What I want as an investor participating in an accelerator program

No one invests because of a demo day.

I certainly don’t. I need to work for it.

This is how an accelerator program can help me to invest.

Before the program starts

Send me a list of each company with enough information for me to commit to work. No more than half a page per company. I will be trying to understand the following for each company:

  • Is this part of my current investment thesis? Is this one of those companies I am looking for?
  • Is this an idea I have never thought of and need to learn about?
  • Is this a company I can help to ‘step-change’? What do they need?

Tell me how I can interact with the company. It needs to be more than the occasional ‘mentor drinks’ — I need to get into it.

During the program

This is where the real assessment happens.

  • What do customers think of their solution?
  • Can they build it?
  • I want to feel the velocity. Has the team found a cadence? Is it making leaps already?
  • Will the company be ready to take some capital to fuel more leaps?
  • Do we enjoy working with each other?
  • Is there an early opportunity to invest?

End of the program

Then we get to demo day — or however the end of the program is marked. Here’s what I want then:

  • Nothing.

We are done by then. The work has happened.

🖖🏻 #hack+hustle+flearn

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Phil Morle

Phil Morle


Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.