Here's an audio recording of the last office hours with the Accelerator team.
What is the application timeline?
Applications for the Spring 2019 programs closed on October 15 at 9pm PST. Selected founders will be contacted by the end of December, 2018. We'll have a round of interviews before final selection and will be reaching out to founders that we would like to speak to further.
Will Backstage invest in companies that participate in the program?
Yes! $100k USD capital in exchange for 5% equity.
Are the financial terms of the accelerator negotiable?
The terms are non-negotiable.
Can you tell us more about the structure of the program?
Backstage Accelerator will include value similar to other startup accelerators, including mentorship, fundraising support, and a strong focus on scalability + growth. Additional holistic elements will be included, such as supporting founders through financial literacy, managing an entrepreneurial life, and prioritizing self-care.
Who is an "underrepresented" founder?
We encourage all founders who identify as a Woman, Person of Color, LGBTQ+, and other underestimated groups to apply.
What stage company can apply?
We welcome any stage company, from any industry to apply. If the economics of $100,000 in exchange for 5% equity are a good fit for your company, and you think the Accelerator can have an impact on your business, then we encourage you to apply.
How far along do we have to be progress-wise?
Due to the quality and quantity of applicants we're anticipating, we encourage you to apply if you've already done some work to validate your business concept.
Which industry or business model can apply?
Any type of for-profit business is welcome to apply.
Do we have to be incorporated?
Can I apply if I'm a solo founder (it's just me!)?
Sure. Solo founders are welcome to apply. Backstage has funded solo founders in the past.
Do I need to have a technical co-founder?
There's no requirement to have a technical co-founder. Make sure to clearly communicate any progress you've made to date.
I've attended or plan to attend other accelerator/incubator programs. Can I apply?
Yes. If that makes sense for your business, we welcome you to apply.
I've applied to Backstage Capital before. Can I apply to Backstage Accelerator?
Yes. All prior applications were reviewed for funding that was available at that time. If you'd like to be considered for Backstage Accelerator, we encourage you to apply.
Is it a full-time program?
Yes. The program will be based on a full-time schedule, so we require at least 1 co-founder on your team able to to be able to work from the program's co-work space full-time to leverage the focus and information made possible by Accelerator.
Do I have to be on-site the whole program?
At least 1 co-founder needs to be on-site during the program.
Can I apply even if I don't live near any of the 4 cities?
Yes, but please be aware that at least 1 co-founder needs to be on-site during the program.
Can I apply to multiple locations?
Yes, you'll be able to choose one or more locations in the application form.
How many companies will be in the program in each city?
6 companies will be selected to participate in each city.
What makes a strong application?
This is our chance to get to know you and your chance to best pitch you and your company. We encourage you to thoughtfully answer all questions. Try your best to share a clear picture of your team, why you are working on your business, and what you've done so far.
Are the optional items on the application (pitch deck, founder(s) video) really optional?
Yes. We'll get lots of information to review your application with the required questions, so don't let skipping any optional questions prevent you from submitting your application.
Can I save my application anywhere?
As a convenience, we created a Google Doc which you can copy to draft your answers and then paste into the form to apply.
How do I submit my deck after I've applied already?
Unfortunately, applications are not editable after submission. Pitch deck links are optional though, and we'll have plenty to review in your applications without a deck.