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Incubator/Accelerator Program Details

The Venture Mechanics Incubator/Accelerator Program is vastly different from all other incubator programs you've probably heard about. 

Here's what it's NOT:

  • Constrained to 90 days - because we know that most startups need much more time to get ready for successful fundraising
  • A rapacious equity grab - because giving up $100K, or more, for the privilege of a 90-day mentorship program and office space is unjustifiable
  • A numbers game - because we want 100% of our startups to achieve success, rather than relying on just a small number of unicorns providing all the returns
  • A repeat experience - the most absurd thing we see nowadays is startups looking to hop to yet another accelerator when three or four previous ones didn't get the job done.

Here's what it is:

  • Asynchronous - no cohorts
    You start when you're ready and you exit when your done. Completely done, without the need for more accelerator programs after you've left us. Whether you complete your program in 2 months or twelve, it doesn't matter to us. We will continue to work on getting your startup through the funding process for as long as it takes.

  • Affordable
    Our rates are extremely affordable because they're subsidized by other parts of our business, so that startups can get off the ground without exhausting their precious cash resources. Again, we do not take equity upon entry into the Incubator/Accelerator.

  • Comprehensive
    After completing the program at Venture Mechanics you'll never need to hop to yet another accelerator. Our program is more of a spectrum, in most cases beginning at the incubator end and completing at the accelerator end (see diagram below). With hundreds of mentors at our disposal it is highly unlikely that you won't be able to get your specific needs met; we won't take you in if we're not confident that we have the proper mentor coverage for your sector.

  • Unlike any other incubator or accelerator program you have ever seen
    Our program begins and ends with a "mentor conclave." We flip the script on the usual bootcamp class, by putting the founder(s) at the podium, and a hand-selected group of mentors in the classroom seats. This mean all the mentors spend the entire conclave (typically 4-6 hours) focused on your startup, and your startup alone. You will walk away from your initial mentor conclave with a 100% constructive homework assignment for you to be able to complete a compelling business plan. The advantage of having all the mentors in the room together at once, versus being sprinkled upon you one by one over 90 days, is that you can hear multiple perspectives at the same time, avoid repetition, and avoid conflicting information. This tends to massively accelerate your launch right from the start. And the mentors love it, too, because they always learn more from each other.

    The middle portion of your time in the program will be filled with attending free workshops on your own schedule. These workshops repeat on a quarterly basis. and we're always adding more. In between workshops you can also reach out to mentors directly (many of them are also workshop instructors), especially if the workshop you need is too far out in the schedule. You'll meet with your "quarterback" on a regular basis to monitor your progress and get suggestions on which mentors to try to work with, and other resources as may be appropriate.

    With your quarterback's sign-off, you'll be ready for the final mentor conclave, in which you and your investor presentation will be honed and readied for going out with you fundraising campaign. We'll run an "objection mapping" process, akin to preparing for the Presidential debates, so you can deftly handle any questions that come at you when pitching investors. If requested, we'll even hand you a list of investors we recommend you approach (see fundraising assistance options below). You can at this point exit the accelerator or stay in the program for a nominal fee in order to continue to tap into the mentor pool, workshops and quarterback guidance.
venture mechanics startup incubator accelerator

 

The Application Process

  • Apply here and answer all the assessment questions as best as you can. You can also upload your business plan and other materials into this application, which will continue to be used as your "deal room" once you get into the program. You can continue to use this deal room after graduating from the program, and use it to apply to hundreds of angel groups and other investors with a single-click. 
  • Once you have completed the application process, send the incubator director this form with your application number. We will review it and assign the ideal quarterback for your stage and sector.
  • One of our quarterbacks will contact you to arrange an interview. If all goes well they will offer you the opportunity to join the incubator.
  • Note that if the quarterback identifies significant gaps in your fundamental business plan research you may be sent away to complete more due diligence on your own business plan, and come back with an updated assessment to be reconsidered for the program.
  • Please note that the threshold for acceptance into our program is much higher than most other incubators and accelerators, but you will always walk away with direct, constructive, and empathetic feedback from the quarterback as to where your business plan can be improved.

Program Costs

  • Incubator tuition is currently highly subsidized, but be aware that prices will be going up gradually as we approach program capacity. 
  • An initial cost of $6K covers the first six months of incubation/acceleration, including an initial and final mentor conclave, an "all you can eat buffet" of workshops, and access to our mentor teams. We provide free conference rooms whenever you are meeting with any of our mentors or introduced investors.
  • We offer discounted member rates on any additional facility usage, such as conference rooms, coworking desks, photo studio, and 3D printer space to any company in the program. You also get discounted rates on tickets to over one hundred events a year that are not part of the incubator program, from Venture Weekends to Launchpad Expo venture conferences. Many of those events offer opportunities for startups to pitch and/or demo their products; our incubator members will always have first dibs on those opportunities (nominal pitch fees or demo table fees may apply).
  • After the initial six months, incubator membership may be extended monthly at $1K/mo or whatever the prevailing rate is at that time.

Fundraising Assistance

  • Venture Mechanics is not a registered broker/dealer (RBD). RBD's generally do not work with pre-seed and seed-stage startups because the economics of earning commissions on small rounds versus the effort and risk involved are simply not attractive to them. However, we work with select RBDs that appreciate the fact that companies we refer to them are fully vetted, and fully prepared with completed deal rooms, perfected pitches, and our own expert assessments of their risks and opportunities.
  • Any investments made by investors that startups meet you meet through the program at Venture Mechanics are subject to a 5% finders fee; the banker's fee for investors not introduced through Venture Mechanics is a 0.5% override to cover administrative costs. These fees would be processed through a third-party RBD to ensure rigorous securities law compliance, and will typically be taken in the form of half-stock, half-cash. There may be shared ownership between Venture Mechanics' shareholders and the third-party RBD(s) but in no case will there be a commissioned transaction on the part of the incubator/accelerator, as it is not a registered broker/dealer and our mentors and staff are not licensed under one. 

 

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Informational Launch Event! Happened June 17th 2024

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