How much funding do I receive and what do we each get in return?
If you win a place in AngelCube, we’ll provide $20,000 seed funding. We’ll also provide a raft of additional support (mentors, co-working space, introductions, instruction by ‘been there, done that’ startup experts, and so on) all designed to help you turn your disruptive idea and fledgling startup into a real, investor-ready business. For all of this, there are no fees or charges; all we will ever require is 10% in the form of founder’s equity, so that our interests are aligned.
Are there any restrictions on the use of this money?
Whilst you can use the money for anything that you want (within reason), we discourage its use for living expenses. We would rather you tap into it, as needed, for expenses that you might otherwise have to push off: testing your message with tightly focused adwords campaigns; making your company legal & investor-ready; finding that designer to help you design and test a user interface that rocks, and so on. That’s why we release the funds, as needed, over the life of the program.
Who’s behind Angelcube?
The team behind AngelCube includes co-founders Nathan Sampimon, founder of startup community Inspire9 and product development studio Inspire9 Development, as well as Adrian Stone, an angel investor and serial entrepreneur who has had multiple exits across the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. Key investors include Guy King & Bevan Clark from Stateless Systems.
What kinds of startups are you looking for?
We want to support the next generation of great Aussie success stories, and we think that the web/mobile is the best place to find them. If you have a great idea in the internet, software or mobile space that you feel has real potential to change lives whilst earning real revenue, then we want to hear from you.
We do have a bias to transactional web businesses and will look at consumer and B2B SaaS applications, marketplaces and social commerce with the most interest – however, we still encourage all applicants building web based businesses to apply and have shown our willingness to back social applications such as Goodfil.ms.
What is a Venture Accelerator, anyway?
According to Wikipedia a venture (or seed) accelerator is: “a type of startup incubator but has 3 major differences. 1) they begin with an cohort intake process whereby they accept applications for entry and pick a set number per round. 2) they make an equity investment in the startups, usually sub $150,000 USD, but often sub $20,000 range. In-turn, the business model is based on generating venture style returns, not rent, or fees for services. 3) the primary value to the entrepreneur is derived from the mentoring, connections, and notoriety of being chosen to be a part of the accelerator. Seed Accelerators do not necessarily need to include a physical space, but many do.”
What if I don’t need the money?
Many startups have already obtained friends and family – or even angel – funding yet they still apply. This is because the Angelcube process, mentors, connections and investor network is far more valuable to our startups than mere dollars and cents. Just as importantly, being part of a three month process, with a cohort of other start ups produces press, attention and demo-day opportunities that are difficult to replicate as a solo company. An accelerator delivers a gesalt effect, i.e. the sum is greater than the whole of its parts.
But, what if I am further down the track than most startups?
If you’re a little further down the road than most startups, here’s what a more experienced founder had to say about his experiences with participating in a venture accelerator:
“When our advisor recommended we apply to the venture accelerator late last year we thought it was foolish. We had a product live with a fair number of users, had already raised some convertible debt, and had about 8 employees. He told us to apply and decide when/if we got accepted. When we were invited to interview and met several ‘graduates’ who all told us the same thing – hands down, do it. Frankly, there is no describing the impact that going through the programme has had on our company. We can now call on anybody in the network for assistance (within reason), have even more advisors at our disposal, accomplished more in 3 months than we ever would have on our own and without tight deadlines, and have a seal of approval from one a trusted organisation in early stage investing. We also got great coverage by the press that most organisations fight for.”
Can you fund more than $20,000 if I give you more equity?
A venture accelerator works best for you by minimally participating in your business. This way we are as motivated as you are to receive next-stage funding. That’s why our terms ($20,000 for 10% equity) are fixed. We provide 6 months of free co-working space (with a further 6 months, if you require it, at our internal cost) and a host of sponsor driven benefits.
When you require next stage funding, it will be our job to help you find it by honing your business plan and pitch, inviting you to one of our Demo Days, and joining our investor roadshows in Melbourne, Sydney, USA, or UK depending on where your prime market will be.
Why is your program different to other venture accelerators that I’ve seen?
We believe Australian startups need a little more help than just a three month bootcamp, so we’ve designed our program with a longer term view. The first three months is an intensive sprint – with 10 weeks of milestones to hit, scheduled pitch practice, demo-days and concludes with the opportunity to travel to the US to pitch in both SF and New York.
Can I send you an e-mail?
Sure you can: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to live in Melbourne?
Yes. The closer we are to you – and, you to us – the better the process works. You can move from anywhere in Australia to participate in the program, you just need to be prepared to base yourself here for at least 3 months.
Do I have to move my team into your co-working space?
Whilst co-locating in our workspace is free (for the first 6 months), it’s also your call. However, we have built AngelCube’s unique process on the back of the pioneering efforts of the earliest venture accelerators including: Y Combinator, TechStars, SeedCamp, and others. The overwhelming consensus is that co-location = success.
What about the travel? Will you take me to the US?
If you’re building a startup to address a niche in the Australian market; or bring a successful US model to Australia there’s no point schlepping around to US based investors, so in that case the answer is no.
There’s nothing wrong with this either, Seek.com.au, Realestate.com.au, Carsales.com.au are all household Australian brands and very successful web companies. However, if your startup has its sites set on the US or another international market we’re keen to assist by helping you form connections in that market.
For this reason we have joined the Global Accelerator Network and are arranging demo-days in San Francisco and New York to take place in September 2012, and attendance at TechCrunch Disrupt 8-12 September.
Whilst AngelCube does not pay for US travel; we assist start ups apply for the MultiMedia Victoria TRIP Export Grant which provides $2500 to cover some of the cost of flights, conference attendance and accommodation.