Only 1.5% of startups who apply are accepted to join Accelerating Asia - do you have what it takes?
As we wrap Cohort 5 and scout for Cohort 6 at Accelerating Asia, we get asked some common questions: How to get selected? What do you look for in a startup? Or, I do this, I am at this stage, is my startup eligible? These are good questions since we don’t have a vertical focus. Also, we know you, Founders want to make sure the Accelerating Asia program is the right fit for your startup as let’s face it, we are entering into a long-term partnership so it’s important to make sure it works.
TLDR: we are open to any awesome founder(s) and startups creating and implementing solutions across the region. But here’s a little more detail on what that means.
Remember: applications close soon, submit your application now to be in the running for up to US$250k and access to our 100-day program.
You have a full team with the skills needed to execute on your vision for the next 12-24 months. The background of the founders fit the roles they are executing. Ideally the founders have known each other for a while and have a history together. Now we know, you’re an early-stage startup so right now maybe it’s just the Founders on the team and that’s ok. A lot of our startups make additional hires with the capital they raise during the flagship accelerator. We’re really interested in the Founders and Founding team.
You have a product that is being experienced by users and you are getting feedback from them so you can improve. Ideally you have some revenue, have raised funding from angels or family and friends and are looking to raise your seed round.
Your business model is high-potential and makes financial sense. There is a path to profitability and you are a for profit tech startup.
We focus on Pre-Series A startups, which have often raised some initial capital from friends and family or a few angels and have a product been used but don’t yet have product market fit. Why Pre-Series A startups? Well, we found most accelerators in the region are focused on very early stage startups and so there’s a whole heap of startups who still need access to investors, knowledge and tools to fast track growth that do not have a viable option. That’s where we come in and why we focus on pre-series A. Some people call it the missing middle, we prefer the sweet spot where startups are usually 12-18 months away from closing their first institutional round.
The founders (especially the CEO) are team players and believe in “paying it forward”. You will be helpful to the other people in the cohort and will be a positive influence in its success. In our founder surveys, over 50% of the value of our program is from your cohort-mates. You have high integrity; you don’t cut corners or act dishonestly towards customers, investors, etc. This is really important!
Is Accelerating Asia a good fit for your startup? Will our program resources and networks be of high value to your business? These are the things to think about. Our award-winning program really focuses on delivering high-value to our startups and founders (that’s why we only accept 1.5% of startups, you get access to custom support). Find out more about our program here.
We believe that diverse cohorts add the most value to the group and that diverse teams are also strong (check out Amra’s blog on this here). We value founders from different backgrounds (country, religion, gender, etc.) and look to ensure a diversity of thought and experience.
Ultimately we’re looking for ‘good businesses’. What does this mean? We are looking for startups that are solving a real problem. So, bonus points if you have a solution that makes the world a better place in some way. This could be through sustainability, energy efficiency, financial inclusion or reducing inequality. Read more about Our Commitment to Change.
Our portfolio covers over 10 countries across Southeast and South Asia, that’s our regional focus. Now that doesn’t mean you have to be from one of those countries (some of our founders are Spanish!) even though we love home grown founders. it means that you need to have a market presence or reason for establishing a base in Singapore or across Southeast and South Asia. And while our portfolio originates from 10 countries across the region, they already have a market presence in the USA and Europe. Because really, startups can be global from day 1.
Any! So far we’ve worked with over 10 verticals from eCommerce, SaaS, content publishing to smart cities, healthtech and edtech. Our startups have included B2B2C, B2B and B2G companies. We don’t have a specific vertical focus, it’s why what we call the cohort effect is so strong in our program because startups work across verticals and often end up partnering together. We often get asked, how do we do it, how do we work across verticals? Well we have a strong team and a great support network of mentors, partners and investors who have in-depth knowledge in specific verticals we bring in when needed, but the majority of the content is applicable to startups of any vertical, for instance, fundraising strategy, investor communications, pitching, growth strategies, sales and recruiting.
DON’T THINK YOU MEET ALL THE POINTS?
That’s ok! For startups that don’t embody all of the points we’ve mentioned above, don’t worry; you should still apply. Many/most of the startups in our previous programs did not embody all of them (Program Fit is a must however) and were still accepted. Because that’s part of what we do during the accelerator, we level up and help 10X your startup.
And even if you don’t get accepted to the program this time your startup can learn a lot and meet useful people just by going through the application process. Actually our alumni consistently say how helpful the application and selection process is for growing their startup, we’ve even been told we should charge startups for attending virtual selection week where you meet mentors (don’t worry we don’t charge).
But also…some of our startups were accepted on their second or third application attempt, so if you don’t make it through on the first try, there’s a solid chance you will next time.
Now, don’t take our word for how good the Accelerating Asia program is, get to know our founders and meet the portfolio here!
Accelerating Asia startups receive investment from our early-stage VC fund and access to an award-winning program. During our last recruitment round Accelerating Asia received 500 applications from 30 countries and we have with 2000+ startups per year. Apply to become an Accelerating Asia startup.