Tips for applying successfully
Working on your application for The Accelerator? Below we have put together some tips and details to help you understand what we are looking for and how you can apply successfully!
- Build something. We are not looking for the Great Big Wall, as long as we can see that you have built something. We do not care if your product is imperfect or is being used by few, just have something ready and running.
- Bring the team to the spotlight. The team behind the venture is what matters the most; so update -or create- your Linkedin accounts, tell us what’s important and relevant in your bios, and be yourselves in the video. We need to see that you are committed to and passionate about what you are doing. Show us why this team is the right one.
- Is it big enough? Startups are not simply new businesses, they are lean ventures able to achieve high growth. For this cycle, we focus on tech startups addressing a big market looking to scale fast, ideally in one of our select sectors (check out the application page). Think big, start small, and have a plan to grow big.
- Why now? Why do you think that now is the right period for your venturing endeavor to succeed? What developments in technology, in the market, or in the broader economy do you think that will help you succeed?
- Apply early. The earlier you apply, the better. We have two deadlines: our early one on March 30 (23:59 GMT) and the final on April 27, 2016 (23:59 GMT). Applying early means we will have more time to spend on your application, so start completing the form as soon as you can, save your drafts, and, once ready, send it over.
- Express yourself clearly and briefly. One of the most critical things in applying is for us to understand what you are working on. Make your application stand out by using simple, clear, and concise terms. Using bullets is always helpful. No need for essay writing here; there is a 1000 character limit for each response (~200 words), which is more than enough and all we are looking for.
- Do not use marketing language in order to make your application seem more exciting. We are excited too, yet we appreciate brevity and clarity more. The point is to raise our interest, not simply draw our attention, and too many words make the evaluator’s job more difficult. So, simply focus on stating clearly who you are and what you are doing, without writing huge introductory and ‘hard-selling” paragraphs.
- Answer everything. Although we do not sign non-disclosure agreements, we certainly avoid disclosing your plans to potential competitors. If you are about to answer a question by saying you cannot tell us because the answer is classified or controversial, please tell us instead about a supportive argument that isn’t.
- Revise and refine. Unnecessary words in your application subtract from the effect of the necessary ones. Our suggestion is to go over your application multiple times before you submit it. You can also print it, take notes and cross out every unnecessary word. What will be left has to be the best!
- Get referred by someone in your business. Getting referred adds an element of trust, yet certainly is no assurance for selection. The ideal referrer is a customer or business partner, that may share their take on your team and service. If you have none of the above get the next best thing. In any case, let them know about your application and let them know they will be receiving a request to drop us a note – it need only be short and sweet!
In brief: If there’s something about you that stands out, or some special insight you have, make sure we see it.