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Alchemist Accelerator: Exclusively For Startups

Alchemist Accelerator

The Alchemist Accelerator is an accelerator exclusively for startups whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. However, they are passionate about the needs of enterprise seed ventures and believe that they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them.

In light of Covid-19, the program right now is fully virtual — including demo days, workshops, mentoring sessions, and other events. Therefore, you do not need to be physically in the San Francisco Bay Area during the program. The accelerator does have co-working space you can choose to work out of in San Francisco and Mountain View (space is available as long as capacity exists and Covid-19 guidance allows for co-working).

There are weekly gatherings on Thursdays (this gathering, as all of the accelerators’ offerings, are optional). The gathering will feature talks by experts in the network and an opportunity to check in with your peers. In addition, there will be other workshops, intensives, faculty office hours, networking events, and brokered customer meetings throughout the program you can use based on your interests. All of the gatherings and services will be remote-enabled for virtual participation.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

The Alchemist accelerator program focuses on;

  • Enterprise customer development,
  • Sales (direct and online),
  • Market validation,
  • A structured path to fundraising.

They have the most sought after advisor faculty, guest lecturers, venture capitalists, and Fortune 100 customers primed to be resources for new business. They are very excited about building a fellowship of founders building change to the world companies that sell to the enterprise.

The backers of Alchemist are Analog Devices, BASF, Cisco Systems, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Ericsson, Foundation Capital, GE Ventures, Johnson Controls (Tyco), Juniper Networks, Mayfield, Next47 (Siemens), Khosla Ventures, Salesforce.com, Sapphire Ventures, and US Venture Partners.

See also: Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator

Eligibility For The Alchemist Accelerator Program

  • All business models (license, SaaS, Freemium) are welcome.
  • If the major revenue source for the business is from enterprises or organizations — be them large or SMBs — you qualify.
  • You can sell direct or online (or a combination).
  • Infrastructure, application, services, non-category-fitters — all are welcome.
  • Prior experience in the enterprise is not required. Though if you have prior experience that provides an unfair advantage to your new venture, that is a good thing.
  • The program is not designed for entrepreneurs looking to be acquired in 18 months.
  • The program is designed for entrepreneurs that are motivated by something deeper to change the world on a large scale.
  • The sole founder is accepted; however, the bar is significantly higher if you are applying as a solo founder.
  • You can apply even if you do not have an idea. In the “offering” section of the application, note that you are “Applying without an Idea” or tell them whatever you can about ideas you are exploring.
  • The program accepts founders from Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. But you will need to set up a US Incorporated entity to be a part of Alchemist (which the accelerator can help do and cover the filing fees to do so). But all founders are encouraged to apply.

See also: Winston Starts: Helping Startups Reach Full Potential

Benefits Of The Alchemist Accelerator

The program’s been designed based on input from successful entrepreneurs. A few key elements to know about:

  • The program will provide a small cash investment in the form of a SAFE you can take if you like. It will depend on the number of founders on the team. The program has a “tuition” charge — they’ll provide additional capital in the SAFE to cover the tuition charge. The average cash investment is $36K (net of the additional cash provided to cover the tuition fee).
  • The program does provide co-working space in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and limited space in Menlo Park (all space is subject to availability).
  • All elements of the program, except the Demo Day, are optional. You do not need to attend any events if you don’t want to.
  • At the beginning of the program, you will submit a profile snapshot of your company and needs. They will syndicate your profile with a trusted network of Customer Prospects (typically Fortune 100 companies), Feedback Coaches for Fundraising (typically trusted Venture Capitalists), and Mentors (their Network of Advisors).
  • You will have an opportunity to casually meet all of these people during a meet & greet.
  • One to one meetings with people who want to help you build your company — with a core focus on customers (who could do a proof of concept if the fit is right) and VC’s (who will give you feedback with the understanding that you are not in pitching mode yet). The intent is for you to meet 1:1 with both groups throughout the first half of the program as you fine-tune your offering and pitch.
  • Every Thursday evening, you will have an opportunity to check in with the rest of your peers (show what you’ve accomplished in the past week), get feedback on roadblocks you are facing, and attend a focused lecture.
  • During the second half of the program, they will selectively facilitate the process of practicing pitching — both to VC’s and new customer prospects.
  • They will host a demo day towards the end of the program where you will get access to pitch to the top funding sources. They also will host guest lectures, roundtable discussions, and other social events you are invited to.

See also: Founders First Challenge Program

How To Apply

Click here to apply.

  • The most important element is the team. In the team, they first look at the technical founder(s). The technical founder must be distinctive.
  • They prefer teams of 2 or 3.
  • The best business side co-founders exhibit the dual traits of being able to sell a vision convincingly to customers / VCs / employees AND the ability to tactically know the 3 next things that need to get done to drive the business forward.
  • If the company will be involved in direct sales to the enterprise, they look for strong sales-centric business leaders.
  • If the company is focused on online sales, business co-founders with a keen sense of customer acquisition, conversion, retention, and design are valued.
  • They also place importance — though secondary to the team — on the market. Their focus is on markets that are large enough to warrant the interest of the top venture funds. Stellar teams who do not have a clear market focus yet will be admitted.
  • The program is targeting 25 teams.

For more information, visit their website.

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

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