7 Tips for Standing Out in Your Start Co. Accelerator Application


Each year we release our applications for our highly competitive accelerator programs.  Our founder, Eric Mathews, wrote two posts previously with macro and micro level application tips here (Fierce, Flexible and Functioning) and here (Application Tips).  With this post I wanted to tell how you can stand out over others during application screening.  

Here are my 7 tips for standing out in your application to our accelerator programs at Start Co.  Be sure to apply and learn more here: neverstop.co/accelerators

  1. Teamwork makes the dreamwork

The #1 factor of success for a startup company is the team. So at Start Co. we want to see that you have a strong founding team. We want to know that your talents and skills complement each other and you can work together. Do you have the technical ability to build something?  Founding a company is not easy and you need great teammates.

  1. Amaze us!

We receive 100s of applications, so make yourself stand out! Tell us how you’ve overcome big problems in the past and what things you have loved doing. Show us why we should offer you a spot in our next cohort. We value diversity and focus on inclusion — help us understand why you are different.

  1. Build great relationships

Recommendations spark our interest and instantly catapult you forward. A strong reference from a member of the Start Co. network, perhaps a mentor or a founder from a previous accelerator, will definitely help you.  Hustling to get an awesome recommendation is a great indicator of the drive and resourcefulness we want in our accelerators.

  1. Tell us what you’ve learned

We love to see teams that have been out there working hard to get customers, even if you’ve failed. We want to see that you’re willing to iterate and adapt quickly. Tell us what you’ve learned. What have you tried and failed at? What do you know now about your customers that you didn’t know before?

  1. Tell us about your competitive advantage or unique perspective

We’ve seen countless startups in the past. It’s execution and not the idea that counts. Nonetheless we want to know you’ve spent time thinking through how you can beat out the competition. Tell us how you are better and how you’re different.  How are you better than all the other startups trying to solve the same problem?

  1. Do your homework

Know what kind of companies have gone through our accelerators before.  Are you a fit? We run 3 consecutive accelerators each year so make sure you apply to the appropriate one: Seed Hatchery for B2B tech startups; Upstart for women-led tech startups; and Sky High for social innovation startups.  

  1. Turn it in!

Remember that the application is only first step of many towards getting into our programs.  Don’t get hung up on perfection to the point you don’t submit something.  Just click submit and do it by March 1st.  And if you happen to turn it in sooner, that will just give us more time to look over and make special note of your application.  

Here’s the link to apply neverstop.co/accelerators.


Claire Coulter is the Program Coordinator at Start Co.  Contact her at info@neverstop.co