By Alex Iskold for Entrepreneur
Like many startup accelerator programs, Techstars in New York City is very competitive. We end up accepting less than 1 percent of applicants.
Suffice to say, it is important to make your application stand out. Here are the things we are looking for in applications for the next Techstars NYC class that most likely apply to any accelerator.
Take your applications seriously. It is pretty easy to tell when the application is sloppy. This is a big turn off — it signals that you will be sloppy with your business as well. Put in the time to craft your application and answer all the questions.
2. Clear description
What do you do? So many startups come up with unclear or lengthy descriptions that make it hard to tell what the company is about. Make your one-line business description crisp and clear, and make your paragraph description further explain the business in simple terms.
Don’t describe your business as X for Y. We are Pinterest for business, or we are Uber for dry cleaning are not good descriptions. These sort of descriptions strip your business of identity and soul, and aren’t great in the application.
Here are some examples of good one-line descriptions from Techstars NYC’s 2014 class:
- Concert Window is an online music venue.
- Hollerback is a fun video messaging app.
- Infinit is the fast and simple file sharing app.
- Lynxsy is a mobile platform for startups to recruit non-technical talent.
- SocialSign.in helps venues leverage their guest wifi.
- Tutum is a container-based cloud computing technology.
3. Awesome videos
Short text won’t convey your soul and inspiration, but one-minute videos can. Make an awesome video about your product. This is your chance to really show off what you built and why it is great. Then make an amazing video about the founders. Express yourself, tell us who you are and why you started this business.
DigitalOcean’s video was certainly stylish and notable. Here is one of my favorite founder videos from Techstars company NMRKT. Its product video is pretty great too. Here are some more great product intro videos: Concert Window and Lynxsy.
We love stories, but we love stories with numbers even more. When did you start the company? What is the equity split? How much financing have you raised to date? How many years of …