Recently I had the opportunity to judge in a qualification process for a startup acceleration program called Mass Challenge. It was great to see how much innovation we have in our small country but it was also obvious that some of the applicants were making big mistakes in their applications.
First mistake – Single person teams
Teams with only one person have a small chance of being accepted into an accelerator. Even worse, they have a small chance of succeeding, surviving or raising money. Think about pitching to an investor – his first thought will be: “you couldn’t even convince your friends that you are going to succeed”. My advice is to find really great co-founders before anything else. Possibly even before you have an idea. The criteria for finding a good co-founder is that you believe he should own an equal part of your company. If the person you found is not worthy of that then you haven’t found the right person.
Second mistake – English level and non-english videos
- Having spelling errors and grammar errors
- Including a youtube video with hebrew narration
- Giving only Israeli customers as references
Links to social pages with lack of traction
Not writing the team members names
Not addressing the critical mass question for a network idea
- What is the critical mass? When can use come in and receive value immediately?
- How do you get to the critical mass? What value can you give in the meanwhile to make people stay?