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Questions & Answers

Posted by Jesse Hayward on 2015-06-05 02:13:00
Title: Applying to Accelerators/Raising early-stage seed
Category: Money

I am the founder of a consumer internet startup in Canada. We are in the stages of launching our beta app, and engaging potential customers to use our product for free during our beta, to get good feedback, and to help determine good product-market fit. At what stage should me and my startup team be applying to accelerators like HIGHLINE, FounderFuel, or Ryerson DMZ? Similarly, what stage/what should we know when we are looking to raise early-stage seed capital, to finish building our product, and to get a better product-market fit? Thanks for the help and advise!

Answer:

Sunil Godse
2015-06-15 16:44:00

Hi Jesse,

It is tough to give feedback without knowing what your particular app does. That being said, applying to the Accelerator should be done at a very early stage. Each of them will have their own criteria for selection and you would have to go through whatever process that they have. Be sure that you select the proper Accelerator that will give you access to excellent advice and resources rather than one that will except you right away. Getting seed capital from others is going to be extremely tough as you need a solid base of beta customers to prove that you have an app that is popular. The next step is to ensure that you get paid subscriptions to prove that your app is valuable. These are two very different statements. In essence, you need o prove that your app has enough value to get customers (outside of family and friends) to pay for it. Once you get a good size customer base, then you can look for start up capital. Before that, nobody will even give you time. The best suggestion would be to tap into angel funding. Using the capital to fund better product market fit would not be a tagline I would use. This should have figured out from a business point of view very early on. I wish you luck.

Sunil Godse, President, Radical Solutions Group