Two times per year, 5 – 7 companies per session.
That is 10-14 investments per year culled from a list of over 300+ quality applications. In other words, only about 3.5% of applicants are selected into The Startup Factory. Duke is 11%. Harvard is 6.3%. Juilliard is 6%. 3.5% is good for us and I imagine it will only gets harder as our program builds more awareness outside of RTP.
Unfortunately, we do not have the time or manpower to execute the level of due diligence that a later stage investor would undertake. But that does not mean we don’t work hard to select the best teams with the best ideas. It does mean that the bar gets higher every session.
For the next Fall 2013 session, our applications closed June 30th and we aim to make offers no later than July 31st. Basically 30 days. 150+ applications to 35 to 15 to 5-7 investments.
Our process for making these 10-14 $50k seed investments every year provides us the opportunity to engage in a diverse set of entrepreneurs in many different ways. Some we have met before (they have been smart enough to engage with us prior to their application landing in our laps.) Some have listened to us and submitted a raw but sincere video of the team talking about their business, their passion and their vision (why do some of you refuse to follow directions and either dont include the video or submit a product video?).
Throughout this month we will smash about 200 interactions together in the hope of selecting 5-7 great teams with great ideas.
This is the Fun of Making New Investments.