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What Startup Accelerators Really Do

What Startup Accelerators Really Do | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Here’s what we know.

The well-advertised boom in startups and venture capital in recent years has coincided with the emergence of new players in startup ecosystems. One of these, startup accelerators, has received a great deal of attention but also little scrutiny. Moreover, they are commonly misunderstood or mistakenly lumped in with other institutions supporting early-stage startups, such as incubators, angel investors, and early-stage venture capitalists.

In a recent analysis published by the Brookings Institution, I tackle some of the confusion around startup accelerators by laying out a clearer picture of what they do, and how they differ from other early-stage institutions. I also provide a review of the research literature on the effectiveness of accelerators to achieve their stated aims, some best practices for accelerator programs, and some figures on the size, scope, and impact of these organizations in the United States.

Accelerators are playing an increasing role in startup communities throughout the United States and beyond. Early evidence demonstrates the significant potential of accelerators to improve startups’ outcomes, and for these benefits to spill over into the broader startup community. However, the measurable impact accelerators have on performance varies widely among programs — not all accelerators are created equally. Quality matters. Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Get clear on #accelerators, are they for you?

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10 key pitching tips for future success... - Tech2Brand

10 key pitching tips for future success... - Tech2Brand | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Over the next 12 months, many start-ups will be involved in high pressure 'pitching' competitions, here are my 10 key tips for succeeding when you next compete.

As a start-up, over the next 12 months, you will be involved in high pressure ‘pitch’ competitions, Whether your pitch needs to be 1 minute, 5 minutes or 20 minutes, it is crucial that you get it right ‘first time’ if you want to succeed.

Having been a judge on numerous competitions, I have seen many pitches fail, not because the tech wasn’t right, but due to small errors occurring (eg. pitch running over time, videos not working on the day, formatting on the slides different to what was originally submitted).  Unfortunately, these small inconveniences, can be THE difference between success and failure on the day.

To ensure that you don’t make the same mistake as others before you, please find detailed below 10 key ‘pitching tips’ for future success:

Read more: click image or title.



Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Never done an #investor #pitch before? Take a look at these tips. Good advice.

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Google launches a 6-month accelerator to help startups build mobile products

Google launches a 6-month accelerator to help startups build mobile products | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Google has joined the ranks of Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Techstars in launching an accelerator, something that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the technology giant. The program is built on the company’s Launchpad initiative and is a long-term engagement with select startups from around the world to give them the best resources, access to great mentors, and help accelerating their product. Read more: click image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another #accelerator, this time from #Google.

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Here's How Startups Actually Start Up

Here's How Startups Actually Start Up | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Explained in plain English

There’s a sucker born every day — or so they say. But the way startup fever has been spreading across the land, it almost feels more like there’s a Zuckerberg being born every day. And that feeling is real. According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, 2015 has marked the first year startup activity has been on the rise since the Great Recession. In fact, it’s soaring — the numbers show we’re living through the biggest upswing in new companies, products, business deals, and jobs in the past twenty years.

That makes it sound like now is the perfect time to bring your million dollar idea to market — but how is that even done? Read more: click on image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A great down-to-earth outline of what it takes to #startup your own #venture.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, August 29, 2015 1:23 PM

According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, 2015 has marked the first year startup activity has been on the rise since the Great Recession. In fact, it’s soaring — the numbers show we’re living through the biggest upswing in new companies, products, business deals, and jobs in the past twenty years.  That makes it sound like now is the perfect time to bring your million dollar idea to market — but how is that even done?   -  1st off, begin by casting aside any fears that you can’t make a dent in the tech universe with little computer prowess.“We’re seeing more and more people enter the tech space because the definition of tech continues to grow,” says Michele Markey, vice president of Kauffman FastTrac, a global network of advisors helping entrepreneurs launch and grow companies. She’s seen everything from medical devices to mobile apps launch from Main Street as much as Silicon Valley, and that’s a trend many expect to continue.    1. Eying the competition:  It may not sound as exciting as a weekend-long hackathon or a giving a flashy presentation to a bunch of investors, but the reality is that most startups live and die based on early research. Scoping out the competition is vital to understanding where there’s an opportunity to make a move. This can involve everything from dissecting competing products to improve upon their designs or simply mapping out their locations to find a new way to reach underserved customers.   2. Finding and defining customers:  Markey says startup founders also conduct research by hitting the bricks and talking to would-be customers about their ideas. “A smart entrepreneur needs to figure out where their sweet spot in the marketplace is,” she says. “Who is that customer that’s going to use the product, pay the money, and maybe be the repeat user?  

3. Shoring up intellectual property:   Padlocking your product or service with an array of patents, trademarks, or copyrights can sound terribly dull, but the truth is it’s one of the most important steps to ensuring a budding company’s success. Without these protections, a competitor can swoop in and copy an idea without having to pay a dime for all the hard work done until this point.  And finally, startups are also wise to copyright their reproducible works. Whether it’s an paperback, and e-book, or even an image, if it can be duplicated, it should be protected. That may sound like a publishing industry problem rather than a startup issue, but as TechCrunch noted last year, it only took four hours for copyright law to crush one particular startup’s dreams.

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BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech

BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

There’s no shortage of tech accelerators and incubators, with the likes of Y Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars. All three of them have addressed diversity in their own ways, but more could always be done.

Enter the BuildUp Fellows program, an intensive two-week accelerator designed to educate and mentor underrepresented founders, like women, veterans and minorities, in the tech industry. Entrepreneurs selected will get free desk space in downtown San Francisco, mentorship, meetings with investors and other industry experts.

BuildUp is the brainchild of Kristina Omari, Wayne Sutton and Christian Anderson (pictured above). Collectively, they make up a diverse, all-star team of serial entrepreneurs, mergers & acquisitions experts and investment bankers.

“Coming from an investment banking background, I have seen biases at work in regards to founders and funding,” Anderson told TechCrunch. “I want to bring to light investment opportunities of game changing, innovative products and experiences, which are created by ‘nontraditional’ founders.”

BuildUp is looking for startups that have strong potential in four key areas: global impact, innovation, design and growth. The program will run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 9, 2015. Startups can apply through August 31.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Underrepresented #founders in the tech industry, such as women, veterans or minorities in general, have a new #accelerator with a 2 week program.

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How the Top VCs Want to Be Pitched

How the Top VCs Want to Be Pitched | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Five top guys tell you exactly what they want to hear -- and what they don't.

When you’re preparing to pitch to a venture capitalist, you'll likely look for resources that tell you what constitutes a great pitch. And, sure, you'll find many expert tips on the best and most effective pitches. But have you stopped to think what the VCs themselves think?

Aren't the best people to tell you what a really good pitch comprises the VCs themselves?

Because they are the people at the receiving end who get pitched all the time from entrepreneurs, here are five top venture capitalists baring all about what will make them sit up and take notice. Read more: click image or title.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Find out what top VC's such as Dave McClure, Marc Andreessen and Paul Graham have to say about how to pitch your startup.

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5 Times You Should Rethink Joining an Accelerator

5 Times You Should Rethink Joining an Accelerator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Before your put the pedal to the metal, make sure your company is ready to quickly scale.

Thinking it may be time to accelerate and take the next step to success?  Before you go to Mach 10, it’s smart to think about accelerating in the right light. It’s not always the golden ticket to "greener" pastures that many are seeking.

I was part of the Imagine K12 accelerator, which funds startups in the education space akin to the prestige of the Y Combinator. While it was an amazing experience, accelerators aren't for everyone. As someone has gone through the program, I’ve been asked about when a venture should accelerate and when it’s better to put the brakes on.

Here are five scenarios that may make you think twice about putting the pedal to the medal:  Read more: click title or image.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Accelerators can be the perfect experience for your startup. However, you can be too early, not ready, or not fit. Read this article first to get some idea what it's all about.

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500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies

500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

With their twelfth batch of companies set to demo to investors and the press next week, 500 Startups is announcing the thirteenth batch of companies to go through its accelerator.

The firm is adding 30 more startups to its 1,000-company portfolio, and there are a few clear trends among the batch: lots of on-demand services, marketplaces, and physical goods like hardware or cleaning products.

As with its recent cohorts, the accelerator is bringing in companies from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and outside the U.S. for its newest batch. 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure explained the philosophy behind that diversity at Disrupt NY on Tuesday, noting, “we think they’re under-priced assets that the rest of the world is missing.”

Here’s the complete list of startup joining 500 Startups in the Bay Area this summer:  to see full list click on title or image of this article.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#500Startups is doing a great job facilitating young startups into the

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The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR

The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/8FNi

A quantitative ranking.

Start-up accelerators have become a prominent feature of the entrepreneurship landscape in recent years. New programs appear nearly every month, and in many ways, accelerator participation has become a rite of passage for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, with the proliferation of programs, the newness of the phenomena, and little to no publicly available data on outcomes for the programs and affiliated start-ups, it is hard for entrepreneurs to determine which programs are most effective and, more importantly, which specific program would be the best fit for their particular start-up’s goals. With this challenge in mind, we set out over the last few years to both foster conversation about the accelerator model, and help entrepreneurs gain visibility into the strengths of individual programs.

To begin, our research enterprise the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project releases an annual ranking of accelerator programs. To construct these rankings, we collect detailed, confidential data directly from accelerator programs. We then calculate quantitative measures to better understand how programs stack up on several important outcomes, and supplement those measures with a broad survey of each accelerator’s graduates. As a non-commercial, academic-based enterprise, we provide a neutral ground for accelerators to share confidential data, which allows us in return to provide the community with rank-based benchmarking and aggregate statistics without revealing confidential information about individual start-ups. Read more here: http://snip.ly/8FNi



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Hi Dave, (Growthink CEO)

You are a wonder. Your Financial Business Modelling put in the Excel format is an excellent way to make entrepreneurs understand the basic concept of finances. Your direct involvement and assistance in my case is very much appreciated.


Khai Levinh
Managing Director
Media Blender

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Accelerators are doing a great job everywhere. Take advantage of them.

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38 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

38 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qU1X


I'm a 38-year old startup entrepreneur, and I've had my share of ups and downs. Here are the things I've learned along the way.

I read a great post a couple of months ago, written by a friend of mine, for females, that really inspired me (even as a male). As we get older, we begin to see things more clearly. Things we once thought were important become secondary. We start to truly understand what life (and business) are all about.

At my age (I'm 38), I'm not claiming to know everything (or an expert in anything for that matter), but I do believe I've learned a few things. As I approach my 40′s, I thought I'd share the lessons (sometimes hard) that I've earned--and learned:

  1. Nobody cares about what you say, only what you do.
  2. Funding is not the end, only the beginning.
  3. Once you take on funding, the stress gets worse, not better.
  4. Don't beg for investment dollars. They're paying to be your partner, not the other way around.
  5. Arrogant and disrespectful investors will never be good partners. Ignore them.
  6. Never, ever ever, pay to pitch.
  7. TechCrunch is overrated. Unless you sell to startups, it doesn't do shit. It's good for the ego though.
  8. Some people only care about people who they think are popular. They'll only acknowledge you when you appear to be more connected then they are. Get rid of these people.


Read more here: http://snip.ly/qU1X



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

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How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures

How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qLPH

The venture-building philosophy is a rising movement in the tech and startup industries, both in the U.S. and internationally.

If you haven’t yet heard of venture-builders — also called tech studios, startup factories, or venture production studios — let me introduce them to you: They’re organizations that build companies using their own ideas and resources.

Unlike incubators and accelerators, venture builders don’t take any applications, nor do they run any sort of competitive program that culminates in a Demo Day. Instead, they pull business ideas from within their own network of resources and assign internal teams to develop them (engineers, advisors, business developers, sales managers, etc.).

You’ll want to get used to the idea because we’re going to see a lot more venture-building organizations emerging. Read more here:

http://snip.ly/qLPH


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business. I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality."
Prem K. Kapani, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A new way of creating new business is growing from the startup concept. Taking all of the best aspects together and putting them in very focused setups is a great idea. It would be a great place to work before starting your own startup or small business. So much to learn. Also the perfect place to launch your own idea from, all the resources and support are right there.

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What We Learned From 40 Female YC Founders - Y Combinator

What We Learned From 40 Female YC Founders - Y Combinator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

By Jessica Livingston

We’re excited to launch Female Founder Stories, a collection of interviews with 40 of Y Combinator’s female alumnae.  We asked them about things like how they got started, their experience at Y Combinator, their experience as female founders, and what they wish they'd known when they were younger.  As you'll see, their answers are fascinating, both individually and in their variety.

This is the biggest collection of interviews with female startup founders I've seen in one place, and as a result we have an unprecedented opportunity to notice patterns in their experiences (and just as interesting, where there aren't patterns).

One of the most consistent patterns is how many founders wished they'd learned to program when they were younger. Some wished they'd even known it was an option, and many others knew it was an option but were either intimidated or felt they’d somehow missed the window. "Don't opt out of computer science because you think you are behind," one founder said. "You probably aren’t."

We got an interesting variety of responses when we asked the women whether being a female was advantageous or disadvantageous in their roles as founders. Some felt they had been harmed but as many felt it was an advantage. Interestingly, many said it got them attention for being unusual, and that they'd used this to their advantage. Others felt that being female did impose some barriers, but didn't let it get them down.  "Given how hard it is to be a founder (male or female)," one said, "gender disadvantages are probably just a rounding error."

One surprise was how varied the founders’ backgrounds were. I know all these women and even I was surprised how varied their paths to Y Combinator were.  If you wanted evidence contradicting the myth that YC only funds one type of founder, you could not do better than read these interviews.

Not surprisingly, most of the women were domain experts solving a problem they themselves had.  That's something that tends to be true of successful founders regardless of gender.

When I started Y Combinator back in 2005, I was one of a tiny minority of women in the venture business, and from the start I've made sure YC had an environment that is supportive of women.  It wasn't even a conscious decision.  To the extent there was one partner in charge of YC's environment, it was me, and as a woman myself I would not have tolerated anything else.  And as YC has grown, so has the number of female partners. Now there are four of us and we are not tokens, or a female minority in a male-dominated firm. At the risk of offending my male colleagues, who will nevertheless understand what I mean, some would claim it's closer to the truth to say that that we run the place. As YC funds more and more startups, Kirsty, Carolynn, Kat, and I are dedicated to maintaining an environment where women feel welcome and can succeed.

The number of startups we've funded with a female founder has grown from a trickle when we first started to about 19% in 2014. In the most recent batch (W15), we asked about gender on the application form for the first time. The percentage of startups we accepted with female founders was identical to the percentage who applied. (And this happened organically; we didn't check the numbers until after.)  Which implies the percentage of female founders we fund will increase in proportion to the percentage of female applicants.

There are two ways I think YC can have the most impact in increasing the number of female founders. First, we need to continue to do what we’ve always done: to help individual female founders’ startups succeed.  Those women will then become role models who inspire other women to make the leap and start startups too.  To serve as role models they need to be visible, so we're also focusing on showcasing YC’s female alumni through interviews like these and events like our Female Founders Conference.

I said at the first Female Founders Conference last March that I thought 2014 would be the tipping point for female founders. I still think I’m right, and our hope is that these interviews will be part of what makes things tip-- that they will both inspire more women to start startups (and please apply to YC!) and also inspire some who already have started to keep going.

Startups are hard. They are not the right thing for everyone. But what makes them the right thing for you is whether you are driven enough, not what gender you are, and that's one of the clearest patterns in these interviews.

Save the date: Y Combinator's second annual Female Founders Conference will be held in San Francisco on February 21, 2015.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

"The number of startups we've funded with a female founder has grown from a trickle when we first started to about 19% in 2014. In the most recent batch (W15), we asked about gender on the application form for the first time. The percentage of startups we accepted with female founders was identical to the percentage who applied. (And this happened organically; we didn't check the numbers until after.)  Which implies the percentage of female founders we fund will increase in proportion to the percentage of female applicants."

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Startup Competition

Startup Competition | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Startup CompetitionWin 225,000 DKK to make your idea happen - A Booster Pack is awarded to each of the 25 most promising high growth potential teams. Each package has a product value, 400,000 DKK

Startup Competition participants can win 25,000 DKK in each of six categories with an additional 200,000 DKK for the overall most promising startup. This competition focuses primarily on innovation, strength of business case, team diversity, startup potential and implementation strategy, including growth opportunities.

Participation gives access to advisors, workshops and an extensive network of investors, industry experts and serial entrepreneurs; all participants receive feedback from qualified jury members.

To enter the Venture Cup Startup Competition, submit a business plan of up to 15 pages before the deadline in the spring.

What’s In It For Me?

For the past 14 years, we have worked to help and inspire young entrepreneurs. With more than 2000 teams, 1200 new jobs, and 4 international offices under our belt, Venture Cup is one of Europe’s largest and most trusted non-profits to help make startups happen. Supported by the Danish universities and some of Denmark’s most innovative companies, we provide support and the right mindset to help you succeed.

Some of the key challenges we can help you with:

  • Cash Prizes: 25,000 DKK to the best idea in each category and an additional prize of 200,000 DKK to the overall winner, no strings attached.
  • Network: Meet serial entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and industry experts.
  • ⊕ Venture Cup Booster Pack: – A package including all the help you need as a startup, awarded to each of the 25 most promising high growth potential teams. Each package has a product value 200,000 DKK
  • Feedback: Get early and vital feedback from our jury or apply for a ⊕ mentor.
  • Training: Learn to pitch, prototype, network, and write a business plan.
  • Experts: We facilitate contact to advisors and mentors to help you reach the next level.
1. Can I Apply?

1. For University Students, Staff and Graduates. All teams must have at least one person who is a student, faculty member, or recent graduate (within the last calendar year) from one of the Danish universities (AAU, AU, CBS, DTU, KU, RUC, SDU, ITU) at the time of submission. Note that this does not include HHX, HTX and Gymnasium-level students; please refer to our sister organization, ⊕ Young Enterprise. Full-time foreign students and diploma students are also welcome to apply, as long as they otherwise comply with the rules. For a full overview, please see the ⊕ rules.

2. For the Startup Competition CVR number is required, prizes will be paid to your CVR number. If you do not have a CVR number yet, Venture Cup will assist you with the application process.

2. Business Plan

You need to explain your idea and the potential business. The judges will typically be looking for the following: a) the innovation of your idea; b) the problem it solves; c) the team to solve it; d) the business case; and e) how you will make it happen.

The business plan must not exceed 15 standard written A4 pages. If you need inspiration on how to write a business plan, please check out our guide at our ⊕ Resources page or ⊕ download the Startup Competition inspirational guide/template here (PDF)

Once you have written the business plan, please save it as a PDF file of max 10 MB and name it the same as your team/company (e.g. “rubycup.pdf” or “blacksiliconsolar.pdf”)

Note: All members of the jury, advisors, and Venture Cup staff have all signed a ⊕ Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as well as a set of ethical rules.

3. Choose Category

Once you have written your business plan you should have a clear idea of what category your plan belongs in. Industry experts will read, rate, and provide vital feedback based on their category insight, so choosing the right category is important for both jury and participants.

We will screen all business plans to make sure you are entered in the category that best fits your idea, and you can apply with as many ideas as you want in any number of categories. You cannot however submit the same idea in more than one category.

The 6 categories are:

  • CleanTech & Environment: energy efficiency, waste management, pollution reduction etc.
  • Life Science & MedTech: biotech, pharma, medical devices, healthcare, biomaterials etc.
  • Mobile & Web: apps, web services, search engines, augmented reality, near field communication etc.
  • Services: education, consultancy, marketing, tourism etc.
  • Product & Technology: industrial design, devices, robotics, hardware, nanotech etc.
  • Social Entrepreneurship: welfare innovation, social & societal solutions, non-profit organization, 3rd world development etc.
4. Checklist
  • You and your business plan comply with the ⊕ rules.
  • Your business plan is ready and contains the relevant areas of interest explained ⊕ here.
  • All contact info on all team members should be clearly stated in the business idea and in our online competition management tool (the site where you upload your business plan).
  • Make sure your business plan is saved as a PDF of max 10MB and named after your business plan.
  • Be prepared to answer ⊕ these mandatory questions when submitting your business plan.
5. Apply

All applications are handled securely by our online competition management system. Once you click “Upload” a new window will open for your application. Fill out all the required info, upload the PDF to our online competition management system, then you will receive a confirmation email for a successful upload. Note: The upload may take a few minutes, so please be patient and only click the Submit button once.

I Have Applied, Now What?

Congrats! You have now taken the first step to make your idea happen, and are now officially a member of the Venture Cup ⊕ Alumni Club. Once the jury have rated and provided feedback to all participating teams, we will release the feedback and make the finalists public via email and the website. This process usually takes 6 weeks.

Thanks for participating and good luck!


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startup Competitions like this European one (Denmark) are common all over the world. Prepare well, you might get a great start with funds and exposure. Business plan required! Check this one, will help you get started:

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The Truth About Startup Accelerators

The Truth About Startup Accelerators | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Accelerators are growing rapidly across the U.S. But does that mean governments should get involved?

Cities have long sought to bolster their innovative and entrepreneurial capacities. In an effort to spur startup activity, many U.S. urban areas have developed tech centers and innovation districts, lured venture capital funds, and launched incubator programs and facilities.

The latest trend in the tech startup economy is the creation of so-called “accelerators,” which act like a Shark Tank school for startups, providing access to mentors and peers along with space and venture funding. Perhaps the best-known accelerator is Y Combinator—established by Paul Graham in 2005 and based in the Silicon Valley—which has launched some 940 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit. Yet another popular example is Techstars—founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado—which now sponsors 21 accelerators across the world.

...

Hathaway finds that companies that had recently completed or were in the midst of completing accelerator programs had a median valuation of $5.1 million and an average valuation of $7.1 million. Companies that went on to raise even more venture capital, however, had a median valuation of $15.6 million and an average valuation of $90 million. In 2015 alone, these figures were valued at $30 million and $196 million, respectively. Read more: click image or title.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There is an #accelerator near you. Take advantage of it.

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7 Lessons from 500, YC, Angelpad alum — How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview

7 Lessons from 500, YC, Angelpad alum — How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

This month 500 Startups and General Assembly teamed up to hold a pre-accelerator program. Last week, we had our mini Demo Day:


I led the final week of the program where, in addition to 60-second pitch workshops, Angel.co profile show-and-tell, and pitch deck review sessions, I organized mock accelerator interviews.

To help me, I called a few of my friends*, Ryan Jackson of Paid and Andrew Norris of Taplytics, both YCombinator alums, Mason Blake at UpCounsel and Tristan Pollock of Storefront (now EIR @500) who went through AngelPad, and Selcuk Atli and me from 500Startups (both of us with YC backgrounds from Boostable/inDinero).

We started with a panel introducing ourselves and the accelerator processes: YC does 10 minute interviews with a few partners and cares more about founders than ideas; 500 does a deeper dive over 20–30 min and focuses on people and growth. With Angelpad, you’ll be talking to Thomas and Carine, and there will be fewer companies in your cohort. Each pre-accelerator company then had a 5-minute mock interview with us.

Despite the differences between us and our accelerators, the six of us noticed very similar patterns in the founders. The following mistakes to avoid and advice will help you prepare for any accelerator interview (and some investor conversations, too!)

Read more: click image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great advice from people who walk and breathe this every day. Whether your #pitch is for an #accelerator or an #investor, these ideas must be understood.

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Google’s big move creates more space for startups

Google’s big move creates more space for startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Google will have room for hundreds of new employees in a move to new offices that also frees up space for what will become North America’s largest technology incubator.

More than 350 employees have moved from Google's former offices in the Tannery building in downtown Kitchener to much larger space in the nearby Breithaupt Block development.

The Internet giant had 80,000 square feet of space in the Tannery building. It has 185,000 square feet of space in the new offices in the Breithaupt Block, a former industrial building that at one time housed a rubber factory and auto parts plant.

"We will be hard pressed to run out of the space for the next few years," said Steve Woods, Google's senior engineering director in Kitchener. "I think the fact that we are being given this opportunity is a sign that we are doing well inside the Google context."

He wouldn't say how many employees Google may add, but he noted that the company's local workforce has grown more than tenfold since it arrived in Waterloo Region about 10 years ago.

"We grow organically with our teams' successes, and the opportunities that come up," Woods said. "Hopefully we will have the opportunity to grow significantly." Read more: click on image or title.



Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Google is creating more space in their offices near Toronto, Canada. They will have the biggest #startup #incubator in N.America.



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Find The Right Startup Idea - Foundr

Find The Right Startup Idea - Foundr | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Here's how to know if you have a great startup idea or not - Foundr

There are many steps that need to be taken in order to be a successful entrepreneur. Whether it’s learning how to keep a handle on your stress, or fear of failure, or even technical skills such as learning how to best utilize social media. Being an entrepreneur is a long and arduous journey.

And the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

For entrepreneurs, it’s all about creating change, and challenging the status quo. For entrepreneurs, that first step is coming up with that game-changing idea. And that’s where most of us get stuck.

At Foundr, we get hundreds of emails from loyal readers asking us the same thing, “How do I come up with the right startup idea?”

It’s a simple question, but it’s actually quite complex. Because not all ideas are the same.

Each idea is different whether it’s in size, shape, or scope, and great ideas strike us at different times. Sometimes they take years to form, other times they hit us when we least expect it. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article. Having an idea is just the start, but how do you go from there? And is this idea good enough to succeed and build  successful startup with? Including several TED talks and a chart from Y Combinator showing what kind of startups are needed. HIghly recommended.

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YC Fellowship

Ten years ago, Paul Graham said there could be ten times as many startups if more people realized they could try. Thanks to the work he, Jessica, Trevor and Robert helped do, that’s become true.

We think there is still room for another ten-fold increase in the number of (good) startups. But even now, a lot of good founders never get started because they can’t scrape together a relatively small sum of money at the idea stage.

So we’re going to try a new experiment, which we’re calling the YC Fellowship. This is targeted at teams that are very, very early. Read more: click title.





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"I wanted to take a moment to thank-you and your team for the incredible job on the Redux business plan. It was an absolute breeze to work with you and would look forward to working with you again in the future."
Hannah Kirby
Owner Redux Beverages, LLC

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another initiative to give the best ideas a chance to get started. Even though it's a small budget, it may make a huge difference for some startups to take off. Take a look for more information.

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7 Lessons from 500, YC, Angelpad alum — How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview

7 Lessons from 500, YC, Angelpad alum — How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

This month 500 Startups and General Assembly teamed up to hold a pre-accelerator program. Last week, we had our mini Demo Day:

I led the final week of the program where, in addition to 60-second pitch workshops, Angel.co profile show-and-tell, and pitch deck review sessions, I organized mock accelerator interviews.

To help me, I called a few of my friends*, Ryan Jackson of Paid and Andrew Norris of Taplytics, both YCombinator alums, Mason Blake at UpCounsel and Tristan Pollock of Storefront (now EIR @500) who went through AngelPad, and Selcuk Atli and me from 500Startups (both of us with YC backgrounds from Boostable/inDinero).

We started with a panel introducing ourselves and the accelerator processes: YC does 10 minute interviews with a few partners and cares more about founders than ideas; 500 does a deeper dive over 20–30 min and focuses on people and growth. With Angelpad, you’ll be talking to Thomas and Carine, and there will be fewer companies in your cohort. Each pre-accelerator company then had a 5-minute mock interview with us.

Despite the differences between us and our accelerators, the six of us noticed very similar patterns in the founders. The following mistakes to avoid and advice will help you prepare for any accelerator interview (and some investor conversations, too!)

Read more: click image or title.




Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating a good pitch, whether it is for an accelerator program or for any round of funding, can be challenging. There are a few guidelines that can help you overcome the most basic mistakes. This article spells it out. Read it, it will help tremendously. Excellent.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience

How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Seed accelerators have been around for 10 years now and their popularity doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon. Sure, criticism for the programs themselves and the proliferation of different programs around the world have taken some wind out of the sails, but primarily, joining an accelerator program – or rather, being accepted to an accelerator – is still considered valuable and an endorsement of the concept and business model.

The best accelerators are incredibly competitive – Y Combinator and TechStars have application acceptance rates as low as 1 to 3 percent. Luckily for my company, we were accepted to the 2014 TechStars Boston class. I want to share how we did everything we possibly could to get the most out of TechStars in the short time we had under their umbrella – and how any startup can replicate those best practices in their own accelerator or incubator.

Our methods aren’t for every company, but hopefully you can learn from some of our strategies – specifically what worked and what didn’t. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Ever wondered what happens in an #accelerator and how to take most advantage of the experience? This #CEO describes the process and what he did to get the most out of it.

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500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund

500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

We’re proud to announce the launch of “500 TukTuks”, a $10M USD micro-fund focused on promising startups, managed by new 500 investing partners Krating Poonpol and Moo Natavudh. Why the name TukTuks? Well they are small , lean, fast, agile, and dangerous. JUST LIKE STARTUPS. We’re excited to take a trip through the winding roads of Thailand to discover smart, badass entrepreneurs.

Why 500 TukTuks?

500 sees an opportunity to invest early and often into the next generation of Thailand’s most promising startups and empower them with best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent, and money to provide unfair advantage in the local market. 500 will be the first major SV accelerator and seed stage investor in the local Thai market and founders will gain access to our global network of high-value mentors and 2,000+ founders. 500 will look to invest in not just companies that can succeed in the local Asian market, but through its accelerator, find and work with Thai companies that can succeed in the US and global market.

500 TukTuks Management & Investment Team include:

  • Krating Poonpol  – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Moo Natavudh – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Dave McClure – Founding Partner (Investing & International)
  • Khailee Ng – Managing Partner (SEA)

Who are the local investment partners?

Read more: click on title or image.





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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
Aja Noyes
Shift Gear Deliveries


Via Arnaud Bonzom
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These Are The Top 20 US Accelerators | TechCrunch

These Are The Top 20 US Accelerators  |  TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/iBlz

By Yael Hochberg

Startup accelerators have become a prominent feature of the tech landscape in recent years, with more and more programs popping up every month.

In many ways, they have become a rite of passage for thousands of entrepreneurs who apply to and join programs annually.

Yet, with so many programs to choose from, and little publicly available data on each program, it can be hard for entrepreneurs to figure out which programs are most effective and which specific program would be the best fit to help launch their startup. We founded the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project with this challenge for entrepreneurs in mind. Read more: http://snip.ly/iBlz




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"No matter how small a company may be, we believe that Growthink’s standard of excellence does not change from one client to the other and we would certainly welcome the opportunity to work with Melissa and her colleagues again."
Shannon Lindsay
Publisher
Southern Beauty Magazine

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Startup #Accelerators are everywhere now. Here's the list with the top 20.

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7 Leading Accelerators For Overseas Startups Coming To Silicon Valley

7 Leading Accelerators For Overseas Startups Coming To Silicon Valley | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Silicon Valley has become the epicenter of the startup universe, and with that comes a virtual tsunami of startups from all parts of the globe.  These young companies are flocking to the home of Uber, Snapchat and Airbnb for a chance to change the world.  They need venture funding, business relationships, mentorship, A-list talent and most of all strategic guidance.

Many of these startups seek out incubators and accelerators to help them plug into the Silicon Valley ecosystem, make connections and move fast.  But how does a startup choose from the hundreds of accelerators out there?  What makes one accelerator better suited for overseas startups than another?

We’ve taken an in-depth look at how accelerators operate in the Valley and come up with a short list of key factors that determine their success in dealing with foreign startups:

....

     Pitch & Presentation Training — The majority of overseas startups need help communicating their ideas.  English isn’t necessarily their first language, and they must be able to articulate their vision and plan to investors.  Also, Silicon Valley has a certain style of pitching.  Short, concise pitches that are laser focused on the big opportunity, product market fit, team, traction and market size.  Many overseas startups simply don’t understand how to do this correctly.

...

Read more here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/02/17/7-leading-accelerators-for-overseas-startups-coming-to-silicon-valley/



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The best list of accelerators/incubators in Silicon Valley. The article describes all the reasons for working with these accelerators and names the best seven of them. I highlighted one of the mean reasons for foreign startups above, the "Pitch & Presentation Training", but there are many more. Excellent piece of information.

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CEO Sundays: 6 Effective Ways to Run Your Startup Into the Ground | Techli

CEO Sundays: 6 Effective Ways to Run Your Startup Into the Ground | Techli | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The reality of being an entrepreneur, however, means enduring a turbulent, unavoidable mental and emotional roller coaster.


Anyone can start a business. Find a name, fill out the articles of incorporation, pay a fee to file and publicize it as directed, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the next Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner. It’s easy on paper.

The reality of being an entrepreneur, however, means enduring a turbulent, unavoidable mental and emotional roller coaster. It’s a hard ride to success.

But, if along the way you decide that success isn’t your thing, here are six calculated strategies that will lead to your startup’s ultimate demise (so you can get off the ride early):

1. Don’t Prepare for Slow Growth

Many startups fail because they simply run out of money. Why do they run out of money? They couldn’t get customers fast enough. When you get started building your startup, your projections for revenue growth might be up to six times the speed of reality. Reality is a bitch.

To ensure a quick exit: Quit your day job, and don’t bring in any investors who may provide the runway you need to prepare your startup for long-term success. You built an amazing widget, so you’ll be replacing your current salary in a month or two. Your savings account will be all you need to weather your ramp-up period.

2. Don’t Worry About Customer Churn

You’ve been landing new customers at a pretty good clip. Evidently, people are married to the idea that your product is going to meet their needs. But the honeymoon ends, and reality sets in. Customers are fighting with your product every day. Your product’s little quirks are getting annoying, and customers are starting to regret their decision to buy.

People don’t come with instruction manuals, so why should your product? Surely, all of your customers have read John Gray’s “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” so they’ll totally understand when your support team needs to go to their “cave” immediately following a new feature release. Your lack of support should ensure that your customer divorce rate exceeds the national average.

3. Ignore the Market

No matter how wonderful your product is, it will fail if it doesn’t solve a real problem in the marketplace. People don’t just throw money away; you have to satisfy a real need. If you’re not fulfilling a true need, you’re well on your way to killing your startup. Reaching in too many directions is another great way to add to the pain, as a one-size-fits-all startup typically fits none.

For those of you who didn’t assume a perfect fit right out of the gate, you may have stumbled upon a market fit, so you’ll need to take a page out of Blockbuster’s book to drive your business into the ground. Avoid pivoting your business in any way to react to — or, worse, proactively anticipate — market changes.

4. Under-budget and Overspend

Everything in business costs money. Mismanaging that money is essential to killing your startup. When planning projects and campaigns, underestimate how much money it’ll take to bring them to market. This is typically accomplished by utilizing textbooks rather than actual data analysis and research.

Under-budgeting in this manner will drain a large portion of your assets, but it’s possible you have venture capital money by now. Those investors expect you to spend all that money quickly, so you’ll definitely want to start pouring money into large, long-term expenses, like platinum conference sponsorships and five-year leases on swanky office space that you’ll definitely “grow into” someday. Once you’ve blown all that cash and have little to show for it, your down round will surely kill your startup’s buzz.

5. Stop Marketing

You need to drop out of the conversation. There’s a McDonald’s in nearly every city in the world, and it still pours money into market research. If McDonald’s needs to remind people it’s around, your enterprise startup certainly does. Luckily, if you kill the buzz early enough, you can avoid being resurrected by a rabid, loyal following.

Stop all sponsorships, remove paid advertisements, and avoid networking at business conferences and other industry events. These types of activities will lead to higher sales, better business relationships, and a stronger overall business. By halting marketing efforts, you can ensure your startup rests in peace.

6. Go Solo

When you started the business, you did it by yourself, and like the captain of a sinking ship, you probably don’t want others’ blood on your hands. Some entrepreneurs have it easy because they already assumed they were capable of accomplishing it alone, but others still have a healthy, autonomous business to dismantle.

By taking the load on yourself, you’re ensuring that your business will fail. Larger competitors working longer hours (some even working with your former staff) will outperform you on every level, and natural selection will implode your startup, leaving you free of responsibility and able to begin anew.

People kill their startups every day, so why can’t you? If you remove your nose from the grindstone and stop listening to what the market and your customers are telling you, you’ll be well on your way to joining them. You may end up in the same startup graveyard, but at least you’ll be one of the few who actually understands how you got there.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Point 1 is a little confusing, it's what you're supposed NOT to do...

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New accelerator is solely for firms with a female founder

New accelerator is solely for firms with a female founder | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

In Greek mythology, she is the goddess of war and wisdom. In Philadelphia's University City, Athena is a more earthly vessel, taking shape to make warriors of female entrepreneurs.

DreamIt Athena is a rare business accelerator, exclusively for companies with at least one female founder.

Announced this month and accepting applications until Dec. 8 at https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/2015philly, the program to help women turn their ideas into fundable businesses with growth potential will launch in February with its first cycle of participants, a minimum of four companies. A second cycle is planned for spring 2016.

To qualify, applicants must have technology-based products or services with large market opportunity.

The program's name seemed a natural, said Karen Griffith Gryga, managing partner of DreamIt Funds, the equity arm of DreamIt Ventures, a top-tier accelerator that has launched 168 companies since its start in 2008. Of those, 40 were companies with female founders.

"Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration," Gryga said. "And whenever you're doing a start-up, you've got to have tremendous inspiration and vision, but also fortitude and courage. It's not easy to launch and build and develop a start-up."

Especially for women.

"We just felt it was time to do something about it," she said. "The answer is not more networking events."

Timing proved fortuitous. In the spring, DreamIt applied for funding from Pennsylvania's "Discovered in PA, Developed in PA" grant program and was approved in August for $491,000.

That's enough to finance two three-month cycles. The plan is to continue afterward, "but with a more commercial partner," said Gryga, who will oversee the Athena program with Patrick FitzGerald, managing director of DreamIt Ventures' Philadelphia program.

"There's just been an outpouring of support for it," said Gryga, who plans to conduct a national search for female CEOs and serial entrepreneurs willing to serve as mentors and inspiration.

To fill the post of project manager, DreamIt Athena's creators have hired a local woman described by a peer as "a real connector in the Philadelphia ecosystem" of female entrepreneurs.

Archna Sahay, a native of India now living in Center City, started the Female Founders Network in February to help women in business find one another.

A finance major at Virginia Tech, Sahay, 35, went on to work as a portfolio analyst and investment analyst at Wachovia and its successor, Wells Fargo, and then worked in the brokerage business for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Sahay left Morgan Stanley on Sept. 30 to focus on the Female Founders Network. But in just weeks, she had a job offer from DreamIt that seemed like divine intervention.

"I'm very spiritual," she said. "I always like to see God's hands in things."

As a believer that financial independence for women is "one of the most important things you could work on," and as a big sister who wants "to leave the world in just a slightly better place" for two younger ones, Sahay said the chance to help build what was believed to be the first female-oriented program by a top-tier accelerator feels like "what I was meant to do."

Her 12 years in finance - and some recent studies - left her convinced of the need for DreamIt Athena. Among those studies was a report by professors of Babson College in Massachusetts, "Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital."

It found, in part, that though early-stage investment in companies with a woman on the executive team has tripled to 15 percent from 5 percent in the last 15 years, 85 percent of all venture-capital-funded businesses have no women on the executive team.

One reason for that, Sahay said, is another troubling finding by Babson: The total number of women partners in venture-capital firms has declined since 1999, dropping to 6 percent from 10 percent.

"There aren't enough women on the other side of that table," Sahay said.

When it comes to successfully pitching to investors, entrepreneurs need to connect with them. The sex divide is a serious obstacle, said Holly Flanagan, managing director at Gabriel Investments, a Philadelphia early-stage investment group.

"The challenge for women is they tend to solve problems that are faced by women," Flanagan said. "Because the majority of investors continue to be men, the advice I always give female founders is they have to articulate their story in a way that helps [all] investors feel the pain they are out to solve."

That message will be driven home at DreamIt Athena, Sahay said.

Among others applauding the effort is Yasmine Mustafa, founder of Roar for Good L.L.C., a young self-defense technology company.

"With greater inclusiveness," Mustafa said, "the opportunity to support the growing number of women founders creates even more possibilities for delivering transformative solutions - not to mention establishing more female role models, especially in predominantly male industries like technology."


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great initiative for women in technology and startups

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