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!)
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Via Marc Kneepkens