India’s first European startup accelerator, Spark10 has opened applications for its second cohort on 1st Nov 2016. Spark10 was conceived and designed in the UK by Atal Malviya, (Founder and CEO of Spark10) with the help of Jon Bradford (Director, John Bradfield Centre, Cambridge, UK and Ex-MD of Tech Stars) and Paul Smith (Head of Program, Dubai Future Accelerators and Co-founder Ignite100, UK).
The first cohort that started on 25th April 2016 was a huge success. Where nine startups were selected out of 500+ applications and underwent a mentor-led 13-week acceleration program. The nine startups include Brisky, BeHungry, CarZip, Daddy’s Pocket, FeltSo, Fliona, Oh’Look and Ornativa. The program ended with a vibrant ‘Demo Day’ on 31st July 2016. On this day, the nine startups intrigued and impressed 50+ potential investors and influencers with their pitch. Many of Spark10 startups from the first cohort are closing next round of funding as we write.
From the first cohort, Ornativa – a fashion jewelry tech startup has become all India winner of Shopclues’s Next Big E-preneur Award. Shopclues has committed to invest up to Rs. 60 Lakhs in Ornativa. Another startup Brisky – A personal concierge for nightlife that helps you discover, share as well as book events based on your interests, has won ‘Three Steps to London’ challenge and its founders Jatin and Rajesh are packing their bags for the trip to Europe to meet other entrepreneurs and investors from Europe. Another notable name from the first cohort is Oh’Look. Oh’Look was challenged and pushed by Spark10 Accelerator to validate and change their business model twice during the program and finally what they become is an innovative fashion service company for men, that lets them wear a different shirt from the top brands every single day. Recently Oh’Look was one of the finalist in The Vault (ETNOW) and Runners up in Haywards 5000 Hauslay Ki Udaan (ABP News).
Spark10 is now announcing the launch of next cohort, applications for Cohort 2017-A are open from 1st Nov 2016. Each of the ten selected startups will be provided with Rs. 10 lakhs of seed funding in return for 8% equity. Selected startups will also be getting other benefits from Spark10 eco-system partners. The acceleration program is 13 weeks long and within this timeline, founders need to validate their business strategies, build and scale their operations before the final showcase in front of investors on Demo Day.
The intensive program pressurizes founders to perform and show results that are similar to what they would achieve in a 12 to 18-month period. The methodology and process are defined and developed in conjunction with the best practices and experiences of accelerators that have proven strategies over the past half-decade.
Here are some insider tips on a few things we consider as a strong application. Follow them to make your application stand out.
- Showcase the entire team – A good team is the only strongest asset your startup has. Highlight its strengths and weaknesses.
- Clearly, mention who would buy your product and why? – Make it simple and succinct. The simpler and clearer your message, the better your chances.
- Get to know your competitors – Find them. Learn about them. And analyze yourself by comparing to them. Understand from a consumer perspective and find out your target market for the product.
- Be realistic – Be honest, be grounded and set targets that you believe you can achieve.
- Prepare like your life depended on it(and it does to an extent) – Prepare your answers. Review, rinse, repeat. Do the same with your video pitch.
- Show passion and enthusiasm – Tell them about what keeps you up at night and what you(all the co-founders) argue about.
- Spell check and Grammar check.
Here are some quick links for you:
- Download brochure from the website.
- Read the most frequently asked questions here.
- Want to know the difference between accelerators and incubators? Read this.
- Did you know that there are different species of accelerators? Nope? Read about them here.
- What can you expect in an acceleration program?
And finally, the most important link of all:
Apply for C17-A by clicking here.