Note: See our application FAQ if you have questions about the StartFast application process.
How much funding do StartFast companies receive?
You get up to $18,000 for your company ($6,000 per founder). You also get great perks such as free hosting and services (valued at over $80,000), access to top notch design and technical talent, a nice 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 Investor Day.
What sorts of companies do you fund?
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.
Why does StartFast want stock in my new company?
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).
Should I contact mentors to let them know I have applied to StartFast?
Trust us. That 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 require program participants to be in Syracuse for the duration of the program. That 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?
No. Once the program ends, you are free to live wherever you want to.
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 an Investor Day where we invite angel investors and venture capitalists from all over 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. See our results to date in getting seed investments funded.
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, 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 associated with building product and creating a viable business case. Try to find someone 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?
There are lots of options. We will help you find the right housing.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and to fund?
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 in 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 respond.