It's simple. If our founders don't raise at least $5K (the same amount as the initial investment to join our program), then we provide their money back, assuming you've gone through each step of our program as well as met certain conditions which our Venture Advisors will inform you of once you apply and schedule a call. This ensures if the worst case scenario happens (you're unable to raise any funding), you don't risk a thing. This essentially makes our program free; you either raise funding to cover the cost of our program, or you pay nothing.
First, we are fully remote, whereas most incubators and accelerators are in person. Second, we utilize a co-investing model which allows you to keep your equity whereas most incubators and accelerators will ask for a not insignificant amount of ownership of your company. Lastly, and most importantly, we are investor-operators, meaning we do work with and for you, such as branding, design, prototyping, development, etc.
Yes. We don't have anything against accelerators and incubators, what they offer often times complements what we offer (we offer operational expertise while they offer mentorship and office space).
If you're accepted to join, you'll invest $5K into your startup in the form of cash to join our program, while we'll invest $15K in the form of a promissory note. The entire amount is used to pay for our program and services as outlined on our home page.
A promissory note is essentially an investment into your startup that is paid at a future conversion event, which will be when you obtain at least $50K or more in startup funding.
Here are a couple scenarios to make it easier to understand:
Scenario A - Through our program you receive follow-on funding of $100K. That would be considered a conversion event, which means $15K of your funding would be paid to our team.
At this stage, we also have the option to convert $15K or part of it into equity in your company if mutually agreeable with terms at this stage.
Scenario B - Through our program you don't receive follow-on funding, or you raise less than $50K in funding in 6 months after the program. Here, because our 'conversion event' of raising over $50K didn't happen, nothing happens and you don't owe us the $15K.
If you have more questions about how this works, click here to apply and chat with a member of our team.
Yes, we love solo founders just as much as teams. Over 6 years we haven't seen any significant difference in the success rates between the two.
Yes, if you feel our process is the right fit for your team's goals.
Founders we work with typically go from day 1 to raising follow-on funding within 6 months. Though this is average, we do provide 12 months of support as part of the program, giving you plenty of time to ensure you get the result you're coming in for.
We typically recommend founders dedicate between 5-10 hours/week to work through this process. A vast majority of our founders are working full time jobs up to the point of receiving follow-on funding, and typically have plenty of time during the week, nights, or weekends to work through our process.
Yes. Start Your application and then it'll prompt you to schedule a call with a member of our team so we can talk about your goals and if/how we can help your startup launched.
A.Traditionally, a guru is a spiritual teacher/mentor who guides a student on the road to Enlightenment, or finding God or the truth. In today’s age, a guru is an influential advisor or a mentor who points the mentee in the right direction.
A.You need a guru if you are directionless in your startup journey.
A coach presupposes that you have the answers, you just don't know it yet. The coach therefore asks a series of questions that enables you to reach the answers for yourselves. A purist coach will be totally non-directive.
On the other hand, as a guru we presuppose that you do not have the answers. This means that the guru will facilitate a direct knowledge transfer. On occasion we will use coaching techniques to enable you to gain a greater understanding of the topic in hand or to shift a mindset of paradigm.
One of the main differences is the amount of direction provided by the coach and the guru. If you are stuck and unable to find an answer - usually the coach will avoid providing a solution if that falls out of the scope/topic. On the other hand, a guru would provide the answer with little hesitation.
A Coach takes responsibility for your growth.
A Guru makes you responsible for your growth, he empowers you to grow.
A Coach is a guide.
A Guru is a reformer, with a rebellious streak.
A Coach asks the fish to live in water and how to live in water. A coach therefore, is good for a traditional business.
A Guru asks to swim in water like a fish - only dead fishes swim with water. Startup founders almost always talk about some disruption in a well established market or to create a new market. And this is what StartupGuru aims to enable you to do - to swim against the tide and survive.
A Coach belongs to a certain subject or community.
A Guru belongs to all communities and subjects.
A Coach answers your questions.
A Guru questions your answers, creates doubts, doubles it and then helps you to solve it.
A Coach helps you get out of the maze.
A Guru destroys the maze. Competition is for the losers, remember? Some of the best startups have created monopolies!
A Coach is a guide on a particular point to the path.
A Guru is a pointer to the journey.
A Coach looks at your talent.
A Guru helps you to identify your own talent.
One can always find a Coach.
But a Guru has to be found and accept you.
A.We understand that starting up is a long term journey and requires your emotional, financial, physical and mental commitment. On this long journey towards a world changing goal, you will need hand-holding, guidance, support and nurturing especially at this early stage. StartupGuru brings years of entrepreneurial experience, subject matter knowledge and ecosystem under one roof, with a single minded focus and mission - to help you succeed.
A.Yes, our track record says that the majority of our fellow founders who take this program and successfully complete it, are able to come out as mature founders within 16 weeks. Fundraising may take more time, and that is why we will have our extended support available for you for up to a year.
We recommend you the full bootcamp (StartupGuru Incubator) if you are at the concept/idea stage of your startup. You may still need the full program even if you have a pitch deck, project/business document, MVP product without any 'meaningful' traction. You will get the full access to the uninterrupted mentorship only by joining the incubation program.
However, we have split up the program into 4 shorter bootcamps in case you are confident and want to apply for any one or more of them in particular:
Validation is ideal for you if you just want to validate your idea first before anything is built and you become serious about investing more time and effort into building your startup.
Program Fee - $1K
Duration -1 month
You are confident about your idea and need our tech team's support to help you build your MSP, MVP or your full product.
Cost - TBD - Get in touch with us to discuss the scope of your project and to get cost and timeline estimates.
Duration - TBD
You have got your product built but don't have traction. You are lost and confused as to which marketing channel to optimize your strategy for. You are clueless about your sales and marketing funnels and don't know from where you will get your ideal users.If this is you then you need our Launch team's expert advisory to help you get your much needed traction.
Program Fee - $1.5K (Ads/external marketing expenses extra)
Duration - 1 month
You have a product with proven numbers and have got early traction. You have got it thus far with your own money or seed borrowed from friends and family. You are ready to raise your first angel or VC rounds but are lost who and where to approach.
Our investment team can work with you through our 'Funding' bootcamp to help you prepare your pitch deck, business plan, financial projects, investment docs (term sheets, convertible notes etc.).
The program covers Investor Showcase, Demo Day and Funding stage access that includes tips and chapters on how and from where to find like-minded investors along with access to automation tools to streamline your pipeline.
Program Fee - $2K
Duration - 1 month
You have to ask this yourself first what all support you will need before you will be able to raise funding. Other incubators may be able to offer you advise and network, but they definitely won't be able to provide you handholding on your vital validations, MSP product development, customer acquisition and step-by-step guide throughtout these 4 stages of your early stages, from idea to funding.
You will then have to hire a bunch of freelancers or partner with a tech co-founder you hardly know to help you build the product. Again if you do this without getting your vital validations first, you will again waste your resources in terms of time, effort or money.
To-the-point support is again required to get traction, on customer acquisition - either learn how to do that (takes years!) or partner with a new co-founder or agency - both are very expensive moves.
And then you are left on your own for accounting, legal and fundraising as simply having as access to 'some' network does not solve your own problems, You need to know how to create your own funnel, how to find, approach and present to investors, how not to present, how persuasion works, how startup valuation works, how fundraising insturments work etc.
Naturally as you can see, an incubator that offers 'free' stuff cannot cover all of above, Also, 'free' technically isn't free since they will take equity in your to-be-found company, which normally ranges from 5 to 20%. There are no free lunches!
So, if you think you are a 'pro' in all of above (tech development, marketing, sales, fundraising) and only need a 'network' to gain access to, you should try one of those free incubators.
But if you think you do not know most of these disciplines and understand that partnering with all of these co-founders or agencies is anyway expensive and also pointless at these point of your startup journey, StartupGuru helps fill that gap for you.
Know for sure that you are going to spend way more that $20K on your startup before you will be able to raise any money from external investors - this is a fact. Trying to find 'free help' will only procrastinate your staring point, it does not help. StartupGuru with its co-invest model will adsorb 75% of this cost for you and only requires a commitment of $5K from you (in full or part) to cover all the support you will need to go from 0 to 1.
Talk to our team if you still have confusion.