Advice for better startup accelerator selection panels

You can choose the best startups for your accelerator the hard way, the slow way, the angry way, the tired way …or the easier way! This is what works best for me after ten years in startup accelerators.

At disability, ageing and inclusion startup accelerator Remarkable, we’re about to begin the difficult process of thinning out the second round of applicants to invite to the bootcamp for our 2020 program, using a panel comprising a mix of accelerator team, alumni founders, partner representatives and mentors.

If you’ve done this before, you’ll know it’s harder than it first seems to do it well. Even if you’ve done it before, I thought maybe some of the following advice to our selection panel might help you with your accelerator selection process:

  • Be aware that you’ll get selection fatigue: you’ll have more mental energy and may be more likely to spend more on the startups you first look at than the ones at the end of the process. Expect the first 25% to attract way too much scrutiny and debate, and the last 25% to get way too little. That’s not fair to either of those groups of applicants. Remind yourself to reserve your mental energy. Be strict about time limits on review and discussion of each applicant.

… good luck!

I’m Alan Jones, an EiR for startup accelerators, GP at M8 Ventures. Previously investor, founder, and early Yahoo PM. Opinions mine (but should also be yours).

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