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Why I did not accept the subsidized loan: a founder tells us

When it comes to “startup financing”, most people don't think of a loan from the Sparkasse or Volksbank - and rightly so! Because of the high risk of default, banks rarely give loans to startups.

In theory, there is a possibility that the bank will give your startup a loan. Namely, if your startup meets the requirements for state loan subsidies.

What is a Promoted Loan for Startups?

Banks only extremely rarely give loans to startups because of the high risk that does not suit their own business model (more on this in the “Banks” chapter in my book). If they do, the interest rates and the required guarantees on the market are usually very high for the same reason.

Public credit institutions have created two - often linked - funding options to compensate for these disadvantages and to enable startups to take out a loan:

  1. Discounted credit terms. The Bundes- or Landesförderbank provides you with publicly funded loans for the costs associated with setting up your company. This means that you can take out loans at significantly lower interest rates (around 2.0 to 3.0 percent) than is usual on the market. In addition, there is often a grace period of one to three years at the beginning of the term. During this time you can continue to build your company and only pay the interest until the repayment begins.
  2. Liability for part of the guarantee. Even with subsidized loans, the founder usually has to be personally liable for part or all of the loan, as the startup does not have sufficient collateral. The promotional banks offer the possibility of taking over a large part of this guarantee (50 to 80 percent) in return for a commission payment (around one to two percent annually). This at least partially reduces your personal risk when setting up a business. It also makes it easier for you to get the loan in the first place.

Under these circumstances, is it worth taking a loan?

The example of Carolin Kunert von Knister shows that a subsidized loan is by no means free money, despite this relief.

Why I did not accept the subsidized loan: a founder tells us

Carolin Kunert is the founder and managing director of Knister, a brand for innovative lifestyle products that combine the issues of urbanization and sustainability. Longevity, a plastic-free, local supply chain and recyclability are also the top priorities for the start-up's first product: The Knister Grill is a charcoal grill that is optimized for transport by bike. The grill utensils are simply stowed in the grill before it is hung on the bicycle handlebar in a matter of seconds.

Carolin Kunert explains:

Carolin Kunert, founder and managing director of Knister

"When we started looking for capital of around 250,000 euros for our further company growth in autumn 2018, Knister had already overcome the most critical phase: With a successful Kickstarter campaign in spring 2018 and ongoing pre-orders, we had provided evidence of the market, and our product was not only fully developed, it was already delivered to happy customers.

So the business model was proven and the risk was low.

At this point, where we had steady cash flow and needed the capital to grow further, the textbook says a loan is the right type of financing. That's why I went to the Kreissparkasse Munich to apply for the ERP start-up loan from the KfW Bank. 100,000 euros without equity contribution, i.e. without having to show the same amount as security yourself? That sounded great at first. The Kreissparkasse also liked our business plan, and so we quickly received an offer.

But then I looked at the details and was puzzled.

It is true that KfW assumes liability for the risk of default vis-à-vis my bank, which is what makes it possible to grant loans. But what about my personal liability? After I didn't get a clear statement about this for a long time, I asked one last time: "If, in the worst case scenario, my company goes bankrupt in a year and I can't repay the loan, will I be privately insolvent?"

The answer was "yes". That was the end of the subject for me.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not a coward.

The entrepreneurial risk doesn't scare me, I believe in our products and our business model, and I can handle the pressure of having to repay the money.

In the specific situation, the decisive factor for me was that I would have had to bear the risk all by myself. As a young company, we had not yet grown so closely that my co-founders would have been willing to take the risk together. If we had done it together, I would have taken in half a million too! But to risk my future single-handedly? That would have been sheer recklessness.

We have now considered crowdlending as an alternative.

We're entering into a different deal here, because crowdloans are subordinated loans. It is of course a risk capital investment for the lenders, but we also pay them higher interest rates. That is only fair - and it simply fits better with our current company situation. "

How to use loans as a source of funding for your startup

If you want to learn more about how you can get loans from a bank for your startup, you can find out in my book Startup funding detailed information on this. Among other things, it deals with the following topics:

  • What financing do banks provide for your startup?
  • Under what circumstances do banks give your startup a loan?
  • What funding opportunities does the state offer startups that want to take out loans?
  • Does it make sense to get a loan from friends or via crowdlending?

get yourself Startup funding here as hardcover, softcover or Kindle eBook:

📘 Buy "Startup Financing" on Amazon

Featuring: Successful women in the startup scene - founders, investors, experts

Unfortunately there are fewer women founders than founders in Germany.

Statistics and experience reports show that for many reasons it is even more difficult for them than men. From a factual point of view, this makes no sense: after all, mixed teams are more successful and women-led startups even generate more sales per investment dollar than men’s, according to a study.

Against this background, I consider it important that female founders also experience successful role models: women who have made it and are successfully active in the start-up scene. Either as startup founders or as an important part of the startup ecosystem: as investors or experts in startup topics.

In my book Startup funding Many successful women from the startup scene - founders, investors and experts - have their say. They share their experiences and tips as well as stories about their failure and what they have learned from it.

Experience reports from female founders

Carolin Kunert, Founder and managing director, Knister: "Why I did not accept the subsidized loan"

Carolin Kunert is the founder and managing director of Knister, a brand for innovative lifestyle products that combine the issues of urbanization and sustainability. Longevity, a plastic-free, local supply chain and recyclability are also the top priorities for the start-up's first product: The Knister Grill is a charcoal grill that is optimized for transport by bike. The grill utensils are simply stowed in the grill before it is hung on the bicycle handlebar in a matter of seconds.

In the “Banks” chapter, Carolin reports why she decided against a promotional loan even though she had the opportunity - and which financing alternative she is considering instead for Knister.

Freya Oehle, Founder and managing director, 3tausendsassa, Spottster: "Since we have only been spending our own money, we only notice how much pressure we had before" and "Our product did not work in the market - so we drew a line ourselves"

Freya Oehle is co-founder of 3tausendsassa, a Hamburg startup that develops data-based software for other startups. She had previously founded the Spottster price portal with her co-founder and four investors. In 2017 Freya and Tobias voluntarily decided to give up Spottster.

Freya explains why she values ​​the freedom of choice to grow her company with her own resources instead of investor money. As a serial founder, Freya also reports on the failure of her first startup, Spottster, which she and her co-founder decided and communicated in a remarkable way.

Dr. Friderike Bruchmann, Founder and Managing Director, Medikura: "If the input-output ratio is right, an accelerator can give your company a huge boost"

After discovering that there was no functioning monitoring or reporting system for drug side effects, business economists Friderike Bruchmann and Philipp Nägelein founded a start-up in 2017 to solve the problem: Medikura enables direct and digital exchange between all those involved in the health system - patients, Doctors, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies - thereby helping to make medicines even safer.

In the “Startup Accelerators” chapter, Friderike tells how she and her co-founder Philipp Nägelein took her first steps as an entrepreneur in a Munich accelerator.

Katharina Mayer, Founder and managing director, Kuchentratsch: "If your product fits on TV, the 'Den of the Lions' is a real boost for your company"

Katharina Mayer is the founder of Kuchentratsch, a Munich startup where real grandmas (and grandpas) bake cakes and now sell them across Germany. As a social enterprise, Kuchentratsch works in a profit-oriented manner, but puts the positive social influence in the foreground: To create a place where different generations can exchange ideas, learn from one another and have a good time working together.

In the “Business Angels” chapter, Katharina reports how her successful appearance at “Die Höhle der Löwen” at the end of 2018 had an impact on her company.

Maria Sievert, Founder and Managing Director, Inveox: "For a long-term cooperation, the terms of the deal must be right - for all parties"

Maria Sievert and her husband Dominik Sievert are the founder and managing director of the Munich startup inveox. The company, founded in 2017, digitizes and automates the pathology laboratory: the AI-supported automation system consists of an intelligent sample container for biopsies, a machine for receiving samples and a highly secure online platform for data transfer between the doctor's practice and the pathology laboratory. The goal: to enable fast and reliable cancer diagnoses through digitized, fully automated and networked histopathology.

In the chapter on “Negotiations”, Maria reports on the stumbling blocks she encountered when she first attempted a financing round. The founding team learned from this experience and proactively took on the search for financing - in order to complete a third investment of 17 million euros in 2019 with a proven round of investors.

Rike Brand, Co-founder, Spyra: "Without extra income I could not have afforded the foundation" and "Prepare your community for the big day"

Rike Brand has been co-founder of Spyra since 2017, a Munich startup that develops the "water pistol for dad" - a high-tech outdoor toy for the summer, which in 2018 raised almost half a million euros on Kickstarter.

In Startup funding Rike reports on the one hand about her private financing strategy in order to finance the early days of the founding without any reserves. On the other hand, in the “Crowdfunding” chapter, she reveals the strategy behind the successful crowd financing of the Spyra One water pistol.

Veronika Riederle, Founder and Managing Director, Demodesk: "With intensive preparation and persistent practice, we made it into the Y Combinator"

In 2017, Veronika Riederle and Alex Popp founded Demodesk, the first cloud-based screen sharing platform that works in every web browser and supports corporate customers with digital sales and customer support via the Internet. In winter 2019, Demodesk was accepted into the startup accelerator Y Combinator in Silicon Valley and collected its first funding at the final Demo Day.

In the “Startup Accelerators” chapter, Veronika reveals that the application didn't work the first time. Nevertheless, she made it into the renowned accelerator and reports in detail in the book what preparations were necessary for this.

Background stories from investors and donors

Dr. Andrea Kranzer, BAND Business Angel of the Year 2019: "Networks support us business angels significantly in our job"

Andrea Kranzer from Mannheim has been using her know-how, her capital and her contacts as an early-stage investor in the fields of tech, IT and healthcare since 2014. She is now active in several angel networks and founded Angels4Health, Germany's only business angel network specializing in life science. In 2019 she was voted Business Angel of the Year by the Business Angel Network Germany (BAND e.V.).

Andrea reveals in the chapter "Business Angels" her motivation to invest through business angel networks. She also addresses how founders benefit from investing in their start-up not just one individual but rather a syndicate of experienced angels.

Ariane Hartmann, Group Coach Munich, GoBeyond: "In our fishing network we bundle swarm intelligence and spread our risk over a larger portfolio"

Ariane Hartmann and Stefan Schwarz have been leading the Munich group of the international fishing network GoBeyond since 2016. GoBeyond was founded in 2008 and now comprises 884 investors from 45 countries. By spring 2019, the network had coordinated 250 investment rounds in 100 companies with a total volume of around 25 million euros.

In her article in the “Business Angels” chapter, Ariane gives founders an exemplary look behind the scenes of the Business Angel network and describes the stations that startups go through on their way to investing in the network.

Liesa Siedentopp, Project Manager and Business Developer, EU Executive Agency for SMEs, EASME: "Use the opportunities that the EU offers you as a springboard!"

Liesa Siedentopp has been with the EU agency EASME since 2015, where she works as a project manager and business developer with the "SME Instrument", one of the largest and most financially strong funding programs in the EU for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (Small & Medium-sized Enterprises: SMEs) helped build. She and her team have been responsible for business acceleration services for over two years and enable startups to develop new potential customers, partners and funding with targeted services and network events - for example with European investor and company contacts, training courses and workshops.

In her article in the “Public Funding” chapter, Liesa encourages founders not to be deterred by supposed bureaucratic hurdles and to apply for EU funding. It also clears up some myths and prejudices about EU funding: For example, that funding requires a professional application writer.

Dr. Iris Bleck, Director Credit, Risk and Compliance, Silicon Valley Bank: "Few startups are qualified for venture debt"

The former lawyer and management consultant Iris Bleck is, among other things, responsible for the venture debt credit processes of the German branch of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

In the “Banks” section, Iris explains how the SVB, which has been active in Germany since 2018, deals with the still little-known topic of venture debt.

Tips from startup experts

Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler, Professor of Organization, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Passau: "Not dividing the shares among the members of the founding team equally leads to more innovation"

Carolin Häussler has been researching technology and innovation management in startups as a professor for organization, technology management and entrepreneurship at the University of Passau since 2011. She is also a member of the Federal Government's Expert Commission on Research and Innovation.

In the chapter on “Co-Founders”, Carolin reports on her research results. These show that the common practice in Germany of dividing the company shares 'fairly' among the members of the founding team does not seem to be the optimal solution with regard to innovation.

Magdalena Reith, Speaker, Startup Coach and former Head of Startup Consulting, UnicornPitch: “The best idea is worthless if you can't sell it properly!”, “Your pitch appointment is your one chance - prepare yourself well for it!” And "How to convince in a personal presentation"

Magdalena Reith has been a passionate speaker and startup coach since 2017. Building on her own experience in the startup scene in Silicon Valley and the many startups that she supervised as Head of Startup Consulting at UnicornPitch, she supports founders in successfully pitching new ideas.

In the chapter on “Materials for Investors” in the book, Magdalena gives important tips for creating a pitch deck and for presenting the pitch to investors.

More insider stories from the startup scene

You can find many more insider stories from the startup scene in the blog. Many of them can also be found in my book “Startup Financing”.

Get the book Startup funding here as hardcover, softcover or Kindle eBook:

📘 Buy "Startup Financing" on Amazon

 

Photo credits: Rike Brand: Sabine Jakobs; Katharina Mayer: Lara Freiburger; Maria Sievert: Nathalie Zimmermann

Why bootstrapping? (# 2) - Spend your own money instead of justifying it

Bootstrapping as an alternative to investors or other capital providers has several advantages for startups.

In my last post, Lin Kayser from Hyperganic reported how his startup Hyperganic benefits from the market proximity required for this.

Bootstrapping also has a second advantage for founders that should not be underestimated. That is the freedom of choice.

Investors are always at the table when making decisions

It is rare that investors give you money and tell you, “Good luck! Just report to the exit! ". Because it's their money, investors usually have at least a certain say in your company. This can be anchored in the shares (because they have a blocking minority in your company) or in the participation agreements.

Ideally, of course, you choose investors whose opinion and input you value and whom you are happy to invite to your shareholders' meetings.

However, you can always end up in situations where you would rather decide on your own - be it only because an important decision has to be made quickly, but you cannot get all investors together at such short notice. And with more people at the table, even the most productive discussion tends to become protracted.

Worst case: You are giving up your entrepreneurial freedom of choice to investors

It is even worse if your entrepreneurial views and those of your investors diverge on which strategy your startup should pursue in the future.

For my book, I interviewed several startups where the cooperation with investors did not work well for various reasons:

  • These reasons can lie in the person of the investor - if you have caught a business angel who is not helpful and only costs you time and nerves.
  • Or the problems arise from the nature of the investor - when you have a VC fund on board that pushes your company towards exit with all its might.
  • Or if your startup is funded by a crowd - the supporters would go on the barricades if there was a fundamental change in the product orientation (in startup jargon "pivot").

The series founder Lin Kayser says from his own experience:

Lin Kayer, serial founder and CEO of Hyperganic

“With a VC fund on board, there is always a relationship of control. With some VCs, I had the feeling that they would have preferred to be CEO themselves. With a VC investment, you can combine the worst of being an employee and being an entrepreneur: You give up your freedom of choice and still have the stress of being an entrepreneur!

Retain maximum freedom of choice or use the growth turbo?

Or maybe everything is fine with your donors - and you still don't like being influenced by your decisions! Do you prefer to make your own decisions (together with your core team)? Or does it help you to let others have a say in important decisions? This is to a large extent a question of your personal preferences and attitudes.

Some founders feel psychologically pressured just by the thought that someone has given them their money in the expectation that they will multiply it. They think they have to justify every decision. In particular, if there is a personal relationship with the investor or has arisen through cooperation, you do not want to disappoint this person or institution.

Other founders feel the other way around: External capital gives them the freedom to deal with money economically and profitably - in contrast to their own money, which they may spend extremely risk-averse and sparingly.

We are only now realizing how much pressure we had: a founder tells us

Freya Oehle is co-founder of Dreitausendsassa, a Hamburg startup that develops data-based software for other startups. She had previously founded the Spottster price portal with her co-founder and four investors.

In my book Startup Financing, Freya explains:

Freya Oehle, founder and managing director of Dreitausendsassa

“After we voluntarily gave up our first startup Spottster, my co-founder and I received an offer from two of our old investors to re-invest in our team if we were to start a new company.

So we would have had no problem finding funding for a new project.

When we founded the second time with 3tausendsassa some time later, we nevertheless decided to finance the development of our company ourselves this time.

We are really not investor avers - overall we have had very good experiences with our previous investors. Nevertheless, we clearly notice the difference.

Today all money we spend is our own money.

Only then did we become aware of the constant subconscious pressure it was to have to explain and explain every decision and every result in detail. "

More on bootstrapping for startups

On my resources page I have published a lecture on the topic of bootstrapping, in which other founders have their say on the advantages and disadvantages of this form of financing.

You can find even more insider tips on bootstrapping in my book “Startup Financing”. In it I wrote a full chapter on the subject, including the following aspects:

  • Do you really want the money? Now?
  • When is the right time to invest
  • How your startup starts and grows without external capital
  • Advantages and pitfalls of internal financing

Get the book Startup funding here as hardcover, softcover or Kindle eBook:

📘 Buy "Startup Financing" on Amazon

What the lion's den really brings your startup: a founder tells us

Tonight is showtime again for startups: The 7th season of The lion's den starts!

I stand for the show (as well as its Austrian counterpart 2 minutes, 2 million) somewhat ambivalent about it. On the one hand, I think it's good that, thanks to her, many more people than before can do something with terms like “startup” and “pitch”. And even non-founders now at least partially know what an “evaluation” or even “traction” is.

On the other hand, it is of course clear (even without scandalous disclosures): The lion's den reflects the start-up scene about as realistically as The Bachelor the dating reality.

And in the real world, you don't get any capital after a 15-minute meeting with a business angel. It is therefore logical that some deals still burst after recording in the due diligence. Nevertheless, I like to watch and have already kept my fingers crossed for many startups in my network.

What good is an appearance in the lion's den for a startup?

From the lioness's point of view, it makes sense to close real deals in front of the camera. The enormous publicity from the show outweighs the risk for them more than investing in a startup company unchecked and only on the basis of the pitch.

But does this also apply to founders looking for funding?

I asked this question for my book “Startup Financing” of a founder who performed in the lion's den in 2018 and took home a deal.

If your product fits on TV, the "Den of the Lions" is a real boost for your company

Katharina Mayer is the founder of Kuchentratsch, a Munich startup where real grandmas (and grandpas) bake cakes and now sell them across Germany.

As a social enterprise, Kuchentratsch works in a profit-oriented manner, but puts the positive social influence in the foreground: To create a place where different generations can exchange ideas, learn from one another and have a good time working together.

Katharina Mayer explains how her appearance at "Die Höhle der Löwen" at the end of 2018 had an impact on her company:

"The idea to apply to the Lions' den we came because we were convinced that we could offer an exciting product for Lions and TV viewers.

We promised ourselves a positive marketing effect for the planned Germany-wide shipping of the cakes, since the show will be seen by three million people.

We hadn't dared hope that we would actually get an investment in the show. Social enterprises are very rarely represented there and have never received an investment in the past. When two of the lions, Carsten Maschmeyer and Dagmar Wöhrl, accepted our offer of 10 percent for 100,000 euros, it was a real surprise for us.

We simply applied using the production company's online form.

The very next day we were called back and asked for a business plan and an introductory video - of course, the broadcaster wants to know beforehand whether one is 'TV-compatible' at all. And just 10 days later we had our shooting date!

The format is always the same: a three-minute pitch, then one to one and a half hours of discussion. Everything is shot as a one-take and then cut to ten to twenty minutes for the broadcast. During the preparation we were largely on our own and we only met the investors in the 'cave'.

Of course, I thought beforehand: What if something went wrong, if the cake fell off or the lions didn't like it?

That's why I've made a firm decision: Always smile nicely, under no circumstances look sad or disappointed - not that the station plays the scene in black and white with sad music and it looks like I'm crying!

Although a deal is already closed in the show, the one and a half hours cannot get to know each other in depth, which makes sense before an investment. I cannot confirm that the Lions' treaties are supposed to be problematic. Many deals fail in retrospect, however, because the founders have not told everything or have buried corpses somewhere.

We told the whole truth on the show and invited both lions to our bakery, where they could meet the grandmas. Two months after the recording, we went to the notary and signed the participation agreements.

Katharina Mayer (founder of cake gossip) with grandma Renate

There were six months between the recording and the broadcast, which we used intensively to prepare for the expected onslaught.

We have with others Lions' den-Startups talked and tried to implement their learnings: Build a stable and professional website, distribute tasks in the team, pre-produce cakes - and just not go into hiding. We got the grandmothers on board beforehand by talking to them about the advantages of the show and also introducing them personally to the investors when they visited.

Thanks to the good preparation, we were able to catch the expected great response to the broadcast. During the broadcast, which is watched by around three million people, 50,000 visitors were on the website at the same time. In the first 24 hours we received 400,000 clicks, 4,000 emails and numerous orders. In 2018 alone we were in the press 200 times - that was quite a bit of work.

The appearance in The lion's den has definitely paid off for us in the long term.

With the investment we were able to finance the relaunch of our website and the redesign of our packaging as well as a large gastro dishwasher. Today we have around 30 percent more orders than we would have had without the shipment.

For me as the founder and for our product, the format and the investment overall fit very well - but each founder has to decide for themselves whether this applies to their own startup. "

- Katharina Mayer, founder of Kuchentratsch

More from successful startup founders

If you want to read more stories from successful founders, you will find over 70 of them in my book “Startup Financing”. Amongst other things:

  • André Schwämmlein (Flixbus) - "This is how we conquered the newly emerging long-distance bus market with Flixbus"
  • Bastian Nominacher (Celonis) - "Without discipline you lose sight of your strategic goal"
  • Maria Sievert (inveox) - "For long-term cooperation, the terms of the deal must be right - for all parties"

Get the book "Startup Financing" here:

📘 “Startup Financing” as a Kindle eBook

📘 "Startup financing" as hardcover

 

Photo credit (cover picture and article picture): Kuchentratsch (www.kuchentratsch.com)

This is how you make it into a startup accelerator: a founder tells us

I have just finished two days with an incredible amount of input: We have completed the selection pitches for our XPRENEURS Incubator. The pitches are always a highlight for our team. We get to know the various startups live in action, and we learn a lot of exciting things ourselves during the presentations.

For founders, the selection pitch can be a nerve-wracking appointment in the application process. As with other financing appointments, when applying for a startup accelerator like XPRENEURS: intensive preparation and persistent practice is everything!

How to make it into a startup accelerator: A founder talks about her application

In my book “Startup Financing”, Veronika Riederle from Demodesk describes how she and her co-founder made it into the Y Combinator.

In 2017, XPRENEURS alumni Veronika Riederle and Alex Popp founded Demodesk. Demodesk is the first cloud-based screen sharing platform that works in any web browser and supports corporate customers with digital sales and customer support over the Internet. In winter 2019 Demodesk was included in the startup accelerator Y Combinator in Silicon Valley. At the final demo day, the startup collected its first funding.

Veronika Riederle explains: *

Veronika Riederle and Alex Popp from Demodesk in Silicon Valley

“The Y Combinator has two application deadlines a year. We submitted our first application with pitch video and online form for summer 2018. Although we obtained feedback from friends, investors and alumni of the program and revised our application 20 times, we were not invited.

At the second attempt, six months later, our idea hadn't changed - but we were now able to show more progress and traction: Our product worked and we had more than ten paying customers. And that obviously made the difference, because this time we were invited to Mountain View for an interview four weeks later!

The personal interview is like a very intensive conversation.

Three partners of the Y Combinator ask you 40 to 80 short questions in ten minutes. So you have 8 to 12 seconds per question for your answer! The partners are extremely good at understanding your business quickly this way.

The interview usually starts with the question: 'Well, tell me: What are you doing?' This is followed by questions about the problem you are solving, your USP, the market, the team and customer acquisition. Make sure that you answer briefly and to the point and do not fall into technical jargon. Explain your product in a way that your grandma or six-year-old child would understand!

As with the online application, there is also great information online about the interview, which you should definitely have a look at beforehand. We also practiced the interview around 15 times with friends, founders, investors and the Y Combinator Pioneer Fund, which also offers this service.

For the interview, use common sense.

Be on time (we were there 30 minutes in advance), shake hands with the interviewers and thank them for inviting them. Assign clear roles in your team so that you know who is answering which question and not interrupting your co-founder. Your personality and how you behave during the interview play a bigger role than you think!

In our case, the interview didn't go that well, but we probably piqued the interviewer's curiosity. That's why we got the rare opportunity to have another interview with a second team of interviewers that afternoon.

The acceptance or rejection will come on the same day.

If you decline, you will receive an email, if you accept, you will receive a call. For us it was almost a magical moment: Alex and I were in the car on our way back to San Francisco when my phone rang. Tim Brady said, 'Hey, this is Tim from Y Combinator, do you have time to speak right now? We liked you and your company and we would like to invest in you.

- Veronika Riederle, co-founder of Demodesk

More about applying for startup accelerators

Even if the application processes for startup accelerators differ from city to city or accelerator to accelerator, the basic process is always the same.

If you would like to find out more about startup accelerators, you will find a detailed chapter in my book "Startup Financing", including the following topics:

  • What is a startup accelerator? (or also: incubator?)
  • What is the business model of an accelerator?
  • When and in what do accelerators invest?
  • What are the added value and disadvantages of participating in an accelerator program?
  • How do you get accepted into an accelerator program?

Get the book "Startup Financing" here:

“Startup Financing” as a Kindle eBook

“Startup Financing” in the noble hardcover edition

 

* This case study from my book “Startup Financing” is based on a more detailed article by Veronika on the application process for the Y Combinator on Medium.

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