When Is the Right Time to Apply to An Accelerator?

August 26, 2017

10:30 am

Joining an accelerator is just one option in the startup journey. Once a startup is accepted into a program, the accelerator is designed to to empower and fuel the startup team to take their product to the next level. But how do you know when it’s the right time to apply? Should you wait until your prototype is fully functional or sooner?

My general advice on this is apply as early as you can. Apply the minute that you know you want to. The reason for that is because of the multiple touchpoints and experiences you can have with the selection group that is selecting the companies. I’m part of that group usually later in the process, when we have it down to about 20 or 30 companies that we are looking at for the 10 or so that will get in.

What The Hell Is a Corporate Accelerator?

There is a group of people that are going through those applications early, screening them and filtering them. It’s not “yes or no”, it’s, “that’s interesting, I’d like to learn more.”

As you update the application through the application system (F6S), we get those updates and we see the progress. My friend Mark Suster wrote a great blog post a long time ago that I refer to all the time called, Invest in Lines, Not Dots. That means, as investors, you are trying to see progress over time and have multiple experiences with an entrepreneur or with a company before you have to make a decision.

Don’t think of it as a snapshot in time, think of it as a relationship that you build throughout the application process, and apply early.


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