Does LAUNCH take equity in participating startups?
Nope! LAUNCH does not take any equity in participating startups. We are motivated by the success of entrepreneurs in the UC system and have built a community at Berkeley that takes pride in supporting our startups. We are funded by the generous support of our partners.
When are applications due?
For the LAUNCH Class of 2018, applications are due by 11:59pm on November 19, 2017. Get on it!
What do you look for in ideal candidates?
We are looking for startups that meet our eligibility requirements and who are looking to take their startup to the next level. We are industry agnostic and will select companies based on their applications and our final round interviews.
What kind of funding will my startup receive as a participant?
At the culmination of the program, the class will compete for prize money in a public forum at the LAUNCH Final Event. The total amount of prize money may vary from year to year, but is typically around $50,000. But prize money is only one piece of potential funding for our participating startups – given the exposure startups get by going through our program, it’s not uncommon for LAUNCH startups to receive VC term sheets within days of the Final Event.
If we have received funding and already have sales, are we eligible to participate?
Yes. As long as you haven’t raised more than $1 million in funding or have more than $1 million in sales, then you are eligible to participate and will likely benefit from the program.
Do I need to be in the Bay Area for the duration of the accelerator program?
We do not require teams to be in the Bay Area for the entire program. The three mandatory in-person Berkeley events you must attend are the kickoff boot camp, the final boot camp, and the LAUNCH Final Event. Curriculum will be taught via webinars and meetings with faculty, mentors, and industry experts can either take place in person at Berkeley, or remotely.
What can you tell me about the curriculum?
Each year we tailor the curriculum to match the needs of our class. As such, topics will vary based on participating startups and their different growth stages. Potential subjects could range from building the team, to startup law, channels and partners, startup finance, telling your story, conquering sales, and, to pitching investors.
What if my startup has only one employee (i.e., just me!)?
In our experience, companies with only one employee or one founder struggle to succeed given the sheer workload of this program. So, unless you blow our socks off with your application, we recommend finding at least one other person to join your team. Heck, here’s one way we look at it: if you can’t convince someone else to work with you, are you really going to be able to convince investors and customers to take a risk on you?