Pre-Accelerator Programme – Get it right from the start

Why a Pre-Accelerator Programme?

Any new business faces no end of challenges, with many steps to go through and plenty of questions to consider – for instance:

  • How do you convert your vision into something people will want to buy?
  • Exactly how large is the opportunity?
  • Can you secure the finance you need to survive the early days?

…and so on. The programme will make sure you have answered them all before you fully launch your product.

What is the Pre-Accelerator Programme?

The programme is designed for anyone in the early stage of launching a new business.

Silicon South’s pre-accelerator programme has been designed to answer these as well as just about every other question you should consider in the early-stage of any business.

The 6 week programme is an intensive exercise to make sure you are as prepared as possible from the beginning. Led by experienced business people, this hands-on programme will ensure you have looked at your business from all angles – especially your future customers’.

The Accelerator Programme will help you consider:

  • Creating clear vision and long-term objectives
  • Business modelling and return on investment
  • Market research and customer demands
  • Building around identified needs
  • Product specification
  • Brand
  • Marketing strategies
  • Running a business
  • Keeping solvent or accessing investment

At the end of the programme you will have:

  • A clearly defined business model
  • Strong and evidenced knowledge of your customers’ demands and your product/market fit
  • A specification and timeline for product and business development for the following year
  • All the detail and knowledge you need to apply for: Next-stage funding; Public grants; An investment-based accelerator; a loan (public or private) or equity-based early-stage investment

Application and course requirements.

There are spaces for up to 10 companies to take part in this free programme. During the 6 weeks, you will be shown the theory behind the key elements of building a business; provided with examples of how to apply the theory; and helped to apply it to your own circumstances. There will be a lot packed into the 6 weeks and you will be expected to complete all the work which is assigned, as it will underpin the subsequent module given.

Please ensure you are able to commit to the programme for the whole duration, and are available for all the dates including interview and start date.

01/10/17:           Deadline for submissions
06-07/10/17:     Interviews
06/11/17:           Programme start
15/12/17:            Programme ends

Pre-Accelerator Application

  • This section is about showing there is a demand for the product you want to create and sell. Please identify the intended customers of your project and detail the nature of the challenges and issues they face. Please also explain how you will address these issues by creating and selling this product. Focus on the consumer demand – who wants your product and why.
  • Please give specific details (as best you can at this stage) about the different functions your product or service will include. Where possible link these to the issues raised in the business opportunity to show how the design can help end-customers overcome the challenges they face. Include any technical innovations.
  • Please provide some information about the size of the market you think your product will sell to. Be specific about the types of people/organisations most likely to buy it. Don’t just identify an overall customer segment – detail the sub-set of market your product directly relates to. How big is the customer base and where is it – local / national / global? Please describe your competition – who is selling to them already? Please highlight its functional innovation – explain how your product/service would be better; how it will improve on existing practices.
  • Please describe what progress you have made in developing your product so far (it may not be much – that’s fine). If you have made a start please outline the difficulties you face in taking it further and what’s stopping you from succeeding at the moment. If you at an earlier stage please outline the key technical developments and issue you will need to overcome.
  • What do you hope to gain by being part of the Pre-Accelerator programme? How do you want it to help you overcome the challenges listed in the previous question? Please describe what you would spend the money on. The money can be spent on the costs of the residency, cost of living etc. but are there other costs you face. Please highlight the relevancy of the business mentoring and coaching for you, what help do you need most.
  • Please describe the main people involved in developing the project and provide some background information about them. If you intend to work with a third party please include them too. If you intend to work with a third party but haven’t chosen them yet, please explain what other skills you would be looking to secure.
  • This is your opportunity to attach any documentation that you feel will support your application. If you have any product designs, business plans or investment propositions already in place, please attach here.