With an eye on the million dollar prize and the 43North application period at its midpoint, we know that many of you have started applications but haven ‘t quite finished them. If you are a stuck on answering a question, we wanted to offer you some tips and resources to get that application submitted. Below are the questions you are asked and some tips for answering them. The deadline to apply is June 24, 2015.
What is your product/idea/technology? (1000 characters or less)
Describe in detail the product/idea/technology that you are working on or plan to develop and build. How does it solve the problem(s) you have identified in the marketplace?
What problem is your product/idea seeking to solve? (750 characters or less)
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Why does this problem exist? How big is the opportunity? Is this just a problem for you personally or have you surveyed the market to validate your idea?
How does your product/idea solve the aforementioned problem (750 characters or less)
What unrealized way have you found to solve your identified problem? Is your solution an improvement on another product/idea? Or is your solution novel? Teach our judges where your product/idea came from.
List any intellectual property you have and its status (e.g., Patent number, application number, licensor, etc.) (500 characters or less)
Please provide necessary details explaining steps you took to secure intellectual property rights surrounding your product/idea. If you do not possess any intellectual property rights, respond as such.
Describe the market (competition, size, potential). (750 characters or less)
Who are the competitors in your space? Very rarely will there be no competition. Provide details on how these competitors are not adequately filling the need for this problem in the marketplace. By listing your major competitors and what they do (or don ‘t do), you should be able to paint a picture for judges as to what your competitive advantage is.
What are the unique aspects of your product or service that provide you with a sustainable competitive advantage? (750 characters or less)
You provided the judges a glimpse into the marketplace in the previous section. Here is where you ‘ll describe in detail what makes your idea different from the competition. What makes your idea unique in the marketplace? If you know exactly what your competitive advantage is in the marketplace, share that.
Describe your team and/or advisers and their qualifications, backgrounds, and experience. (1000 characters or less)
Detail what qualifies your team to execute the idea successfully and better than the other companies in the market. You should include work history, your network and any skills that will be key. Your history as a team is also important. How long have you worked together? At an early stage, the key driver of success is people, particularly how hungry, cohesive and coachable they may be as a unit. If you have been an entrepreneur before, have you raised money, built a larger team and board of directors, had to give up control, or sold the company? These are all important in understanding the skills and knowledge you and your team have to successfully build upon your current idea.
Here is a quick video from LinkedIn ‘s Co-Founder Reid Hoffman: The Perfect Startup Team
How much capital will you need and how will you use it? (500 characters or less)
How much capital do you need to raise, for what, and in what intervals (e.g. $1.5M in 18 months, $4M in year 3, and $8M in year 5)? Think about how you will grow your team, expand operations and/or increase inventory and ultimately generate sales. Let the judges know if you have already raised money, and if so, how much and how are you using it.
How do you plan to generate revenue and when? (750 characters or less)
How much revenue do you expect to generate? What will it cost you to generate it and when will it happen? Explain how you arrived at your numbers. For example: We need “x” amount of customers to reach our revenue goal, and in order to reach that number of customers we need “y” number of prospects. Your numbers aren ‘t going to be perfect, but judges aren ‘t expecting them to be. By answering questions like this, you will show judges you have given thought to your business model, sales and marketing.
Are you affiliated with any other incubator/accelerator/university programs? If so, who?
Please provide necessary names, nature of any relationships or affiliations, and the status of said relationship.
- A great resource for your startup is a Business Model Canvas. You can find more information about it here.
- David Rose did a TED talk on how to pitch a Venture Capitalist.
- And here ‘s a link to our FAQ ‘s. Still have a question? Email us at [email protected]