It’s that time of year again… time to take your company to the next level and join NextView’s 2023 Accelerator 🙂
That’s right! We’re bringing back our remote program for the fourth year in a row and applications are now officially open!
With three accelerator cohorts under our belts and 17 graduated teams to turn to for feedback, we’re more confident than ever that our white-glove approach has lent itself well to the kind of program our industry was lacking. We’re running our high conviction, hands-on accelerator program back, we’re maintaining our clear financial terms (hey $400k), but this time around, we’re making a few meaningful changes to directly address the state of the world we’re living in, namely our updated URL/IRL model, as well as our new “Alumni Pod” track for groups of people who have a shared history and may have been impacted by recent layoffs.
Read on to learn more and decide whether this is the right program for you.
The Architecture of the Program: how will you be spending your time?
Every accelerator is structured differently. Some boast massive cohorts of 100+ teams. Some cater to particular sectors or vectors or industries. Some require relocation. Some are totally remote. Understanding the mechanics of how you will be spending your time and who you’ll be spending it with is key here. If the goal is to advance your business in a meaningful way, you need to be informed about the means by which this will happen. I can’t speak to every other program out there, but as NextView’s Accelerator Director, I can speak to ours and what you can expect over the course of your twelve weeks with NextView.
Small cohort size: Our cohort will be small and selective… likely 6 to 8 teams in total. This is deliberate. Our intimate accelerator model mirrors the intentional NextView investment style. We’re not playing an odds game and making 100 bets in the hopes that one or two take off, (as you see in lots of other programs). We wholeheartedly believe in the potential of each company we select; the smaller batch size allows the NextView partners, who possess deep operating and founding experiences at companies like LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay, and Blue Apron, the space to spend meaningful one-on-one time with each founder every single week. Time to set real goals, iterate through real product pushes, craft real go-to-market strategies, make real introductions to downstream investors, the list goes on and on. The smaller size also allows the space for teams to get to know each other within the cohort and develop a true sense of community and friendship on a founder-to-founder level, which has proven to be an invaluable resource during and after the program.
Weekly, bespoke programming: As opposed to the typical ‘one-size-fits-all’ structure you see across most other programs, our weekly programming will be customized to fit the needs of the cohort we assemble come launch day. From expert AMAs tailored to your pre-seed needs to hands-on mentorship from relevant, established entrepreneurs within the NextView portfolio to founder-only sessions that create a safe space for sharing and supporting one another, our programming is created to meet you where you are and propel you forward in the direction we believe you can go.
We don’t do demo days: It’s not our thing… never has been and never will be. This is because we firmly believe that every startup’s journey is different and asking founders to pitch at some self-serving “best in show” spectacle is not the path to future fundraising success. Rather, we work with each team on an individual basis and come up with a specialized fundraising plan, catered to YOUR business and YOUR goals. Think intimate practice pitch sessions featuring real-time feedback from the NextView team and the broader early-stage investment community. Think alumni advice circles from founders who have successfully fundraised post-program. Think partners coming together to tap their own networks for your follow-on rounds of financing. Whether you’re ready to raise the month the program wraps or eleven months after the program wraps, we’re on YOUR timeline and we’re willing and able to support you whenever that day comes.
URL/IRL Model: We’re bringing a “hybrid” working model to the mix this time around. Don’t get me wrong… absolutely zero relocation is necessary for our accelerator and the vast majority of the programming will be conducted virtually. We will, however, be bookending our program with two IRL events. Our kickoff day will be hosted in New York and will focus on establishing inter-cohort relationships while commencing our pre-seed tailored programming. Our wrap-up day will be hosted in San Francisco and will focus on exposing our geographically diverse teams to the epicenter of venture capital within Silicon Valley. The goal is for our accelerator teams to take advantage of NextView’s national reach and the programming for both events will be designed to do just that.
The Clarity of the Terms : how will your company be financed?
Every accelerator also finances its cohort companies differently. I would encourage you to look at the fine print of the financial terms when you’re trying to figure out how accelerator dollars will be hitting your bank account, cause things aren’t always as they seem. Complicated agreements with MFN clauses and confusing future financing obligations are opaque at best. At NextView, we pride ourselves on the clarity and simplicity of our deal. Every team will receive $400k for selling 10% ownership. Period. We will leverage the standard YC post-money SAFE document with a valuation cap, no discount, and a pro-rata side letter. And of course, we never charge startups participation fees. To avoid signaling issues, we intentionally will not lead the next round of financing. However, participants are empowered to market to future funders that we are absolutely willing to do at least our pro-rata in the next round.
The Track Record of Success: how have other companies fared post-program?
Every company is different. Comparing your potential success story to another founder’s is like comparing apples to oranges. This is true. The thing is though…numbers don’t lie and patterns are important. You want to see some signals of success before signing your name on the dotted line. What success you’re searching for is on you to determine. For example, we’re incredibly proud of our accelerator alumni who have gone on to raise additional dollars. NextView accelerator teams have raised from notable VCs like Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Softbank, CRV, Costanoa Ventures, and others. The NextView accelerator program often includes companies that are so early in their life cycles that we also look at additional accelerator acceptances as a win. Two alumni teams have gone on to participate in more traditional programs like Y Combinator and Techstars after closing out with us.
The Track Record of Diversity: how has diversity been prioritized?
When the market collapses, “capital tends to flow towards founders with established VC relationships and away from folks who may be equally talented but are several steps removed from investor networks. This particularly hurts first-time founders, founders from underrepresented backgrounds, and founders in non-core geographies.” – David Beisel, NextView Partner
The overall VC financing environment remains incredibly imbalanced and, unfortunately, becomes even more so during tough times like these. How is the accelerator you’re considering working to make things better? We at NextView are proud to say that our accelerator program is a small wave within the larger current pushing things forward in the right direction. Seventeen entrepreneurial teams have graduated from NextView’s accelerator programs over the past three years – more than 82% of them have at least one founder who identifies as underrepresented and the majority of teams run their companies in non-core geographies such as Miami, Dallas, DC, Seattle, Birmingham, London, and Sacramento to name a few. We’re proud of this racial, gender, and geographic diversity and it’s something we’re committed to replicating in our next cohort.
The Plan for the Future: how is the accelerator adjusting to the current state of the world?
Everything seems upside down right now. A year ago we were in one of the frothiest markets of all time. Startups getting funded out the wazoo. The war on talent was merciless. Now? Capital feels harder to come by than ever before and brilliant operators are being let go on the daily. How is the accelerator you’re considering making adjustments to meet you where you are today? At NextView, we will be adding a special track within our program this year, catered to “Alumni Pods” aka folks who have worked together or studied together and were potentially impacted by recent tech layoffs. For this accelerator track, applicants need not apply with a fully baked business. We want to work with folks who A. have worked together or studied together in some capacity, and B. have an interesting idea for a company that they are passionate about beginning to build together. We will reserve at least one spot in our 2023 cohort for a team that falls within these parameters and work even closer with this Alumni Pod(s) to build the future we want to live in. We believe there’s a special kind of magic that happens between people who have collaborated previously, and given the times we’re living in, there’s a solid chance some of these magicians have been impacted by recent layoffs. Some of the most transformative tech companies have been built during difficult economic times… let’s turn lemons into lemonade together!
We’ll end this post with a quote from an alum of last year’s NextView Accelerator program: “I think that for a company like ours, this accelerator was game-changing. There are two types of accelerator programs that I usually hear about 1) The accelerator that pretty much plays startup content on repeat, nothing you can’t already get from youtube and 2) The accelerators that try to control each aspect of your business to where you come out as something else on the other side. Our program gave us space to build our company as well as offered a lot of truly valuable help to set us up for the future.” – Alex Shirazi, Founder of Balletic Food
Remember that if you’re looking for a tight-knit cohort that prioritizes bespoke programming, bespoke fundraising prep, one-on-one partner time, and clear financial terms, this just might be the accelerator for you. I know I speak on behalf of the entire NextView team when I say don’t be shy, apply! We would love to hear from you, and hopefully, work with you to build something amazing. Let’s do this!
Accelerator Nuts & Bolts
Who You Are
- Pre-Seed & Seed stage startup teams who could benefit from capital and engaged, hands-on mentorship from the NextView partnership & extended advisor network.
- Consumer and SaaS B2B companies located anywhere, but should be focused on redesigning the Everyday Economy within the U.S. market.
- “Alumni Pod” track for folks who have worked together or studied together and are interested in solving a specific problem they are passionate about. For this particular track, applicants need not apply with a fully baked business model.
Who We Are
Everyone in the NextView partnership has deep operating experience as founders and operators scaling high-growth internet companies (e.g. LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay, Blue Apron). Being hands-on investors is part of our core. Check out our team page to learn more about your future primary and secondary partners.
The culmination of this accelerator program isn’t a demo day or a big show. Instead, the sole goal of the program is results, namely:
- Demonstrably advancing a startup towards true product-market fit
- Further capitalizing the company for success
All startups receive $400K for 10% of the company upon acceptance into the program. We will leverage the standard YC post-money SAFE document with a valuation cap and no discount. There will be 6-8 startup teams in this cohort.
In addition to weekly meetings with primary partners and monthly meetings with secondary partners, we’re carving out dedicated partnerless time for our cohort, allowing teams the space to connect with their peers on a deeper, more impactful level than before. We’re also including facilitated, hands-on mentorship from experienced advisors, tactical experts, and portfolio founders. Our structured sessions will focus on fundraising, product, customer acquisition, as well as other important pre-seed topics.
We are bringing a “hybrid” working model to the mix this time around with virtual programming, but IRL kickoff and wrap-up events in NYC and SF, respectively.
Applications are open through February 14, 2023. We will send final acceptance offers the week of March 6th, with interviews happening in between. The program will kick off the week of March 27th and will wrap up in mid-June.
To read additional information about our upcoming accelerator program, see here.