The program is structured around the strategic business needs of both the corporate partners and the startup/scaling companies selected for the program. Cohort companies are selected based on the strategic business needs of the corporate partners. The corporate partners provide mentorship, connections and resources to accelerate the growth of the selected companies. The core programming is approximately 90 days. However, 30-45 days prior to the start of the program, selected companies and corporate partners will develop key goals that they will work toward during the program.
The corporate partners along with the accelerator team will select the best mentors for the program based on the needs of the cohort companies. These mentors will be experts from key organizations within the corporation, investors, successful entrepreneurs, business experts and members of the Kansas City entrepreneurial community.
Busy! However, every activity planned will be targeted to help you reach the goals for the program that we establish before you start. Your day may include meetings with your corporate partners, business building workshops, mentor sessions, office hours with experts, leadership development or pitch rehearsals. We also plan a few times for casual networking and celebration along the way.
All companies are expected to be professional, honest, on-time, present for on-site weeks, work hard, be coachable and make quick decisions.
Being on-site for the entire duration of the program is not required. However, there will be certain points during the program when on-site participation in Kansas City is required. Those time periods will be 1-2 weeks at the beginning, middle and end of the program. All companies selected are welcome to be on-site for the entire duration of the program.
Application and selection...
Yes, both Sprint and Dairy Farmers of America are currently accepting applications and that application can be found here.
The Sprint Accelerator is looking for startup/scaling companies from around the world with an innovative business that aligns with the strategic goals set forth by the corporate sponsors assigned to each program. Specifics pertaining to the Sprint Accelerator can be found HERE and specifics pertaining to the DFA Accelerator can be found HERE.
Yes. Even though there is no restriction to selection of single founder companies, it can be difficult to benefit from all aspects of the program with just one person.
The more detailed your application, the more we can learn about your company. The videos are important because sometimes they’re the best way for us to get to know your team and product. Videos don’t have to have professional production quality – using an iPhone or MacBook to create your video is perfectly fine. Be creative, have fun and let your personalities shine through!
During the application process, each application is reviewed by a selection committee and follow-up calls/interviews will be scheduled as needed. After applications close the applicants will be narrowed down to a group of finalists and a final full-team interview will be scheduled. Based on these discussions, offers will be extended to join the cohort.
The selection committee is made up of accelerator staff and representatives from each corporate partner. This committee will be looking for strong, coachable teams with products and services that can help each corporate sponsor achieve their strategic goals, create potential partnerships and scale.
Companies of any stage will be considered. We welcome growth-stage startups and scaling companies that have achieved initial product-market-fit, are entering their next stage of growth and are looking to partner at scale with a large corporation.
No, the accelerator does not provide housing for the companies selected. However, there may be reimbursement of travel costs through your corporate partner.
Relocation is not a requirement of getting accepted into the program. However, we will introduce you to resources and information about Kansas City should you be interested in opening an office in this area. We have had several alumni companies take advantage of area resources – strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, low cost of living, access to local university talent, etc – to continue growing their businesses in KC (and being near their corporate partner never hurts).
Investment and ownership...
The corporate partners will support with facilities, mentors, visibility, and proactive engagement around business opportunities that emerge from this program. The corporate partners have no obligation or restrictions with regard to the companies they may contract with and the products and services that it develops or offers.
No, we are a non-equity accelerator. This means there is not an exchange of funds for equity upon selection/acceptance. However, investments can be negotiated throughout the program, when it is a match for both the startup/scaling company and the corporate partner.
Do any of the corporate sponsors retain the Intellectual Property (IP) developed during the program?
Each party/company will retain ownership over their own IP, unless otherwise specified or negotiated.