3 Tips for Intel Ignite’s Startup Accelerator Selection Day

Website Banner for Selection Day With Fire In The Background.

Intel Ignite’s startup accelerator program has been recognized by VCs as a top predictor of startup success. So it’s no wonder why hundreds of startups are looking to join the Intel Ignite accelerator program in Europe, the US, and Israel.

Out of more than 900 startups that apply globally, only 15 startups become finalists for each cohort and region’s Selection Day – and out of those, only ten make it into the program in each region and cohort.

Finalist founders present to a panel of judges from the deep tech startup ecosystem in each region, including experienced tech experts, VCs, and Intel Ignite graduates – professionals well-versed in the world of early-stage companies. For startup founders, participating in Selection Day offers significant value. It’s an opportunity to get insights and tactical feedback typically only available through customer discovery and pitching to VCs. And all of this comes from over 100 ecosystem professionals who get to screen your pitch. This exposure can, and usually does, feed into how a startup is perceived in the market.

Deep tech startups who’ve been through Intel Ignite’s accelerator program are transformed. Founders benefit from a community of mentors and peer learning experiences with other deep tech founders and receive guidance to reach product-market fit faster. There’s also the opportunity to learn how to quickly adapt to shifting markets and prepare for challenges, like launching and running a business in a post-covid world and how to build a company in a challenging market.

Pulling Back the Curtain

We’ve put together three tips to offer your startup the best chance of becoming a selected startup.

Tip 1: Demonstrate Your Idea

Your pitch is about more than what your technology does. As an early-stage startup, you should be able to clearly demonstrate what your value proposition is. And this is crucial. Like other businesses, you are either entering what is likely to be a market filled with competitors or you need to educate customers about a completely new market. Judges want you to be able to communicate how your product compares to other solutions available today.

Tip 2: Prove Market Validation

Having a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is also advantageous. You should be able to show that you are addressing a large and growing market. These elements are a clear indication to judges that you have taken the time to really dig into your market and that you understand:

  • The number of potential customers you plan to acquire
  • What those customers are using as a solution right now
  • How much they are spending on their current solution
  • Why they could or would adopt your solution

Demonstrating that you have a vision for where your startup and product are going and what your go-to-market plan is will help. Give an overview of team players you need to hire and why, your revenue generation plan, along with how you will allocate funds and finance growth.

Tip 3: Show A Successful Team

Perhaps the most important feature of a startup is the human factor – your team. Judges are interested in three areas when assessing the strength of a leadership team.

Firstly, they want to see that your team has the technical aptitude required to solve the problem at hand.

Secondly, you need to show that your team consists of growth-minded individuals, who are open to learning and coaching, and understand the market and customers you’ll be selling to. Passion, resilience, and being able to work together to address challenges and find solutions to new and old problems are important. Synergy, therefore, is an essential component of startup success and it has to be apparent early on.

Lastly, having a plan for attracting the right talent to add value to your startup is crucial, given how challenging it is to find talent in today’s environment

We look forward to stellar pitches at the Intel Ignite Selection Days and co-creating the future of technology with the successful startups who will join the 12-week accelerator program! Apply today.

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Luis Zeno Kuhn - Intel Ignite

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