Note: See our Application FAQ if you have questions about the StartFast application process.
Each company receives $25,000 at the beginning of the program. Additional (optional) capital investment of up to $75,000 will be available as well. You also get great perks such as discounted and free services (valued at over $800,000), access to top notch design and technical talent, a great place to work, and a community that values and supports entrepreneurs. Our mentors provide incredible value through both connections and advice. You will also have the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program during Demo Day.
We fund technology oriented companies. Typically these are web-based or other software companies, but we may also fund software enabled hardware products. We look for large markets and high growth. We do not fund biotech or professional services businesses.
StartFast is geared to deliver the best possible support for accelerating your startup’s success. As entrepreneurs, we understand and value the notion of maximizing return on investment. Our investment motivates us to help you succeed by every means possible (e.g., introductions to people who can help, assisting with strategy, finding more investors).
Trust us, that this will hurt your chances more than it will help because of the number of complaints it will generate from mentors. Mentors are not part of the selection process. If one of them recommended that you apply to the program, please reference them in your application. Otherwise, please don’t bother them with needless emails or phone calls.Do I have to be there for the entire 3-month period?
We do require program participants to be in Syracuse for the duration of the program. This ensures you will derive the maximum exposure to our mentors and be able to take advantage of regular networking and learning opportunities.
Do I have to stay in Syracuse when the program ends after 3 months?
Nope. Once the program ends, you are free to live wherever you choose.
How can we get funded after StartFast ends?
Most of our startups are likely to need additional funding beyond the seed amount we provide. StartFast ends the summer with a Demo Day where we invite angel investors and venture capitalists from around the country to view your product and your pitch. As equity holders in your company, we will continue to help you in your fundraising efforts beyond the end of the program.
What sort of control am I giving up by granting equity to StartFast?
StartFast wants to be viewed as a co-founder. We expect to have all the same rights as any other founder, relative to our minority ownership position. No special rights, no board seats – its your gig, so you run it.
What are your thoughts regarding single founder applications?
Building a high-growth startup is hard. Our preference is to work with high-performing teams that can manage the ups and downs of building a product and creating a viable business case. Try to find a co-founder who complements your strengths. Also, check out our developer/designer, and associate pages as a way of getting into StartFast without a team.
Where will we live while we’re there?
Thanks to our partnership with Le Moyne College, all StartFast teams have access to furnished housing units at a heavily discounted rate, including on-site parking. The housing is within walking distance of the coworking space.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and to fund?
Please see our first blog post on this topic. After the initial cut, we are looking for ongoing communication showing your team’s ability to set targets and meet them. Big ideas without fully committed, execution-focused founders are not high on our list.
Do I need to send a business plan?
All we need is the online application.
When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?
We encourage applicants to submit by the early application deadline (see sidebar for key dates), for various reasons.
Didn’t find the answer to your question? Contact us and we will help.