Since it is in human nature to leave these things to the last possible minute, we wanted to go over the benefits of introducing yourselves to us early on and give you some tips on how to submit a successful application.
1. Get in touch early so we can get to know you
You have probably heard this one before – the main thing early stage seed investors focus on are finding the right people and not so much the business idea. By applying early, we can get a much better sense of who you are as people and what you’re capable of as a team. So don’t wait until you get your prototype to work or after you hit your first milestone. It is much more valuable for us to be able to track your process and get to know you while you’re figuring things out. Given our last year experience of receiving approximately 20% of all of the applications on the last week, you can guess that we’ll have much more time to pay attention to YOUR company if you let us know about it early on.
2. Lightning Lab For A Day
Applying early will also make you eligible for a Lightning Lab For A Day invitation. This is a one-day mini camp to give you a glimpse of what the Lightning Lab programme is all about. You’ll have a chance to meet and ask questions from the founders of our 2013 class, get tips from some of our mentors to help you improve the odds for success and get feedback from us on your business. It is really designed to add value to your startup and let us get to know you better. And hopefully you’ll walk away with some new ideas and maybe even a contact or two.
3. Show us you can execute
The Lightning Lab program lasts only for 13 weeks. It is going to be intense and you will be busy day in and day out. This means that you have to show us that you can move at lightning speeds and keep up with the pressure. If you applying early, make sure to keep us in the loop with any major milestones you hit, customer feedback or validation you get and the long-term vision for your business. So get your alpha launched, get some users, improve your design – show us that you can build this thing you say you can build.
4. Get references
One of the most important things going through the accelerator program is to be able to engage with mentors and investors. By getting references from local mentors or advisors who can vouch for you, demonstrates that you know how to engage people on a personal level as well as with your product/business idea.
5. Demonstrate your personality
At the end of the day, we’re investing in people and want to know who is on the other end of that application. So try to stand out with something that would help us remember who you are. Crack a joke or two, or be a little irreverent and entertaining. Bottom line – don’t be afraid to be who you are.
The sooner we find out about you, the better we can get to know you.