Why go to the LAUNCH Accelerator?
Raise money faster.
Raise money at a higher valuation.
Build a huge Silicon Valley network quickly and efficiently.
Be part of the LAUNCH family, getting access to fellow founders at your stage who can help you grow your business.
Perfect your pitch for investors, recruiting, and press.
Learn the strategies, tips, and tactics, from the world's best companies to help you grow as quickly and pain-free as possible.
What criteria do you use to select your companies? Aka: "The Goldilocks Zone"
In order to maximize your 12 weeks in the LAUNCH Accelerator, you should have a complete product, product market fit, some traction but have not raised a Series A.
The "goldilocks zone" for the Accelerator is you're pre-Series A and:
1. Enterprise or marketplace startups with $5k-$100k/month in gross profit with 20%+ growth m/o/m
2. Consumer products: 5,000+ DAUs with 5%+ w/o/w growth.
Only when the product is complete and you have a core team can you focus on the essential process of growing your customer base, landing world-class investors, and forming transformative partnerships.
What is demo day like?
We don't believe in Demo Days. Every week our founders pitch between 5 and 25 investors, gaining feedback about the business and pitch throughout the entire program.
LAUNCH also throws events throughout the year and our Accelerator classes have a chance to participate in these.
We advise and assist our founders in raising money during the Accelerator. Our hope is that at least half of our founders have raised the capital they're targeting before the end of the program.
What is a Thursday session like?
The following schedule assumes we have 2 accelerator classes running in parallel (which is the norm).
10:15am : Arrive, network, grab something to drink
10:30am : Founder or investor gives a candid talk and advice to the Accelerator founders and answers questions.
11:15am : Jason Calacanis introduction. Professional investors introduce themselves.
11:25am : Accelerator class #1 pitches with the following format:
Show your growth metric slides
Professional investors all give feedback and ask questions (Founder takes notes)
Founder has 2 minutes to address all questions and feedback from professional investors
12:30pm : Professional investors choose top 3. Winners announced.
12:30pm - 12:45pm : Lunch & networking break
12:45pm : Accelerator class #2 pitches.
2:00pm : Accelerator class #2 winners announced.
2:00:pm - 2:15pm : Networking break
2:15pm : Jason Calacanis office hours or another founder/investor candid talk.
3:00pm : Burgers!
What are the deal terms?
We invest $100,000 cash for 6% of a startup. We don’t negotiate the terms for LAUNCH Accelerator due to the immense value the program creates and our founder’s exceptional ability to negotiate. If the terms work for you great, if they don’t that’s OK too — we would love to work with you to syndicate your deal at thesyndicate.com when you hit $1m in revenue.
When you graduate, should you meet the syndicate requirements, we can syndicate your deal for another $250,000 (or more). We cannot guarantee the syndicate amount. The result of this model is that we signal to the market that we are willing to invest at your “graduation valuation,” which is a very good signal!
Most accelerators invest at a low valuation when you join and push angels to hit a much higher valuation 12 weeks later. We’ve found that our model keeps everyone in sync when it comes to valuations.
My team is not based in the Bay Area, can I participate remotely?
No. Onsite, in-person participation is mandatory. Many founders come to the Accelerator for 12 weeks from around the world. Alumni include startups from Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Portland, Miami, Seattle, New York, Atlanta, and London. Getting in front of the greatest investors and founders in the world is a huge component of the program.
How many of our team would need to be in SF for the program?
At least one representative from the team needs to be present for each session. It does not need to be the same person each week. Many founders commute, flying in for the session(s) and flying home to be in the office with their team.
We also welcome additional team members to join us and believe our program is a good time to involve the entire team. Ultimately, we leave this up to you.
We’ve already received funding, are we still qualified to apply?
Yes! Most of our startups have raised an angel and/or seed round and have launched products. The LAUNCH Accelerator only accepts seven startups per class. This allows us to be very selective in picking startups that are on solid footing and whose founders can leverage our program to get a solid seed round -- or perhaps even a Series A.
Can I be an LLC and come to THE LAUNCH Accelerator?
One of the main goals of the LAUNCH Accelerator is to have you pitch to over 200 investors here in Silicon Valley over 12 weeks. Those investors never invest in LLCs because of tax issues. LLCs are great vehicles for legal and venture partnerships, but they are not the standard for venture-backed startups. A Delaware C corp is the standard. The LAUNCH Fund only invests in C Corps as well. As such, if you choose to use an LLC structure for your startup, you should convert to a Delaware C corporation.
WILL YOU INVEST IN International companies?
Yes. We have founders who have gone through the Accelerator from all around the world. We will help you create a US company (or US parent company) in which we can invest. Often, founders will keep their original entity as a subsidiary of the US parent company and that entity will continue to operate.
How many from our team need to be in San Francisco for the program?
Each week, only one member of the team needs to be here. This person can be different as well (two cofounders could trade off, as an example). And as mentioned, since the program only runs on Thursday and every-other Friday, it’s okay for that person to commute here each week. We do think bringing additional team members is a good way to get colleagues excited about your company, but we leave this up to you.
I have a great idea, but I haven’t built an MVP. Can I still apply?
If you just have an idea, you’re really not that special. Everyone has ideas, don’t give yourself too much credit for yours! A prototype is worth a thousand powerpoint slides -- build one!
Do you have specific verticals that you focus on?
We are vertical agnostic. We look for great companies in any/all verticals.
Do you have office space we can use for the duration of the program?
We do not provide office space. (We may from time to time arrange meeting space but it’s not a guarantee.)
What is the 2019 Schedule?
Classes are scheduled to begin on the following days:
Cohort #15 - September 4, 2019
Cohort #16 - October 16, 2019
Cohort #17 - December 5, 2019