🫵🏽 Your ultimate guide for getting through the first round of the Startmate Accelerator

May 24, 2023
Summer23 Startmate Demo Day
Summer23 Startmate Demo Day

Every 6 months, we get 500+ applications for our Accelerator. There are three stages to the application process. The first stage involves submitting a short pitch video as well as written answers about your company, founder story and what problem you are trying to solve.

Here are some examples of what you will be asked:

1. 📹 Upload a short (90 seconds max) video of you/your founding team speaking to: 

  • What your company does
  • Why you are the right team to address the problem 
  • The problem your company is solving 
  • How you are addressing the problem 
  • What you have achieved to date (traction) 

2. 🤝 Describe the problem your company is solving.

3. 🌟 Describe how your company is addressing the problem.

4. 🛠️ Why are you the right team to solve this problem? 

5. 🌎 All going well, describe your company in 10 years.  

6. 👥 Do you have customers? How much revenue are you generating? If you don't have customers, what have you done to validate the idea you are solving?

7. 🏃🏻♀️ What is your current competition or alternative?  

8. 🔍 Who is your ideal customer and how will you find them? 

9. 💸 What is your business model? How do you plan to make money? 

10. 🌱 What is your traction to date? 

Once you have submitted your answers, over 100 Startmate mentors will review and score each application. After lengthy discussions, they vote on them. Only the top 50 companies are selected to progress to the second round.

We understand that this can feel daunting for potential applicants. So we've pulled together some tips from some of our mentors on how to make your application as strong as possible.

Here are their 5 top tips:

  1. 🌟Focus on why YOU are the best person/team to solve the problem. Tell us why you care, what your story is, why you decided that this is an important problem that needs solving. 
  2. #️⃣Traction always has to have NUMBERS. If you are in the very early stages of development, small numbers are better than no numbers. Even if it’s simple customer anecdotes, make sure you can clearly explain and show evidence that this is a problem in the market. 
  3. ⏰TIMEFRAMES add value. If you have 1000 users, how long did that take, how fast are you growing over time? If you don’t have users, what is your rate of execution, what are you building?
  4. 📌Be SPECIFIC. Too many applications are broad in their answers. Provide context and examples of what your customer pain points are and how you are solving them.
  5. 🎓What LESSONS have you learned? Show us that you are adapting to customer feedback. What conversations have you had and how have you changed or reprioritised as a result of these insights.

Ultimately, we want to see you succeed! Be authentic, communicate your passion and commitment to solving the problem. And of course, back yourself! 

Other useful resources:
🚀 How Steppen got into the Accelerator (after being rejected)

🪩 Steppen SM 22 Written Application

⚖️ Startmate Accelerator investment terms

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Written by
Written by
Holly BrooksHolly Brooks
Holly Brooks is a freelance writer, content marketer and storyteller specialising in startups, tech and creative industries.

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