Ever wonder how accelerators evaluate and select startups for their programs? In this blog, we outline exactly how SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator evaluates our applications. If you are thinking about applying to future SuperCharger programs, make sure to look over and understand our 5 Evaluation Pillars listed below: Team, Product, Market, Traction, and Gut Feeling.
Pillar 1: Team
We look holistically at teams — are team members complementary? Do they build off each other’s skills, credentials, experiences and networks? We like to see a good mix. A team of all sales people selling a tech product raises red flags. Credentials and relevant experience often are the most important criteria when evaluating team strength.
Moreover, how long have team members known each other? The startup life is difficult, and teams will unquestionably be confronted with challenges. Tested teams who have known each other longer are looked at more positively by SuperCharger.
Pillar 2: Product
What stage is the product at? Is it just an idea, or is there a prototype, or is it in production? Who are the clients? And how scalable is the product? You can have a great product, but every time you deploy it, your costs could increase proportionally — not great in terms of scalability. Make sure to cover these points in your application.
If you have a specific partner in mind (check out our partners here) that could use your product, make sure you note this and explain how the potential partner could benefit. This will help our team map out startup to partner pairings during the program, and give you an edge over other applicants.
Pillar 3: Market
How big is the market opportunity, and who are the main players claiming that market? As no two markets share the same characteristics, we want to see the extent to which your startup has to compete to earn market share. SuperCharger goes through hundreds of applications, so make sure to add figures on how your market is growing and how you can grow with it — put in that extra effort.
A tip is to also include a slide in your deck with your competition, and show features like how much revenue they have generated, how many customers they were able to acquire, and how much they fundraised. This is helpful for us to understand the market better, and see where your company stacks up in the industry and potentially where it can go.
Pillar 4: Traction
This is an important pillar encompassing ideas of market fit, desirability, and momentum. Is there a demand for your product? If there is, the demand should manifest in market adoption. Show how long your startup has been running, paired with complementary measures of progress or momentum. This can be demonstrated through multiple KPIs, including:
- Customer base (active/registered users)
- Profit/ Revenue
- Media Coverage
- Social media followers
SuperCharger wants to see founders who hustle and really push their companies off the ground. We want to see sustainable and consistent growth.
Pillar 5: Gut Feeling
Lastly, we also have our own “gut feeling.” While the other four pillars are backed by numbers and quantitative analyses, this metric is uniquely qualitative and personal. Many times, our own team has widely differing views on this category. What it boils down to is this: would we buy your product — do we like it? Would we be confident promoting it? Do we think that your startup will make it, and can we, as SuperCharger, really help you? Convince us of what you are trying to achieve, and show how joining SuperCharger can help accelerate your growth.
These are SuperCharger’s 5 Evaluation Pillars. If you have any questions on a particular category, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are serious about applying to SuperCharger, make sure that information regarding these 5 pillars are readily available and easy to access in your application. Hope this blog was helpful, and we will follow up with more tips to applying to accelerators!