FAQ

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Maintain your enthusiasm, passion, and enjoyment of pursuing your vision.

Do Founders need to quit their day job?

No. Launch36 has a mix of full-time and part-time founders in the program. Many startups get started with part-time entrepreneurs until the company gains traction. Once a company gets off the ground and properly capitalized through revenues or investment, we expect that the founders will start working full-time.

Are there other costs to incur to being in the program?

You will need to incorporate a company during the semester, which will cost money, and you may have other business expenses.

Why does Propel ICT charge a fee?

Like you, we’re entrepreneurs. We think that the value of the learning, networking, and coaching provided by the program is of tremendous value. Launch36 will provide you with the healthiest possible start and greatly improve your chances for success and sustainability. As a not-for-profit, our mission is to:

  • Grow the ICT sector by increasing the number of start-ups and improving their survival rate
  • To move start-ups from the idea/R&D phase to commercialization more quickly
  • To integrate small businesses into the community and the business innovation network
  • To build partnerships between the private sector, the public sector and academic stakeholders
  • To encourage and support relationships between small businesses and enterprise level markets

Once we invest our time and reputation we are motivated to help you succeed by introducing you to people who can help by assisting you with strategy, finding more investors, and generally helping you to succeed. That’s a good deal for both of us.

What is the cost if my team enters the 5-month Accelerator program?

If your team makes it past Demo Day your team will be asked to pay a Silver Sponsorship Fee of $5,000 only if you receive financing by a third party for more than $50,000.  This fee is reinvested into the program to help grow and sustain Launch36 as a non-profit organization.  There will also be a discounted fee for the following workshops that you must attend:  Running Lean with Ash Maurya @ $150.00 per person and THENEXTPHASE @ $750.00 for accomodations.

I applied, but did not receive an email response. Did you get my application?

Yes.

How many teams will be in the program?

We select between 10-12 teams for Mentor Camp.  Upon completion of the Mentor Camp, we will invite 5-7 teams to participate in the 5-month accelerator program.

How do Founders get paired with Mentors?

You will be assigned a formal mentor who will serve as your coach for the 5-months via a formal pairing process. Team will also have the opportunity to ask questions of mentors before, during, and after each session. While some mentors are extremely busy, it is expected that the majority of mentors will help teams where they have common interests

What is the range of Mentor experience?

We select mentors with a broad range of industry experiences, including hardware, software, manufacturing, biotech, entertainment, digital media, investment, services, gaming,  and B2B/B2C. Most Mentors have started multiple companies and are currently running a well-known startup.

Can I submit more than one idea?

This is up to you. We are more interested in the team, and less interested in the business idea.

Will information from the application process be shared or made public?

We will not reveal application information to the public.

What is the time commitment required by a team?

 Startups are hard and the Launch36 Accelerator is a big commitment so prepare for a minimum 40 hour work week, not including scheduled accelerator events.

Where do teams live while they’re there?

We will certainly provide guidance to help you find a place to stay, but you’re mostly on your own with this one.

Why should we apply to you instead of Founder Fuel, Y-Combinator or Techstars?

You shouldn’t, you should apply to us all!

I don’t have any tech skills, can I still join a team?

We don’t expect everyone to be on the development side, but be aware that you may not necessarily have the required skillset that we are looking for. Remember, we are primarily focused on what your team looks like.

My team outsources software development. Are we still qualified to apply?

Yes. We think it’s best not to outsource what you are, but it obviously works in some cases. We’re happy to consider any application.

I don’t have an idea yet, but I’m a strong developer or designer looking for a great opportunity. Does Launch36 have a way to help me?

Yes, contact us with details of your background..

I’m concerned that if I apply, you won’t protect my intellectual property. Should I be worried about this?

We’re certainly not in the business of stealing ideas, and we won’t show your application to anyone outside of Propel ICT/Launch36. Each year, we review dozens of applications and many of them include similar ideas. For this and other practical reasons, please don’t ask us to sign an NDA. Our application does not ask for your “secret sauce”, and there is no reason you have to disclose this to us if you’re not comfortable doing so.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications for the next session must be in by Oct 16, 2012

Do I need to send in a business plan?

Nope. Just fill out the online application – that’s all you need for us. We actually do not want to see your business plan if you have one.

Is my age a factor in your selection process?

No. The typical age range of our founders is 25-60 years old. But we can accept someone of any age.

How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and to fund?

We will choose great founders who are proposing products that solve real problems or create meaningful innovations. It’s really about the team. The best things you can do to strengthen your application are:

  • Round out your team with business, technical, user experience, and other necessary skills.
  • Make progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application.
  • Show us you’ve really thought about your business and have gotten off your butt to do something about it.

I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted into the program, or do you only look for teams?

While we don’t discriminate against applications because they have a single founder, it does make things more difficult. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. We strongly advise you to seek co-founders who balance your skillset. We recommend attending the local cybersocial events, Startup Weekends or even take out an ad to try and find co-founders.

Why don’t you provide seed funding in exchange for equity like other programs?

In a nutshell, we don’t want any special or controlling interests in your company. We won’t ask for a board seat or for any uncommon investor rights. We want you to still run the show.

What if my company doesn’t ultimately succeed?

At least you tried. Because being accepted into the program, you’ll have an impressive resume for your next adventure that will look way better than almost anything else you could have spent your time doing. And you will have met a large number of smart and well connected people who can help you tremendously with whatever you do next. Hopefully that will be another startup.

Can you tell me more about the networking and educational opportunities?

Every week we will organize aFireside Chat  invite our mentors to speak on a relevant topic (pizza included). These chats will be presented as appropriate by highly successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, legal experts, venture capitalists, investment bankers, etc. Sometimes, it will be a brief talk with Q&A by a CEO or CTO of a well known local firm. We’ll even be hosted by some of these companies and do the session there. Typically, top executives and techies from companies like Radian6, Q1 Labs, T4G Limited, Ambir, Mariner Partners, Flowtown, Clinic Server, Innovatia, Lymbix, Conseros Software and more visit and provide early feedback and opportunities to our companies. Generally speaking, they’ll be in the early evening. All of these sessions will be very informal and give you plenty of time to interact with the mentors personally.

How can we get funded after Launch36 ends?

You will likely need funding to really make it. Throughout the five month program, we’ll organize meetings with angel investors and venture capitalists who will check out your technology and listen to your pitch. We’ll coach you so you’re as effective as possible, and do everything we can do help get you follow on funding.

What else does Launch36 provide? Office space, Internet, legal, hosting, etc?

Many of our founders choose to work from their apartments, garages or local coffee shops. It’s up to you. If an office space is required, we do have connections to low-cost/no-cost resources like equipment, office space, and communications and support services to make it easier for you to focus on building your company.

Can I apply if our company or founders are not from Canada? Can you help with Visa/immigration issues?

Yes. Anyone from anywhere can apply. However, we do not help with legal/immigration issues.

Do I have to stay in the region when the program ends after 5 months?

No. It’s your company, so you’ll live where you want to.

Is my company “too far along” to apply?

Probably not. We’ve had companies that were already generating revenue or have raised capital. We’ve had companies start with fully developed products and we helped them refine their business model, develop client development plans, financing, and more. Also, you are not too early. We’ve accepted companies with no more than an idea or a dream. If you are ready to do the work, we want to hear from you….

Who’s behind the program and why are you doing this?

We are a group of very successful entrepreneurs and investors who genuinely enjoy helping entrepreneurs and think that Eastern Canada is a great place to do it from.  Our mentors and investors have played roles in such success stories as Q1 Labs, Radian6, Conseros Software, Flowtown, Whitehill Technologies,  Flowtown, Innovatia, T4G Limited, Brovada, Dovico, NB Tel, etc.

What sorts of companies do you pick?

We are seeking technology oriented companies. These are typically web-based or software companies, but we’ve worked with companies that don’t quite fit that description as well. We’re also looking for companies that are export focused looking to penetrate high growth markets. Specifically, we don’t work with restaurants, consultancies, or other local service oriented companies.

What can I expect if i choose to apply for the program?

There are three stages to Launch 36, Mentor Camp, Accelerator Program and Demo Day.

Mentor Camp

A short list of applicants are invited to Mentor Camp where they are interviewed  by potential mentors and experts in particular fields. Among other things  participants will be judged on the quality of their idea, the team assembled (are  the right people associated with the project to make it happen), and the ability to  raise money (can you raise the funds necessary to make it happen). From this  Camp, 5 to 6 teams will be invited to the Accelerator Program.

Acceleration Program

During this phase teams will be provided with key business and product advice  through mentorship from leading experts. You business model will be validated or  you’ll be guided in a way to ensure your idea has the greatest chance for  success. Teams will be introduced to potential investors and the program will help  facilitate connections to future investment.  Through it all teams will be supported  and held accountable by your peers and the Launch36 Team. You must be willing  to put in the time and effort to complete the program. This is not a hobby – this is  your life. Without a high level of commitment, it will be impossible to fully  complete the program and be prepared for the Demo Day.