Home Applying to Incubators? A Little Research Goes A Long Way

Applying to Incubators? A Little Research Goes A Long Way

It’s graduation season on college campuses and that means lots of young minds are eagerly awaiting the freedom of summer vacation. But for the young entrepreneurs participating in this season’s various startup incubators, the tough work is still ahead. Capital Factory, an Austin-based early-stage startup incubation program, has announced the five companies invited to attend their summer program and in doing so has disclosed a tip that helped the finalists to be selected.

While millions will flock to beaches to catch some sun and splash in the ocean, the five Capital Factory participants will be diving in head first into a sea of code hoping to improve the quality of their product through group sessions and mentorship opportunities. The five companies include three Texas natives: Hurricane Party from Austin, Smackages from Dallas and RecycleMatch from Houston. The other two participants, Simpz and Corkshare, are from Boston and Cleveland, respectively.

So how does an incubator like Capital Factory go about choosing their finalist companies? According to a press release, the answer may be more about the mentors than the actual participants.

“The five startups were selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants following their submission of a one-page application, five-minute video and in-person interviews with the mentors,” says Capital Factory. “With many promising entrepreneurs to choose from, the mentors focused on markets that they have experience with and the smartest teams that have already accomplished a lot with very little.”

It seems that understanding who you are applying to plays a key role in being accepted into an incubator like Capital Factory. When sending applications to multiple incubators, it’s important to not just send duplicates to each program. Look at who the mentors and facilitator are see what their histories are, and there may be a particular market or interest that you can draw attention to in your application.

“The mentors focused on markets that they have experience with and the smartest teams that have already accomplished a lot with very little.”
– Capital Factory

Capital Factory also makes a point to note that they accepted companies that had already made significant progress at the early-stages without many resources. The point of these programs is to help fund the great companies with innovative ideas that would otherwise go unfunded, so make sure your application expresses your early shoestring efforts.

For 10 weeks the five finalist companies will receive guidance from twenty mentors, culminating in a Demo Day in September to show-off their products and their improvements over the summer. The participants will receive up to $20,000 in seed money in return for a 5% equity stake for Capital Factory, as well as a treasure trove of freebies. Hosting, office space, branding development (including logo design), presentation training and recruiting support are just a few of the added bonuses available for the companies.

The Capital Factory Demo Day will be streamed live in September, so if you’re interested in learning about these companies and their experiences be sure to catch that later on this year.

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