final deadline on April 27. This may also be a validation for you that you may indeed advance during The Accelerator as required, even if you are beginning your sprint a bit behind the starting line.

If you have a very basic idea, The Lab is a more appropriate program to help you develop it and reach seed acceleration level. The Lab guides you through the discovery phase and helps you unearth and formulate many to most elements of your initial idea. In fact many participants of The Lab start with either a vague or a very different idea than the one they end up with – and doing so actually means that they truly took advantage and truly progressed!

Overall, we exclude no team and no project. Startup teams with a functional product and market traction are at an advantage; yet if you believe you are ready for The Accelerator then we are ready to look into it.

Are social businesses and non-profit organizations or projects accepted in The Accelerator?

Social businesses are more than welcome to submit their application to The Accelerator 2016. We are excited about businesses that balance profit and impact to deliver value to their customers and the world. At the moment we are not able to accept non-profit organizations, as the program is structured around equity-driven funding.

I have a busy schedule. Do I need to give it all up in order to follow this program?

The Accelerator is a rigorous and very demanding program, which will require your time and dedication to go through, deliver what is required, and progress to the level both you and us envision.

It is designed for people who are both clear about what they are working on within their startup, about about their strong intend to engage fully and see this succeed – which is truly the only way. In fact, the belief that an initiative can turn into a growing startup is for us an indication that you are neither committed nor aware of the effort required. We thus expect that at least the founders (those holding over 10% of the company, each) will be working full time on your startup during The Accelerator.

My English is not very good, can I follow the program in another language?

We are afraid that at the moment you cannot. The entire program and the workshops will be held in English. We are a global program aiming at and striving to encourage people to think and act global – while staying local.

After all, a core stage of The Accelerator includes the opportunity to travel to the US to engage with founders, participate in events, and pitch to investors; strong knowledge of the English language is thus absolutely required.

Is there an age limit for participating Founders?

Founders must be 18 years of age or older. That said, we do not have any other restriction for participating in The Accelerator. We stand firm in our belief that an entrepreneur has no age, it can be anyone from anywhere.

How much do you invest?

The Accelerator offers €22.000 in funds for an equity stake of 8% in your startup company. This year we are also considering a convertible note with equivalent terms. In addition to this, of course, you may wish to consider the $200K+ in perks and services offered through The Accelerator and our Allies!

Do I have to pay anything in order to participate? What is the required use of funds?

We charge no fee for the application, Interview Spree, or our 2-week Bootcamp, should you be selected to participate. The Accelerator itself charges no fee, yet full participation is required. We also expect that you will contribute with your feedback on how we can deliver even better and with your support following the program – indeed we are proud to report on a strong Alumni community!

Once selected, you will be required to sign a Term Sheet based on which your team will receive the amount of €22.000 in exchange for 8% of equity in your startup. The amount shall be transferred to you in two installments: the first half within two weeks of signing (company incorporation is a prerequisite), and the second upon program completion.

We do not set restrictions in your use of funds. This is indeed an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to manage your financials and turn them into results. We do require that you expense the US mission out of your investment, yet the price will be much reduced as part of the group price we will achieve for you (estimated at 2.000-2.500 euros per person for one month). Finally, it is suggested that you expense below-market salaries to yourselves as founders at this stage; not only is this an indication of your commitment and understanding of the equity stake value in your startup, it will also allow you to apply these to achieve better results to present by the end of the program (by employing an additional developer or designer, or increasing your traction through smart advertising).

Do we need to have an established company to apply?

Having incorporated your company is not required in order to apply to our program. What is needed, is a functional product/service and some initial market traction, ideally within our focus sectors (more information on The Accelerator main page). Should you require, basic guidance and contacts on incorporating a company may be provided to you upon acceptance of your startup to participate in the program. Company incorporation is the responsibility of the founders and is required to proceed with funding.

We already have some funding, can we still apply?

Yes, of course you can – get right to it! Only thing to consider is whether the funding you have received is relevantly significant (over €250K), in which case we may be inclined to work with startups that appear to need us more.

I read everything but still have further questions...

On anything regarding The Accelerator, do not hesitate to contact us through our contact form or kickstart your application here to launch direct communication with our team. 

That said, we shall not engage in personally helping anyone with their application, under our “fair game play” rule towards all. In fact, we will look into expanding this FAQ section to make things clearer for everyone.