FIP 112: Tips for Social Entrepreneurs Wanting to Apply to an Accelerator

Many social entrepreneurs will consider applying to an accelerator to help grow their business, so we reached out to a range of accelerators to hear what tips they have for people putting an application together. These tips come in three buckets – one on selecting the right accelerator, next on what will need to go into your application, and third on how to deliver a great application.

On this episode, you’ll hear from the following:

  • Allie Burns – CEO of Village Capital: get clarity on the key milestones to grow your business i.e. building your team, validating your value prop, refining your product or sales process. Then ask how an accelerator will help. And then do your research to find out which accelerator will help you reach those milestones.
  • David Bartram – Director of Ventures at UnLtd: Three key things. 1- be really clear what you want to get out of the programme; 2- think about what you can give back i.e. to other cohort entrepreneurs or the accelerator organisation; 3- don’t change your idea to fit the needs of the accelerator.
  • Siobhain Dullea – CEO of MassChallenge: Be clear about what problem you’re trying to solve and why your product is the solution. Share your numbers (churn, revenue, profit), traction (interest and demand), go-to-market strategy or product development process. And your team – why they’re the winners.
  • Ben Powell – Founder and CEO of Agora Partnerships: Articulate three things. Your market opportunity or idea (sustainability), quality of your team, quality of your impact. Be sure to highlight your core values and the kind of culture you hope to build. Talk with maturity, and openness and some vulnerability on how to build culture and attract the best people.
  • Paul Miller – CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures: Tell us something about the problem we don’t know. Explain why you’re the people that understands this problem, in a way that people haven’t understood it before.
  • Luni Libes – Founder & Managing Director, Fledge: Applying to an accelerator is like an elevator pitch. Balance giving enough information in a clear and concise format. in just a few paragraphs. also convey how far along you are. where you are. how fast you want to grow. where to get to.
  • Ryan Kushner – The Accelerator Guy: put yourself in their shows. How you’ll be evaluated. Are you in scope for that program. Do you tick the boxes. If so, lay out the team, technology, promise and your social impact. Put it in their language.
  • Tom Rippin – CEO and Founder of OnPurpose: demonstrate your interest, tailor your application, and don’t just write a “me, me, me” cover letter. Say why you’re interested in doing this and why YOU.