Seattle Startup Next Application Open – and why you might not get in

Seattle Startup Next Application Open – and why you might not get in

It’s that time of year again! We’re closing out the applications for the January/February 2016 Seattle Startup Next program. Startup Next is a six week pre-accelerator program – if you have a tech startup and want to increase your odds of getting into Techstars or another accelerator, you can find the application here.

Just yesterday, MetricStory was recognized in Geekwire for raising a $1.45M round of funding to propel the analytics company ahead into 2016. Thanks to the past cohort mentors for the work. Congrats to Joshua Gebhardt and Brandon Nutter. They came through Startup Next in Fall 2014 and followed Next with Techstars in Austin, TX.

What do you need to know about how we evaluate the 70+ applications to get to the 10 teams? Here are the insider secrets.

Like most accelerator programs worldwide, we use to process our applications. Thanks to Sean Kane and team for making a great tool to easily evaluate applications. Keep in mind, this allows us to review a high volume of applications quickly and rate them on a 1-4 star basis. Think 1=Hate it, 2=Don’t like, 3=Like it, 4=Love it!

This means that I will likely spend only a few minutes on your application – by the way, it’s the same process for Techstars!

  1. Team – if you’re a solo founder, your first step is going to be to go get a co-founder. It takes a team to get funded and your first sale will be to sell a co-founder on your startup! If you’re going to bootstrap your company and want to go solo, that’s great, it’s just that you won’t be a high priority to get into Startup Next because we’re looking to help companies that are going down the path of fundraising.
  2. Complete the Application! -Woody Allen said that, ‘Showing up is 80 percent of life.’ Really, if you want to get into the program, complete the app.
  3. Explain yourself – answering the question “what’s different” with “no one is doing it” doesn’t mean you should be the one to do it! That’s not a compelling reason, please take the time to give a compelling reason.
  4. Your progress matters – do you have a prototype? Is your website up? If you want to get into the programs top 10 it will require that you have more than an idea. Those companies with the most progress will be the ones that get into the program.
  5. Video – take a few minutes to do the video. Less than half of the applicants complete it… So distinguish yourself and see who gets in.

OK, it’s not so secret after all! The program has a great track record of getting participant teams into accelerator programs. If you’re not ready yet, that’s alright, hold off and apply for the next semester.


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