Sunday, February 17, 2013

Accelerator Questions - Nike+ Accelerator / TechStars

I was looking at the Nike+ Accelerator program recently and found that I had referenced the submission questionnaire a couple of times. I thought it was worth summarizing the questions here as they are part of a general question format (from the Unified Seed Accelerator Application by the Kauffman Foundation and TechStars) that various accelerator programs use. While perhaps the jury is still out on how effective these accelerators will be in building sustainable companies, the questions are good. Each of the various programs custom tailor their own questions, but they seem to mostly use the same ones. 

Below are the questions from the Nike program.

  • What is the name of your company?
  • Please describe your business in 140 characters or less.
  • In more detail, what will your company do or make? What's new, interesting, or different about what your company will do?
  • If you have a website or demo/prototype, what's the URL? Please provide username and password if necessary.
  • Business Video: Please provide a video < 3 minutes long which best describes your business. Production value is not important to us, it can be quick and dirty.
  • Team Video
  • Please provide a video < 3 minutes long which best describes your team. Production value is not important to us, it can be quick and dirty.
  • Please tell us about each founder and their role. Explain how you met and how long you've been working together. Please be thorough because we place a great deal of importance on the team.
  • For each founder: First Name, Last Name, Email, Role/Title, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter, Github Profile
  • Explain how the company will make money.
  • Please provide information on current or likely competitors. Include key differentiators. Please include URLs.
  • What are some things that the team (or its members) have built in the past? Please include URLs.
  • Can each of the founders attend the entirety of the program, or do some of you have other obligations during the timeframe of the program? If not, please explain.
  • Not including the founders, how many additional employees are there? Please provide LinkedIn profiles and Github URLs (if applicable).
  • Where is your company located?
  • Please provide information on money the company has already raised, and any information on fundraising plans for the future.
  • Why should we choose your company?
  • I understand that Nike will receive many applications for this program and many of them may include similar ideas. I also understand that Nike is under no restriction with regard to the companies it contracts with and the products and services that it develops or offers.

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