Reason 1: Better Services
Technical – SAP HANA
SAP HANA combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory. The platform provides libraries for predictive, planning, text processing, spatial, and business analytics. Through the SAP Startup Focus Program, our startups can use the SAP HANA platform, particularly for logistics and other big data IT startups.
- SAP Mentors for Start Co. Accelerator Teams
- Co- marketing opportunities to evangelize each other’s offerings to participants
- Introduction to startups in each other’s programs at events, or through emails
- Invitation to official events: SAP Startup Focus would invite Partners and startups from Start Co. to our official events. We would like to be invited to official Start Co. events.
Visit saphana.com for more
Technical – Twilio
Twilio empowers developers to build powerful communication. Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software. We take care of the messy telecom hardware and expose a globally available cloud API that developers can interact with to build intelligent & complex communications systems.
- Use of Cloud API’s for all accelerators
- Community evangelist presence to provide technical assistance
- $100 credit for all Start Co. founders
- Social Good Platform access to social enterprises
Visit twilio.com for more.
Technical – Mosaik Solutions
Once a local startup themselves, Mosaik’s team of programmers, developers, researchers and mapping experts offer tactical guidance for accurate datasets, flexible software and responsive services. They also lend their expertise on attracting and retaining customers with tailored marketing.
- Office hours with founder and VP of Business Development
- Technical assistance with product development
- Geographic systems support based on their own best-in-class solutions (one of the world’s two providers in this sector)
Visit mosaik.com for more.
Marketing, Branding, PR – archer>malmo ventures:
The venturing arm of one of the largest marketing agencies in the southeast, a>m ventures serves all Techstars and Start Co. programs. Teams receive training, office hours and more from a firm that works with brands like FedEx, Pfizer, Kraft, Medtronic and AutoZone, as well as many startup brands. a>m also invests in qualifying startups.
- Office hours with creative director, designers, PR leaders and more
- Weekly engagement with director of investment
- Hands-on media and PR training
- Workshops on UX/UI, metrics and more
Visit archermalmo.com for more.
Financial – The Marston Group
Experienced with angel investors and entrepreneurs, this CPA and consulting firm understands the unique needs of startups. Their experts will guide you through the fundamentals of starting and running a business, offering strategies to maximize every dollar.
- Office hours with partners and associates
- Workshops on financials and accounting for startups
- One-on-one financial modeling support as needed
- Investor pitch development support
Visit themarstongroup.com for more.
Legal – Baker Donelson:
Among the area’s oldest and most respected law firms, Baker Donelson offers the legal guidance and support you need to launch—from incorporating to patenting to exiting the market and more. Throughout the program, they provide one-on-one sessions, workshops, and legal services.
- Regular office hours with attorneys, shareholders
- Trademark, copyright, intellectual property advice
- Workshops and training on term sheets, intellectual property, etc.
- C-Corp incorporation, initial investment documentation for filing fees
- Discounted future legal support
Visit bakerdonelson.com for more.
Financial – Orion Federal Credit Union
- Free business checking accounts to all accelerator companies
- Orion’s executive team will provide mentorship in the areas of finance, marketing, sales and business development, and the banking industry in general
Visit orionfcu.com for more.
Talent – New Memphis Institute
- Personal & Professional Development Sessions
- Memphis 101
- Site visits with key Memphis leaders
- Inclusion to community engagement events
Visit newmemphis.org for more.
Talent – NAWBO
NAWBO brings more women empowerment, inspiration, and confidence to the Upstart Accelerator teams.
- Upstart companies are able to participate and attend all NAWBO programming, workshops, mixers, and speaking engagements
- NAWBO will source women mentors for Upstart teams
- NAWBO will market Upstart teams to its membership and through its marketing channels
Visit nawbomemphis.org for more.
Reason 2: A Better Experience
Ask any past team for two things that make Start Co. different. Chances are they’ll tell you the same: 1) Small, 6-team cohorts, and 2) Constant access to power players. Want to chat with a CEO at a national logistics company? We’ll make it happen. The creative director at an award-winning branding firm? Done. With Start Co. cohorts, your unique needs are always in focus.
Big Demo Day, Big Opportunity
While our cohorts are small, our 24-team Demo Day is among the largest you’ll find nationwide. Why? More teams means more investors. And that means over $1 billion in a single room when six women-led startups, six logistics tech startups, six IT startups, and six high growth startups take the stage.
Founders First, Startups Second
Build a great founder, and they’ll build a great company. Start Co. programs push into areas like leadership development, public speaking, personality testing, and much more. Whatever your startup’s fate, you’ll walk away with some of the top entrepreneurial training in the country.
Opportunity for All
In a “majority-minority” city like Memphis, no one’s more in tune with the issues of underrepresented populations. Start Co. works to increase opportunities for capital, mentorship, and networking for underrepresented founders like women, minorities, and students.
Need a Hand?
Start Co. teams have access to a pool of eager and talented interns from local institutions like The University of Memphis, Rhodes College, The Memphis College of Art and more.
The Right Investors
We aren’t beholden to a single VC fund. Instead, a vast national network means exposure to the angels and VCs that best fit your needs. Start Co. teams have raised $8 million over the last three years–$13 million when considering clients who utilized our technical help. Average rounds post-accelerator are roughly $.2 million, with Series-A rounds totaling around $2 million.
There’s not much we can say about barbecue, basketball, Beale Street or music you can’t read on some Wiki page. But there’s more to a city than tourist attractions. Memphis is a multilayered tapestry of rich cultures, hard-nosed work ethics, and a determined, underdog vibe you can’t help but get swept up in. Once you feel it, you’ll understand why more than few teams have relocated here. And okay, the barbecue helps too.
Reason 3: Better Support
Global Accelerator Network
All Start Co. accelerator programs are part of the elite Global Accelerator Network (GAN). Original the TechStars Network, The Global Accelerator Network is now across 6 continents, 63 cities, and 50+ accelerators, setting 1 standard for entrepreneurial excellence. Our teams benefit from the extended mentor and investor pool of The Global Accelerator Network. Learn more here: http://neverstop.co/GAN.
What is means for startups?
- More resources for starting up than 95% of the other accelerators in the world
- International investment network
- International mentor network
Angaros Group is a boutique investment firm, based out of Singapore with offices all over the world. Angaros supplies our companies with advisory, capital and consulting services in addition to valuable international connectivity. Learn more here: http://angaros.com.
What is means for startups?
- All accelerator teams get screened for investment
- Office hours with EIRs and partners
- Easy access to services for equity investment for technical product development for worthy teams
Works with Start Co. to accelerate our community’s entrepreneurial successes by supporting the growth of a sustainable ecosystem. Our company’s benefit from advanced best practices and technical assistance combined with national connectivity to the coasts as well as the 15 other regions of the country where JumpStart is partnered. Learn more at http://jumpstartinc.org.
What is means for startups?
- National expertise and technical assistance available in only 16 regions of the US
- National connectivity to growth and expansion to 15 other markets.
Start Co. Angels
The first angel fund and network to operate in the Memphis area in over a decade was built by Start Co. The capital and the business savvy behind it ensure that Start Co. companies aren’t just well-funded, but are well-equipped to maximize every opportunity for growth. http://neverstop.co/start/start-investing/.
What is means for startups?
- Early engagement with angel investors throughout the program
- Worthy teams have faster access to validation funding post acceleration
Great Partners and Sponsors
F6S Combined with Bonus Global Accelerator Network Offers
While we use F6S for the application process at Start Co. the benefit is bigger for our companies which certainly get about $300,000 worth of free or discounted startup deals in 28 different flavours including hosting, email infrastructure, analytics and customer service tools. What’s more though is because our accelerators are Global Accelerator Network programs you will receive in bigger deals — often times 3 or 4 times the regular offers. It is a nice leg up. Learn more at http://www.f6s.com/f6scard.
Microsoft will offer its BizSpark program, a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, and providing marketing visibility, to all qualified software startups at Seed Hatchery. Learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/Default.aspx
The Rackspace Startup Program is here to provide free cloud hosting services and support at the crucial time when startups need them most. We are building relationships and fostering the community that we are proud to share our humble roots. We are here to help, offering Fanatical Support®, every step of the way. And after you reach success, we are still here, helping you as you scale. Visit http://rackspacestartups.com/signup/ to learn more.
Orion Federal Credit Union
Orion Federal Credit Union is a proud sponsor of many of our programs and experiences at Start Co. especially those that are inclusive of the entire population. In addition to monetary support, Orion executives are mentors to accelerator teams in marketing, financials, and strategy. Visit http://orionfcu.com/ to learn more.
What are key dates?
- Application Deadline: March 15 at 11:59pm
- Selection Notification: April 1
- Program Start Date: May 1
- Demo Day: Thursday, August 21
- Post Acceleration Support through Thanksgiving
What are the expectations for teams?
- Moving to Memphis for at least 6 months
- 100% Focus on your startup
- Understanding the very demanding nature of our program
- Commitment to our process and method of starting up
- Saving and/or preparing enough “Dry Powder” to be in Memphis for 3 months after Demo Day
- Willingness and ability to sell your product or service
- Ability to build your product or service
What is the application process?
Highly motivated founders can apply to any Start Co. accelerators by answering a few simple questions on our application. A subset of those that apply will be given a chance to impress our team with follow-on questions and interviews. Those that truly impress will enter an intense cohort program coupled with investment and mentoring. Though we make no guarantee, we estimate that 6 or more ventures will be funded in each cohort.
*You may apply to any or all of the accelerators, including Seed Hatchery (an information technology accelerator), Upstart (an accelerator for women-led startups), and Sparkgap (a logistics technology accelerator). Each of these programs will be run simultaneously.
Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement before I send in my application?
Sorry, we can’t sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. This topic has been fairly well addressed by Brad Feld, whom we respect tremendously, so we’ll direct you to his posts on this very topic for you to learn more: http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2006/02/why-most-vcs-dont-sign-ndas.html
For founders, what is the investment structure?
Accepted founders will receive a monetary investment of $15,000 upon entering the program. In return for our investment of both cash and mentoring, Start Co. receives 6% of the founding level common equity in your startup. This is broken into two parts — 3% for the money and 3% for the bootcamp. This would give your company a $500,000 post money valuation. Additionally, we require that you set aside another 4% of the founding equity in your business as options. You do not need to use these options, but we encourage you to use them when appropriate to incentive others, including solid mentors who have invested significant time and resources into your startup. Note that the cash investment may be spent any way the startups desire as long as it is in service of reaching milestones and you report periodically on your burn rate.
What is the structure of the 3 month accelerator program and beyond?
The program’s structure is divided into three phases: pre-acceleration, acceleration, and post acceleration. Pre-acceleration begins on May 1st with an intense period of personal and professional development. During this time, founders will be introduced to the Memphis community, form valuable connections within our network, and review professional practices that will prove helpful during acceleration.
Following the pre-acceleration period, the acceleration phase kicks off May 24th with a Founders Bootcamp Weekend. The 90-day acceleration phase is divided into 3 units of 30 days, with each unit’s curriculum specifically designed to encourage rapid progress and achievement of milestones. Over the course of the program, teams will meet with mentors, participate in Monday night reporting sessions, attend weekly training and business development sessions and meet individually with advisors for office hours. Additionally, prospective angel investors, service providers, mentors, influencers, and community leaders are invited to engage startups over the course of acceleration. The program also includes various social gatherings and opportunities.
At the conclusion of the 90-day period, teams will graduate from the accelerator and present their progress to an audience of angels, venture capitalists, and community leaders during a massive Memphis Demo Day. Founders who have graduated from this program join our network of accelerated alumni.
Post accelerator, we continue to set milestones and provide direct post-acceleration assistance for at least another 3 months to support growth.
Why are 3 accelerators being run simultaneously?
Start Co. is simultaneously running three accelerators: Seed Hatchery (tech-based startups), Upstart (women-led tech startups), and Sparkgap (logistics technology startups). By running all three accelerators at the same time, teams benefit from combined resources and social capital. We are, consequently, able to attract rock star speakers, supporters, and investors to assist throughout the program. Moreover, with such a large and diverse demo day, we combat demo day fatigue and attract more capital and influencers to attend.
How will 3 accelerators run simultaneously?
While programming will overlap for certain lessons, each accelerator will have its own curriculum tailored specifically to its focus. Moreover, a number of mentors and experienced entrepreneurs will be assigned to each accelerator specifically to ensure the quality provided to each cohort.
Why do founders participating in our programs receive mentors?
Our mentors come from a wide array of backgrounds and have seen success and failure first hand in their business career. In addition to business and startup acumen, our mentors provide domain expertise. Whatever your concept there is a strong chance that a couple of the mentors have had some expertise to accelerate your success. Mentors sharpen your concept and provide tough love when needed to insure founding entrepreneurs execute quickly and as correctly as possible.