What is the Goldstein Business Accelerator?
The Goldstein Business Accelerator is an accelerator exclusively for startups who are revenue positive and are ready to step up to the next level. We are passionate about the needs of seed ventures, and believe they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them. The accelerator focuses on enterprise customer development, sales (direct and online), market validation, and a structured path to fundraising. We have the most sought after advisor faculty, guest lecturers, venture capitalists, and Fortune 100 customers primed to be resources for you. And we are very excited about building a fellowship of founders building change the world companies that sell to the enterprise.
When and where is the program?
The accelerator program runs in the spring and fall. You need to be in the Central Florida Area, but can choose where you work (there is strong precedence for game-changing companies built by co-founders who started out of their homes but with access to peers close by.) The accelerator has co-working space you can choose to work out of in Oviedo Florida.
What do you look for in evaluating applications?
The most important element is the team. In the team, we first look at the technical founder(s). The technical founder must be distinctive. While we don’t have any strict criteria, we find that the most distinctive technical founders exhibit these common traits: very strong technical chops, tenacity, ability to explain complicated things clearly, judgment in making good tradeoffs, good product sense, and a passion for outcomes, not process.
We prefer teams of 2 or 3. We will admit purely technical teams, but the ideal team has one or two technical co-founders, and one business-side co-founder.
We find that 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, we 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.
We will be looking for founding teams that great talent will want to join.
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.
We also place importance — though secondary to the team — on the market. Our focus is on markets that are large enough to warrant the interest of the top venture funds. We will admit stellar teams who do not have a clear market focus yet.
Our program is not designed for entrepreneurs looking to be acquired in 18 months. Our program is designed for entrepreneurs that are motivated by something deeper to change the world on a large scale.
When is the application due?
We will having rolling application deadlines. You can submit an application at any time up until the program starts, though it is easier to be admitted the earlier you apply.
What does it cost to join?
There is an ask of common equity that will vary depending on the business. The accelerator may also ask for the right to invest a minority / non-threatening co-investment in your Series A. The average ask is 5.0% of equity but there is a wide range.
What stage founders do you take?
Any founders who have not raised an institutional Series A round (typically, if you have not raised more than $2M already) qualify. Our main focus is on the teams. We’ve accepted very early companies: teams where the co-founders have been accepted, their last day at work was on Monday, and joined the accelerator that Thursday. Those decisions are usually driven by the standout caliber of the individuals. And we’ve accepted companies that have fully functional products. The common thread is the quality of the people. And the accelerator provides a structured path to fundraising, customers, and mentorship which we’ve found is helpful to companies across the spectrum.
Do you accept founders who are from outside the United States?
Yes. If you have not already done so, you will need to set up a US Incorporated entity to be a part of the GBA (which we can help do and cover the filing fees to do so). But all founders are encouraged to apply. If you are an international founder, you are part of a rich history of foreign-born entrepreneurs who have built many of America’s great companies, and we want to continue that tradition!
How do Visa work for international admits?
The GBA will provide a letter of endorsement that can be used as part of your application process for a Visa. Our founders typically will come for 3 month stints (or 6 month stints if they have a Business Visa granted) during the beginning of the program, and then return for the final weeks in preparation for Demo Day. However, your specific Visa situation will be influenced by the country you are coming from and your specific situation.
What if I have more questions I need answered before I apply?
Let us know what they are — they are welcomed. Email us at admissions@GoldsteinAccelerator.com!