You are eligible to apply if you fulfill all of the the following criteria:
You are 18+ years old at the beginning of the accelerator.
You can commit to full-time participation throughout the accelerator.
You are in the early-stages of company building.
Your gender and/or racial identity is underrepresented in tech. This includes, but isn't limited to:
• Nonbinary, genderqueer, or gender non-conforming
• Black or African American
• Indigenous American, American Indian, or Alaska Native
• Pacific Islander or Hawaiian Native
Since we are a virtual-first program, we accept international applicants. However, we can only invest in founders that have incorporated (or plan to incorporate) in the United States.
If you already have a team, you can definitely apply. However, each co-founder that wishes to participate in the cohort will have to submit an individual application, where you will be able to mark if there are any other members of your team applying. If you make it to the second stage of the process, we will interview applicants from the same team together.
In the case that one co-founder is accepted and the other did not apply (or was not eligible to apply), both founders will still be able to join certain Visible Hands programming and weekly check-ins, but only the co-founder who applied will be labeled as an official member of the cohort and receive access to all benefits, including a spot at orientation and cohort-exclusive programming.
No, you don’t. Visible Hands aims to support founders at the earliest, most formative stages of company-building. Whether you are pre-idea or have been working on your company for some time, we provide you the investment, resources, and connections needed to hit your startup’s next milestone.
Definitely! You do not need to have a technical background to participate in the accelerator. If you have unique insights or skills that would give you a competitive advantage in building and distributing a solution, we encourage you to apply.
Our exact engagement plan will be determined at the start of the program, but essentially, your day-to-day will primarily be spent working on your company. Apart from a 1:1 weekly meeting with a Visible Hands team member and a select number of cohort-wide meetings, Visible Hands holds no other mandatory obligations. We do, however, offer a robust programming calendar throughout the accelerator, including office hours, mastermind group meetings, and a speaker series, and you are encouraged to attend the events that appeal to you.
We are focused generally on technology-driven companies with high growth potential, making them competitive for additional venture financing after our accelerator. We generally don’t work in areas that require long research or production cycles, such as BioTech or Life Sciences.
Our founders must be committed to working full-time on their startups throughout the course of the accelerator. We provide an upfront investment of $25,000 to each founder to ensure that everybody in our cohort has the financial stability necessary to focus on company-building full-time.
Starting in the final weeks of our accelerator, each team will have the opportunity to apply for additional investment (up to $150k). We continue to accept and review funding requests on a rolling basis, approximately every 8 weeks, following the conclusion of the program. Once a team initiates a funding request, we begin a formal diligence process, which includes a micro-and-macro analysis from the Visible Hands team, self-assessment from the founder, and feedback from a Visible Hands advisor.
Outside of funding, Visible Hands will also continue to provide programming and engagement opportunities for our alumni, as well as direct support on select projects.
Once a founder or team initiates a funding request, the Visible Hands team begins a formal diligence process. It includes a micro-and-macro analysis from our team, self-assessment from the founder, and feedback from a VH advisor. Generally speaking, we are looking for the following: a strong founding team, proven customer traction, and promising market opportunity.
Visible Hands has two stages of investment. First, we invest an initial $25K pre-seed investment in each company that joins Visible Hands, structured as a post-money SAFE for 2.5% equity.
Our process for the second investment starts in the final weeks of the accelerator where we begin to accept requests for additional funding from our founders. Founders are invited to request up to $150k during this second stage, and we continue to accept and review funding requests on a rolling basis, approximately every 8 weeks, following the conclusion of the program.Visible Hands has the option to invest an additional amount of up to $150,000 post-money SAFE at a $3,000,000 valuation cap. This valuation cap is increased only if a company has closed at least $200k in funding prior to receiving Visible Hands’ participation agreement. In that situation, the valuation cap on the SAFE note can be increased to match the valuation cap on existing terms with the company’s institutional investors. For such a decision, we also consider other elements of the business such as the strength of the team, customer engagement, product quality, revenue generation, and commercial traction.
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