Before applying for accelerator programs, be sure you have a solid foundation in each one of these points and that you stay in this order.
1. The Team
The team is important because it is the core of the whole idea and project; no idea can truly function without its crew. If there is tension, lack of experience, lack of motivation, inability to sell well, or just general lack of skills sets, your team will fail and so will your idea. Remember that ideas CHANGE and that in order for ideas to change smoothly, the team must be COMPLETE and STABLE. Team dynamics is the solid foundation for a successful startup company.
2. The Market
The market in which you’re targeting is very crucial to your overall success, thus you must choose a market that speaks to the maximum size. The dollar amount of the market is everything. When you look at markets such as the newspaper/print industry, the market for paper is in decline, becoming a micro-niche; however, news in general is still relevant, therefore people are looking towards a more modern niche such as online, where more money being generated. So, always look into the market you are interested in and ask, “How much money is being spent here,” and if it’s not a lot, try to avoid the risk.
Traction is a HUGE consideration when looking for our next startups. Traction is the factual proof of your idea and how it is holding up in the current market. The best form of proof is revenue. When we see that your idea is bringing in some bucks, we get a sense that your product must be good and is in demand. Another thing proof shows us is that it removes any kind of risks for us. We don’t want to invest in your company if you have nothing to show for it because we don’t want to waste our time or yours. Traction also shows us that you can DO. It tells us you are determined and hard working, and that you are growing. Remember, traction doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary. If you can show us through numbers that you can increase followers, readership, etc., it shows that you can make goals happen.
The idea is an essential aspect we look for in startups, however, it is not necessarily our biggest concern. Ideas do not really matter because they are constantly changing! So when it comes to the idea, we look for the “problem” area you are trying to fix, for example dyslexia, and we want to know what you are going to do to fix the problem. So make sure your idea is the right idea.