THE ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
THE ACCLERATOR PROGRAM
5 - 10 Startups
20 hours per week for 10 - weeks
Intensive product and customer development training
Access to capital and networks
Demo day pitch to angel and seed-stage investors
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When is the accelerator program?
A: Exact dates coming soon.
Q: When do applications open?
A: Three months prior to the date of the accelerator program. Exact dates coming soon.
Q: When do applications close?
A: Exact dates coming soon.
Q: How do I apply?
A: Online. Link to the online application coming soon.
Q: Can I start my application, save it, and finish it later?
Q: What if I don’t understand one of the questions in the application?
A: You can attend one of our informational sessions to ask any questions you may have about our application. Dates and times of these
sessions coming soon.
Q: When will I hear back about my application? What’s the timeline from application to selection to program start?
A: All applicants will be notified of their application status around one month before the program begins. You will hear from someone on our team when your completed application has been received, and we may also contact you if we determine it is necessary to hold a first round interview. Please note: all applicants are not guaranteed a first round interview, and you may still be considered even if we have not contacted you to set one up. From the time that applications close, there will be a 2-week period before our formal selection day, during which time we invite members of the ecosystem to assist us in selecting our final cohort participants. We will schedule time slots and share requirements and expectations for selection day ahead of time so that invited applicants can prepare. After selection day, applicants who have been selected to participate will be notified about 2-3 weeks before the program begins, to give them time to plan for the commitment of being in the program. All other applicants will be notified of their application status within 2 weeks before the program begins.
Q: Do you accept late applications?
Q: Do I need to include my full business plan and/or financial model?
A: These documents are not required to be considered, but you should include them if you have them. We have a place to upload these documents in our application form because we do believe that they can be helpful in our evaluation. If you do not have these formalized documents created yet, that is something we can assist with through our program.
Q: Do you sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)? How do I know that my IP will be protected if I apply and/or participate?
A: We do not sign NDAs.
Q: What type of startups does Acelera look for?
A: We are looking for the following:
Technology companies with the potential for high growth and scalability
Up to 3 founders
Must have a prototype/MVP built
Founders who are committed to Los Angeles
At least one Latino founder
Companies in all industries are welcome
The startup has not previously received outside funding
Software-based companies are preferred, but all tech-focused companies are welcome to apply
Q: Can I apply if I'm not from Los Angeles?
A: Yes. But you must be able to attend the program for the full 10 weeks.
Q: What stage of a startup company is Acelera looking for?
A: We are looking for pre-launch startups with an existing prototype/MVP. This means you have a well thought out idea, a minimum viable product built, but have not yet launched your product or service, and are not generating revenue. In general, we expect that you have:
Conducted market research
Built an initial prototype of your product or service
Developed a preliminary plan for gaining traction covering timeline, strategy, and metrics, etc.
Q: What does Acelera look for in a team?
A: Some examples of characteristics we look for in a team include:
Passionate and dedicated founders
At least one Latino founder
Domain expertise/knowledge in the area of your business
Openness to advice and guidance
Q: Do founders have to be technical founders?
A: At least one founder on the team must be a technical cofounder capable of executing a majority of the required development to get the product to market
Q: Do I have to be working on my startup full-time?
A: No, but we prefer it if you are. The purpose of an accelerator program is to accelerate the rate of growth that a startup company experiences - i.e. do in 10 weeks what may normally take 6 months to a year. We understand, however, that you may still be working another job part- or full-time. We expect you to commit to the full 10 weeks, 20 hours a week.
Q: What are the costs to participate in the program?
A: No costs. The program is free for all accepted participants.
Q: How much money do you invest in participating companies?
A: We will not provide money to startups upfront. Instead, we may invest in one or more of the program participants alongside other angel/seed stage investors at or following Demo Day. Our goal is to help each startup receive funding in an angel round within 6 months from the end of the program.
Q: What kind of resources and services do you offer through the program?
A: We offer access to a wide variety of resources including: entrepreneurship training, investor introductions, pitch preparation, product develop training, and legal/IP assistance.
Q: Does the accelerator program offer connections to the investor community?
A: Yes, the program will include investor-facing events, including a Demo Day at the end of the program. Since we only receive the 5% equity stake if you raise funding, it's in our interest to connect you to investors in our network.
Q: What kinds of mentorship opportunities do you offer through the program?
A: Each team will be assigned a dedicated mentor for the duration of the program. Mentors are serial entrepreneurs and other professionals in the community who volunteer to help the next generation of founders we work with. They are committed to sharing their experiences with the founder(s) they are matched with and can be a source of specific advice. For this reason, we generally match mentors with cohort companies based on a shared industry, business model type, or some other factor they have in common.
Q: Do you provide office space for participants to work out of during the program?
A: Yes. Office space is one of the key services that we provide for our participants. The program will be held out of Indie Desk and you will have access to our space during non-program hours to work on your startrup.
Q: What is a typical week like at the program?
A: Each 20-hour week will consist of the following: one or more entrepreneurship training workshops, meetings with mentors to make sure you are progressing toward the milestones that we have set, and happy hour (or dinner) for networking with cohort members to connect and bond in a less formal group setting. Depending on the week, you may also have some meetings with professionals, such as lawyers and accountants.
Q: How does the program end?
A: The program ends with a Demo Day. In the last week leading up to the Demo Day, participants will prepare their pitches and at Demo
Day they will have the opportunity to showcase their startups to professional angel and VC investors.
Q: What happens after the program?
A: After the program, we encourage you to (and will help you in) fundraising with angel investors. Our goal is for each team to receive funding within 6 months following the end of the program. You will also continue to have access to office space at Indie Desk for 3 months.